A week ago today I was sitting in the hallway of a Marriott in Orlando, waiting to learn how to become a better speaker from my hero, Les Brown. It wasn’t until three days prior would I find out that the seminar was going to be hosted by Paul Martinelli, a speaker that I was not familiar with. So there I was, one of the first students downstairs, assuring myself a good seat. The doors to the room where the training was to be held were closed, so I made myself comfortable outside in the hallway. All of a sudden a very enthusiastic and friendly man comes out from the room and asks me “Sir, are you doing ok? Is there anything you need?” Shocked by how outgoing he was at 7:15 in the morning I say “no sir, I am just waiting to get a good seat, I’m Jonathan.” “Hi Jonathan, I’m Paul” he replies. Then it dawns on me, this is the host of the event. Embarrassingly I say to him “Paul Martinelli? The speaker?” He said yes very humbly as we continued to shake hands. I tell him “Mr. Martinelli, please don’t take offense, I have not heard you speak before, but I am looking forward to hearing your story.” He didn’t take offense, in fact he seemed prepared for my response and responded eloquently by saying “I am in no way offended by you not knowing me. My role in life, my gift really is being a number 2 to some of the greats, it is my sweet spot, so most people never know me until they meet me at an event like this one.” WOW, what an attitude to have. I couldn’t help but like the guy, and when I heard him teach, I liked him even more. Between you and me, he sounds like Tom Hanks. Really, I closed my eyes when I heard him speak and he sounds JUST like Tom Hanks! And who doesn’t like Mr. Hanks?
Another superstar I met there was Ona Brown, the daughter of Les Brown and a powerhouse speaker in her own right. What appealed to me most during this event was how loving, caring and interested all of the staff were about helping us become better. Ona radiates a natural motherly aura. You can tell that her soul is deep and that she wants the best for you. When I asked her if she would like a Positive Pin™ of course she said yes. She even wore it and let me get a picture with her. You can see that photo above. Another wonderful person I met was Dr. Julie VanPutten, who co-hosted the event with Les, Ona and Paul. Dr. Julie is smart. She had some really great tips on getting the most out of this training and kept us on our toes. Her strength was keeping our mind sharp, and helped up pick up all the subtleties that Les was teaching us. I wish I could spend a month with her, learning how to get the most out of listening. The last two trainers were Roddy and Susan Galbraith, a couple from the UK. Susan did my first evaluation (of a speech I delivered) and Roddy did the last one. I gave them both a positive pin too and they seemed to really like it. I kept seeing them around the hotel after the training and I very badly wanted to sit and learn from them, pick their brain so to speak, but I was already feeling like a stalker. They both gave very kind hearted tips about improving the speech that I gave and I really liked how Roddy helped me figure out the strong points of my speech and weed out the excess “fat” that I didn’t need to have in there in the first place.
If you want to increase your income, I feel it is important to learn more than you already know. Too often in my life I have been stagnant or dormant. Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever felt stuck? Trainings like these help energize me to move towards my goals and help nurture the belief that there is more that I can do in my life. I encourage you to look up the people I mentioned in this post, they all have something valuable to teach, and I have no doubt that you can learn something from them. If there is any way that I can be of service to you, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Jonathan de la Garza