Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I Declare!

This is the graduation speech of Competent Communicator Eden Alemania-Dayrit which she delivered on June 24, 2010. Definitely, there's more to Eden than meets the eye. This article is not enough to capture what this lady is really made of. At best, it can give you a glimpse of what she has become since she joined Toastmasters.

Learning about Eden's success story both as a speaker and entrepreneur is just like being in the middle of a captivating suspense novel. The more I turn to each page, the more the plot becomes increasingly interesting. And as her story continues to unfold, the more I become excited and inspired to read even more. 

I declare that tonight, your life will change. This room will be a witness of the transformation that will ensue. Remember the faces of the people around you for you won’t recognize them later. I declare that this is a night that you will never forget.

Like the night of January of 2009 when I first attended ButterNToast as a guest and I can vividly remember my answer to the question for the introduction about scholarship.

“Good evening. I am Eden Alemania and I am a DOST scholar at Ateneo.”

In my mind, what was I saying? That was so dense! But you guys were so nice! Even though my voice was trembling, my hands were clammy and to top that, I froze, and didn’t finish what I had to say. From then onwards, I declared to myself “I will be a good speaker. Audience will be wowed at my speeches. I will be invited to talk to big conventions.” Hahaha.. I found these lines funny then. My mind was still struggling with the idea of me being a speaker, and I was saying those big words. “Kaya ko ba ito?” Was all that I could think of then.

Which reminds me of a beautiful story in the bible. The story of Jacob and Esau, the sons of Isaac. In ancient times, the father, performs a ceremony of blessing. He officially hands over the birthright to the firstborn son, who is Esau. But younger brother Jacob, recognizing the power of this blessing, the power of his father’s words, deceived Isaac by pretending to be Esau, thus receiving the blessing.

Why did Jacob go to such extent of deceit? Why are they fighting over their father’s blessing? You see in the ancient times, a person’s word was binding. Words were like prophesies that when uttered becomes true. Even if Isaac, realizing that he made a mistake couldn’t take his word back because Isaac’s blessing to Jacob was irrevocable. Jacob became the father of the 12 tribes of Israel.

Going back to the present time, we often forget the power of words. We say or hear things like “Bagsak ka na naman? Kahit kailan wala kang nagawang tama.” Or “Ambisyosa, stop dreaming that you’d be a lawyer. Tuition pa lang, di na natin kaya ‘no. We’re born poor and we’ll die poor.” Or “Ako, pagsasalitain mo sa harapan? Sya na lang o, di ko kaya yan.” And when we couple that with the ability of the child to absorb what we say to them, the results are disastrous. We prophesy that they will not amount to anything. We shout at them and defend that at least we are not hurting them physically. But in truth, we hurt them more by crippling their ability to be better through our words.

Gary Chapman’s book “The 5 Love Languages” stresses the importance of affirmations on relationships and the value we give into our relationships. He emphasized the difference between encouraging words
and nagging words. Encouraging words always focus on something that your partner/a relative or a friend wants to do and not something you want them to do. A nag is something you tell him more than three times.

The power of words also transcends to what we say to ourselves – either consciously or subconsciously.

Let me share with you my personal experiences on declarations. In my Icebreaker speech, I declared, that I am a money magnet. My partner in some of my real estate deals and I usually have dinner to discuss the day’s events. And we plan out the following days with some “wishes” that we’d like to have for the week. In one such dinner she was scribbling 500,000 in the paper place mat and told me. “In our
house, I have a dream board wherein I wrote the numbers 500,000 signifying the amount I’d like to get for the month. And I’d like to thank you for helping me realize that dream.”

Then she began to write down 1,000,000. “This will be our goal for next month”. We smiled, because we never doubted that it is a possibility. True enough, the day after that dinner, we met with another real estate investor that showed us a 10-door property asking us to partner with him. And the projected income, is exactly 1,000,000 for EACH one of us.

I can go on and on sharing my personal experiences on declarations that came true, but I’d like to leave you with one thought. Declare your wishes. Declare your dreams. Declare the big, audacious, even
laughable desires of your heart. You have that power to fulfill those dreams… within your reach.

Remember the declaration I made after my first speech?

“I will be a good speaker. Audience will be wowed at my speeches. I will be invited to talk to big conventions.” Before, I was laughing at the thought of it. But now, I have two big events lined up.

On July 2-3, 2010, I will be speaking at the Money Summit and Wealth Expo at the Carlos P Romulo Room of RCBC Plaza for an audience of 400. And I am deeply honored to be speaking with CEOs, Presidents and experts in other fields. And you are all invited to come. And on July 24, I was invited to speak for a group of investors in Singapore.

The wise King Solomon once declared, “The tongue has the power of life and death” I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for the positive declarations I made at toastmaster’s. I wouldn’t be speaking in front of you, giving my graduation speech if I gave in to my “Hindi ko kaya ito” spiel to myself. I wouldn’t be speaking for an audience, if I didn’t declare that I can.

Tonight, I declare that this will just be the first of a lot more speaking engagements to come.

Tonight, I declare that you will achieve every word that you utter.

Tonight, I give you back the power that you’ve always had.

And I declare that you will use it to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

What about you? What would you like to declare?

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