Speech Smarts

Do You Labor for Love?

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Labor is still, and ever will be,
the inevitable price set upon
everything which is valuable.

Samuel Smiles

Do you see your life as a labor of love?  The birth day gift each of our mothers bestowed on us is a magical mix of love and labor.  As a man, I can never truly understand what labor pains really mean. Yet, time and time again, I find life’s greatest gifts through labor.  In fact, life itself depends on it.  The highest pay we can receive for our efforts is loving appreciation.  These meaningful moments are the fruit of labors of love.  When you labor with love, you work hard on a task, harder on your job and hardest on yourself.

Labor gives birth to ideas.
Jim Rohn

 The task at hand may be to script a speech, to craft your comments or to plan a presentation.  Only when you work on what you want to say do you find something worth saying.  Concentrate on production not perfection. Through your labor, one idea gives birth to another and then another. Don’t worry about how useful they are. Just get them out of your head and on to paper or on the screen.  The goal is to have your options outnumber your obstacles.  The real work in preparing a presentation is deciding what to remove, not what to include.  The value of what you say appreciates through editing.  Meaning flows from what you edit out.  How you work this out depends on the job you want to perform.

Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately,
you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.
  Ulysses S. Grant

 Your job may be to convince, to critique or to charm your audience.  The job description tells you what tasks you need to do. What work is your presentation designed to do?  Far too many presenters fail to see their presentation in a work context.  You may feel like your speech is the most important event on earth. For your audience, it is just another event in their day. Help yourself and your audience by putting your presentation into perspective, their perspective. If you can’t see your presentation through your audience’s eyes, you still have work to do. It is laborious to look at yourself from your audience’s point of view, but audiences love it when you do.  It is disgraceful to work over your audience by demanding they listen to you. Instead, labor for the love of your listeners so they feel good about working with you.  Trying to convince and charm won’t work unless you understand what your listeners would love to learn. Facing a critical audience with grace is hard work but it is easier when you learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.

Our hardest work is on ourselves because our work is never finished.  From time to time, we fail at our tasks or quit our job, but we can never afford to give up on ourselves.  Failure is a frequent fact of life but is rarely fatal. Challenges are an invitation to come to life.  Set backs are signals to begin or continue laboring for the love of life.  Work to fill your life with as many experiences as possible.  Then, you can choose to recall what is meaningful and release what is worthless.  You have labored all your life to become who you are right now. Do you love what you have become? When you work hardest on yourself, you become better at what you are doing and better at what you do.

 Push yourself. Push your passions. Push past your procrastination.  Push your potential.  Push your possibilities out into the world by working hard on what you want to say.  Work harder to make your labors of love valuable and meaningful.  Work hardest on yourself so your labor brings love to life.

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About the Author:

David Nemitz has designed and delivered over 10,000 sales presentations, professional development programs and executive coaching sessions for corporations and governmental organizations such as the US State Department, The French Consulate, and American Express. When he is not helping others define and refine their strengths, you can find him watching the sun set over The Magic City or strolling through The City of Light where he lives with his wife Ninette.