Screen Shot 2018-09-23 at 21.58.34

As I write this I can not speak.

I have lost my voice.

That is NOT good if you are a professional speaker …

I woke up on Thursday morning with a bit of a rough voice and by Thursday night the voice was totally gone. Not a sound came out when I tried to say something.

At 11 AM I had had a speech to give for a global audience so I was VERY lucky the voice did not decide to give up a few hours earlier …

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 08.28.58
Over the weekend I have been temporarily mute as I have been avoiding to speak to rest my vocal cords.

Not speaking at all has given me time to reflect on my work as a speaker.

If I really did loose my voice and never could speak again what would I do?

My insight was that I would continue to spread my message just like I do today.

I am passionate about creativity, change and global/human mindset, my “Inner Theme” is “Humanity to the Power of Ideas”. I believe in the potential of humanity and the power of ideas.

If I never could speak again I would spread the same messages via videos, books, blog posts and perhaps a podcast where I would write down questions that the people I interviewed would reply to.

For the last 18 year I have replied with the same answer when someone asks me: “What do you do?”

My answer has always been: “I am a speaker”.

Sitting quietly in my home writing this I realise that that is perhaps not the best answer.

According to Eyomonline.com (An etymology site) the word “speak” apparently can be traced back to the “notion of speech as a “scattering” of words.”

And “speak” was not the primary word for “to speak” in Old English.

Instead the word “maþelian” was used:

Now while “speak” comes from “scattering of words” the word “maþelian” comes from mæþel meaning “assembly, council,”.

“It has its root from metan “to meet;” compare Greek agoreuo “to speak, explain,” originally “speak in the assembly,” from agora “assembly”)”

Now THAT I like.

“To explain in an assembly.”

A very cool etymology trace back in time through the history of the English language.

Because is that not what “Speakers” do?

We explain some aspect of the world to a group of people gathered together in one place for a common purpose.

Sitting here, not being able to speak any words, I realise that I am not a “speaker”.

Instead when I get the question: “What do you do?”

I should really reply “maþelie” – as in “I speak”.

And no, I will not really do that. I will stick to “I am a speaker”, but this text has not just been a play on words.

“To explain in an assembly.” is, if you think about it profoundly, what it really means to be a speaker.

We have a job where we have the privilege to stand in front of groups of other people gathered to listen to us explain something to them.

That is a huge honor and responsibility.

Let’s look at it as such.

Let’s be thankful for getting to do so.

And – from a person who can not speak right now – let us also be thankful for something most of us, most of the time, take for granted: Our ability to just open our mouth and express what is on our mind.

Share

You might also like

The work ethic of a lion.  (Hint: No, it’s not that Alpha male crap, that’s not lion, that’s bull…)
Read more
“As a speaker, you just speak, right?” Well, yes. And no.
Read more
How to avoid jetlag as a global keynote speaker.
Read more
Why we do what we do, as professional speakers. The beauty of beautiful feedback. (Episode 223.)
Read more
Lack of communication is slack of communication. (Speaker war story)
Read more