At age 16 I was attending school in Tamworth New South Wales. At this time I was choosen to travel to sydney and participate in a leadership seminar event. I really do not know what I was selected. Perhaps it was because I was the Australia karate champion, or perhaps it was because others did not want to go. Whatever the reason I travelled down by car to Sydney with a girl from the school who was also selected. My father was the driver, and the school had agreed to pay him to drive both of us to and from the event. It was about 4 hours from Tamworth, and the trip seemed very long to me then. The event was several days long, and there were teenagers from all over the state.
There were many seminars and many different presenters. My favourite was the comedy night. I remember laughing so hard that could barely contain my tears. Other things were said and done that had an impact however the biggest impact was a man who was dressed poorly and acted extremely nervous. He stuttered and stammered and was doing a hopeless job of keeping the attention of the audience. I immediately connected with this man, and I felt like I understood. What I understood was nerves, fear and anxiety around speaking. I had dealt with those issues in my own life. Remember I was the stuttering 14 year old. I felt sorry for this man who was trying to deliver a talk and having what appeared to be immesurable trouble. To make matters worse, students became wrestless and began to have private conversations. Some laughed at him, and others looked around the room in confusion or boredom. The noise of the students lifted and more of the audience switched off.
Then I saw something remarkable happen. He changed. I mean literally he changed. He removed his glasses. He took off a wig. He shed the jacket he was wearing. He changed his posture and his voice. The he began to speak with power and confidence that was a huge contrast. It was an incredible transformation and now he had the full attention of the room. The room gave this confident, engaging and intelligent man great respect.
I learned something very valuable that day. As I looked at this man, I determined that I would be like this 2nd man. Well, this 2nd personality or act. He was a great communicator, and I knew that to be successful in life good communication was the key.