每年8月份，国际演讲俱乐部Toastmasters都会举办一次国际英文演讲比赛，2014年8月，在马来西亚吉隆坡举行的大赛上，一位来自斯里兰卡的Dananjaya Hettiarachchi凭借这篇《I see something in you》(中文译：《我觉得你很特别》)力压来自80几个国家和地区的35000+名选手们一举夺魁，这也是英语演讲君看过的最好的英文冠军演讲之一。
You and I are not very different from this flower. Just like this flower is unique, you are unique. All of us have something special that makes us as beautiful. Do you know what makes you special?
Now the answer to that can be a little difficult of find, because sometimes life has a cruel way of picking out your petals, breaking you in two and throwing you into the trash. Now when you’re broken, it’s very difficult to feel special.
Mr. Contest Chair, my fellow flowers. I can remember the first time I broke. I was seventeen years old. I had already flunked high school and managed to get myself arrested. Now, I wasn’t afraid of the cops, but there was one person I was very afraid of and that was my mama. Raise your hand if you had an emotional mother. Let me see. Put them all together you get my mama. I can hear her scream outside the police station. Even the cops were afraid. She came up to me, held the iron bars, looked into my eyes and I saw a tear coming down her face.
Now I’ve seen my mama crying before, but mothers cry three types of tear: tears of joy, tears of sorrow and tears of shame. And when a son sees a mother cry tears of shame, that’s a life changing moment. She looked at me and said “son, I want to be a better man”. That night when I drove home my dad was waiting for me at home. Now my dad is a cool dad. Raise your hand if you have a cool dad. Put them all together you get my dad. My dad came up to me and said “son it’s okay. You flunked your exams. You already got arrested. That’s fine. You get that from your mother side. I want you to start working immediately”. And I said, okay.
So my dad took me to meet one his friends called Sam. Now, Sam was an accountant who had an accounting firm and had generously decided to make me his personal assistant and there he was. He looked like a teddy bear, but this man was special. I looked at him and he looked at me and then he said the most amazing thing. He said “son, I see something in you, but I don’t know what it is. If you decide to work with me, I can help you find that something”. And I was like, wow, that’s the first time in my whole life somebody has ever told they see something in me and I started working for Sam. And everyday after work he used to tell me stories about the world, about history, about culture, about philosophy and it was much more interesting than what I learned in school. And I discovered I can dream and I started dreaming, ladies and gentleman. After one year I went back into high school, completed my exams and went into college.
After successfully completing college I found a great girl, but not a job. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. Have you ever had that problem? And when you’re lost it’s difficult to feel special. So I went back to my cool dad and I said “dad, I feel lost”. He said, “you are like your mother.” So my dad introduced me to this strange club that had a strange name, with strange people – talking.
On the first meeting they told me to do something called a table topic. I aced it! But while I was speaking I see a strange man seated in the back row, humble, simple, the unfailing quality of kindness in his eyes. As soon I finished he walked up to me, looked me dead straight in the eye and said, “son, I see something in you, but I don’t know what it is. If you come here twice a month maybe we can find that something.”
And ladies and gentlemen, I discovered I could speak and I love speaking and that led me to become a teacher. I know what it’s like to not have enough money in your bank account. I know what it’s like to worry when the bills start coming in. And sometimes in the middle of the night I wake up my beautiful wife and ask her “honey, why did you marry me?” She says, “I saw something in you, but I still I don’t know what it is?”
Ladies and gentleman today I’m a dreamer, I’m a speaker and I learned the unfailing quality of unconditional love from my wife.
I was broken and I’ve been broken, lost and broke many times in my life, but the people in my life were able to reach into the trash can and make me whole again. If it was up to me, I would have never been able to do that. And this is why if you have great people in your life no matter how broke, how lost or how broken you become they can piece you back together.
Ladies and gentleman, when I look at you I see something in you, but I don’t know what it is? Over to you.
About the Champion speech
when you are broken, it’s not easy to feel special
when you are lost, it is difficult to feel special;
when you are worried,itis too hard to feel special,
Dananjaya Hettiarachchiis the World Champion of Public Speaking - 2014 conferred byToastmasters International. He is both a passionate speaker and a committed Human Resource Development specialist. He is amongst a handful of HRD consultants in the Asia-Pacific region that specializes in Performance Prediction, Profiling based Recruitment and Rapid Competency Development in adults. Today he works closely with select organizations that value innovative, results-based HRD solutions to specialized organizational challenges. Dananjaya has pioneered several adult learning and performance prediction models that are currently being used by global organizations to meet specific challenges in training, recruitment and performance management.
As one of Sri Lanka’s most sought after trainers; he is known for his acclaimed Sales, Communication, Change Leadership, Relationship Management and Contact Centre Training. He is the partner of choice for many organizations that require results based competency training for their staff. ...