How I wish sometimes that my husband were also a blogger so that he could have an avenue to express his learnings without me having to pry it from his semi-laconic demeanor. But, oh well, God made us into different people with unique qualities.
But one time, he purposefully told me that he wanted to hone his speaking skills by joining an internationally-acclaimed public-speaking club, Toastmasters, and who am I to go against that?
It was the first time he wrote a speech drawn from his innermost ideas, principles, and experiences, which won him “Best Speaker” from his icebreaker last September. And woah, this is just the beginning.
Why is it important? Well for one, he’s never the speaker, yet when he tried, his audience was able to relate well, which merited his first unofficial “recognition.”
So, without further ado, with his permission, I paste in this blog the transcript of his speech.
He also chose the images, which flashed onscreen during its delivery. If you’re an Incubus fan, you may find some words he used from their song titles too.
Make Yourself by Jerald Ferriol
Pardon me in advance if I sometimes read through these notes.
Back when I was a kid, I was very fond of building Lego blocks. I stacked it as high as I could and tried to create different figures out of my imagination.
It’s a well-accepted fact that human beings constantly crave to create and build. But for me, it was an expression of my thoughts, which made ‘building things’ a part of myself and made me really proud.
In school, you would consider me the guy you can count on for creative or technical stuff. I design, I build, I make and edit. I’m the guy in the group who is always the creator of PowerPoint presentations but never the presenter. I felt invincible working behind the scenes.
I was invincible because I felt exempted from the rattling questions and the piercing eyes of discerning teachers and classmates.
Now as an adult, I’ve never stopped building. I have switched my Lego blocks to a more serious hobby.
My job lets me create design applications.
Then I got married, started building a family.
And built or rather made a very energetic baby boy.
I always take pride in the tangible things I’ve built. It really drives me. Like I said, they are expressions of myself.
But there will come a time when your creations will be subject to criticism from another person’s perspective that you will be forced to justify it and convey your ideas to them.
I thought that the stellar objects I perfectly built were enough. But I learned it the hard way when I realized they weren’t. I failed to convince them otherwise due to a glaring weakness. I am not a presenter, I am builder.
Because of my inability to express myself in words the feeling sometimes become anti-climactic. I felt that there’s so much to say about my idea that I’ve worked so hard on with all of my heart. But I fall short in words. Instead of making me proud, I felt disappointed. Instead of making me strong, I felt weak.
To be honest, I felt invisible.
It didn’t take long for me to find out that the real root of my weakness is that I fail to consider building the intangible. I have realized, that in order to fully enjoy the things I build I must share the joy and the idea with others.
You see, ladies and gentlemen, being a builder doesn’t only mean that we focus on material things. Sometimes we take for granted the equally important, unseen aspect of our lives. And that is to build yourself. From within.
It all starts on building your character. In finding your weakness you are able to carve your path. These things are the fundamental building blocks of yourself. Building your confidence, building relationships, building trust, and building your spiritual connection to God.
When I searched within me I found out that there’s more to build. And this plays a vital part in my path to building my character.
Ultimately, I’ve learned that though we have missing pieces on the inside, we can make it a project in itself to build ourselves so that we can translate that into the things we do every day.
And when the things we have built are seen with a heart, other people begin to understand us better. They relate and extend their empathy with us more. The things I’ve built suddenly become not only the expression but also an extension of myself.
I stand here before you as a work in progress. Working my way through a better version of myself. I’m a builder, a leader, a baby maker and now a Toastmaster. Join me in my journey.
Goodevening and thank you!
2 Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”