Jill has to tie my tie!

IMG_0324I am getting ready to go on my first trip…alone!  I am a big boy now.

Don’t tell anyone, but I am nervous. The main reason: Jill ties my ties…and I can’t do it myself!

My Results

In the picture, are my results…after 5 attempts. It looks pretty good….Ok…. it is really bad!  After the 5th time, I am now unable to move my hands.  It just occurred to me: should I be practicing this?  It is a great way to become more proficient.   And the good news: at least I CAN sort of tie my tie.  8 years ago, I couldn’t imagine this feat.  I feel great right now.  Thanks for listening.

For now, I will have a suit and an open shirt when I give my talk.

Quick question: should I say anything….or should I just give my speech?

How was I?


Was I nervous?  No…I was looking forward to addressing this team.

I started giving my speech almost 4 years ago. I can not believe it!

In looking back, about 50% of the speech has changed.  That is a good thing!  Others in the speaking industry say you should continuously update your speech.  I change my speech ALMOST every time I deliver it.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t write new items all the time…but I will adjust as things change.  And guess what? Since a small part of my speech is different (maybe one line), I still have to practice it to get it right!  So I do!

Good News

Last week, I delivered my speech to Thrivent Financial.  They are a wonderful group and I have been blessed to know them.  I was looking at the agenda: I had to fly up to Spokane Washington and then take the shuttle to the C’ouer d’Alene Resort in Idaho.   I assumed, the coordinator would book me for the shuttle.  When my wife asked about this, I told her we were all set up for it.  When she asked me what was my reservation number, I suddenly get concerned!  I realized that  I didn’t tell the person what time my flight was arriving and she had not book me yet. My wife called the night before and got the last 2 seats on the bus!

I felt REALLY stupid!  Did I ever tell you how much I love my wife?  She is a ROCKSTAR!

1 more…in two days!

I am preparing for a speech this Friday.  Am I nervous?  Sort of.

I am giving this speech to Corban University students and staff…and they expect about 400 – 500 people. I guess that it is ok to feel anxious, but I am not sure where that is coming from. I never got nervous before.  Wait…now that I think of it, I did feel kind of nervous at another large speech.  I guess I have the jitters!  It’s good to have the jitters.  It makes me feel human!

Was I nervous?

IMG_0486Last week, I got to speak in front of college students.

While I don’t normally get nervous, I was with this group!  Oh no:  what if I am becoming like ALL the other speakers?

Could this be a fact?  I haven’t got nervous since my stroke.  What was once a “little benefit” could be gone. While it bothers me a little, I am kind of psyched about getting my old self back.  Now before I speak, I won’t be able to eat, I will pace back and forth,…. and I will get chills down my spine.  Ok, I won’t do all those things, but I am excited to get my “old self” back.

I did it!

I can’t explain it, but I was nervous before the speech I gave last Thursday.  I guess it was because I didn’t deliver THIS speed as many times as I delivered my other speech.  For My Brain Has A Hole In It speech, I delivered it to myself for 8 months BEFORE anyone heard it.  When I started giving it, I would practice on the days I didn’t give my speech.  This means, in 2 years, I gave the speech about 500 times ( and I still have to read it).

For the Putting Failure In Its Place speech, I kind of slacked off…only giving/practicing for less than a year (about 100 times).  No wonder I didn’t feel “prepared”.

But I gave my speech and the audience loved it.  I spoke to my client, and she said she really needed to hear my talk. She said I told them that “it took commitment and follow though every day to make it happen.  If you make this plan, you HAVE to do it.  No exceptions.”  I couldn’t say it better!

Back Where We Started

RotaryA little over two years ago, Gordon gave his presentation, “My Brain Has A Hole In It” for the first time to a group of close friends.  That experience started us on a new path–Inspirational Speaking!  But who, other than friends, would want to listen to us?  Would we be inspirational to people who had never heard of us?

Gordon and I started making phone calls, trying to book an opportunity to speak to an audience of strangers.  It took some time but we were eventually introduced to Dennis, an active member of Rotary.  After a delightful meeting in front of a local coffee shop, Dennis agreed to give us a chance.

Our first speaking engagement was to the Greater Clark County Rotary of Vancouver, Washington.  I was very nervous for Gordon but he was completely confident.  I don’t think he even considered that the presentation might not go well.  Gordon was right–he got a standing ovation.

Two years have gone by and so much has happened.  Gordon has given well over 100 speeches.  I’ve published a book and have launched my own speaking career.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak to that same Rotary Club, back where we started.  This time Gordon was nervous for me!  No need to be nervous, Rotary clubs are filled with wonderful people.  This time, it was my turn to get a standing ovation 😉

Jill Viggiano