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James C. Humes and Ryan Avery

Top 10 People I Met in 2014

By Motivation 5 Comments

Here are the top ten people I am glad I met in 2014 and why!

This is the person that...

Alan Wiener, Holocaust Survivor – I had the chance to interview Alan and he said I could ask him any question I wanted to about his years spent in concentration camps and losing all 100+ members of his family. The thing that stood out the most was his attitude, humor and ability to find the positive in everything. He ended with saying “Instead of being bitter, I chose to be better!”

This is the person that...

Tom Rhodes, Comedian – He taught me how to laugh and make other people laugh on the spot! I went to his show with a friend of mine and he was so good at improvising and being his true self on stage! I left that night thinking, “Wow… I have a lot of work to do!” Make sure you are always working to be better at what you do!

This is the person that...

Sean Stephenson, Motivational Speaker – Sean had the best opening and closing of a speech I have ever seen! It was one of the most motivating stories I have ever heard and he got me fired up to bring my A-Game when speaking on stage! What are you doing to be the best at what you do?

This is the person that...

Jim Jacobus, CSP – Jim was my buddy at the NSA Convention this year and I could not have had a better person to be partnered with! I came to him at the beginning feeling low in my career as a speaker and he supported me, encouraged me and gave me a line I will always remember, “Always be happy, never be satisfied!” Thanks Jim!

This is the person that...

Geoffrey Tumlin, Communication Consultant – Geoffrey wrote one of my favorite books on communication called, “Stop Talking, Start Communicating” and I read it several times this year. We had the chance to have lunch while I was speaking in Austin, TX and his insights, friendship and passion for communication left me feeling inspired and motivated to improve my abilities as a speaker and coach! 

This is the person that...

Darren Rowse, ProBlogger – I met Darren at a conference I attended in Portland, OR where he spent the day talking about how to grow your blog. He was the one who inspired me to put together the 31 Days of Kindness Challenge and while he was on and off stage he demonstrated what it means to be a leader in your niche! What are you doing to build your community on and off line? 

This is the person that...

Alan Weiss, Million Dollar Consultant – Meeting Alan is like you meeting one of your heroes. One of the first keynotes I ever watched and studied was Alan’s and I remember saying to myself, “One day I want to be as good as him!” I had the chance to meet him this year and learn from him during the NSA Convention! Biggest thing I took away from him was, “Go for it! You already don’t have the business, the contact, the relationship… so reach out. You can’t go into a meeting and come out worse off than you already are so you better reach out and start growing your business!”

This is the person that...

James C. Humes, Author and Speaker – I was introduced to James by my mentor Randy Harvey who gave me his book “Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln” when I was competing for the World Championship. I interviewed James at his house this year and it was the best interview I had! He taught me about the power of speech and why communication is king! #SpeechisPower

This is the person that...

Chris Guillebeau, NYT Best Selling Author – There are a few leaders I like to follow on a regular basis and Chris is one of them. He ads a lot of value to the world, continues to reach new and bigger goals and is a genuine guy filled with a lot of passion! Remember, you become who you surround yourself with, so make sure you have the right people motivating you in your life! 

Continue to meet people in your life who inspire you, who make you stronger, better and more successful! Surround yourself with those people who bring out the best in yourself! I hope you have a great New Year and I am looking forward to seeing what we accomplish together in 2015! As always…

Dream BIG,

Ryan Avery with James C Humes

Advice from Public Speaking’s Most Prolific Author

By Motivation, Uncategorized 4 Comments
Holding each other's books!

Holding each other’s books!

Have you ever met one of your heroes in person? Had the chance to sit down and talk with them for an afternoon? I am happy to say I got that chance recently when I met Mr. James C. Humes, one of the world’s greatest orators and authors.

His books inspire, his life-story motivates and his ability amazes me. In fact, his books are the major reason why I fell in love with the art of communication and wanted to dedicated my life to helping people improve their communication skills. Reading his books gave me the motivation in a major way to write Speaker, Leader, Champion with Jeremey Donovan.

His firm handshake, pink and blue bow tie and lion-gaze eye contact intimidated me at first. He lived up to the person I had envisioned in my mind. Randy Harvey introduced me to Mr. Humes’ books when I was training for the World Championship. Randy gave me a copy of one of Humes’ books “

Here are the framed front covers for most of the books Mr. Humes has written!

Here are the framed front covers for most of the books Mr. Humes has written!

Mr. Humes has spoken in all 50 states, more countries that I could keep count and he was a speech writer for Nixon, Ford, Regan and Bush Senior. He wrote the words on the plaque that Neil Armstrong placed on the moon during the first landing! He has written more than 40 books and learned from Winston Churchill! He told me, “Meeting Churchill was like meeting Caesar or Napoleon, it was like shaking hands with history. Best advice Churchill gave me was to study history because in history lies the secrets to statecraft (government)!” 

He’s the real deal and as professional speakers, he is one many of us look up to.

His home is like an American Museum with oil paintings hanging on the walls, vintage books that line the floor and his entry way table is a chest from Christopher Columbus dating back to 1501. It was an honor to meet Mr. Humes and during our time together I was able to get to know him and his lovely wife.

I asked why he has dedicated decades of his life to the art of communication. He paused, looked at me and said “Speech is power…” and proceeded to tell me about how Winston Churchill used his words to inspire a nation and as he spoke, reminiscing on the words of Churchill, he ended by saying “… words are the difference between defeat and survival.”

He is right! There is nothing more powerful than speech! Why wouldn’t you want to master the art of speaking?

I am thankful I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Humes as he is someone I very much look up to. Just listening to his stories, being allowed in his home and learning from him was a top ten moment for me. He offered me advice for the next time I talk on stage and shared the three elements of what it takes to make a great speech:

You Need A Great Man (or Woman)
Someone willing to step up when times are tough. Someone who is willing to speak out on issues they believe in. Someone who is willing to use their voice to make a difference. The world is full of great men and woman we just need more of them to use their voice to help our world! A great man or woman will not be made overnight. You need trials and tribulations, you need failures and a sprinkle of success stories- you need to experience life. All of the things that have happened and are happening in your life, prepare you to be a better person, to be a stronger man and a capable leader.

You Need A Great Occasion
There are only a few opportunities in life for a great man or woman to deliver a great speech because there are few great occasions. But look for them. Reach out and ask to be the speaker. Reach out and see what you can do to get yourself on stage, in front of that microphone and during the next great occasion. Think of how you can be remembered for the words you say.

Ryan Avery and Toastmasters and James HumesYou Need Great Eloquence
You can borrow the eloquence from someone by sharing their story and how they handled the situation. Think of great leaders of our time and how they were able to handle the situations given to them. Remember to share stories that make a point, pause to let the audience soak in what you are saying and end with what Humes likes to say a “Soul Shaker!” (inspirational story). 

It took time, digging and a lot of research to be able to get in touch with Mr. Humes but it was worth every minute! Take the time this week to look over who inspires you, who motivates you and who you look up to. Reach out to them and come up with a list of questions to ask when you two meet. Your heroes are out there and they are willing to meet with you if you only ask! Remember to use your voice to make a difference and as always…

Dream BIG,

P.S. If you could interview one person this week, who would it be?

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