“Ay adda i huha?”
He said it again, “Ay adda i huha?”
Still, I didn’t get it.
Have you ever met people who have difficulty in speaking? Have you ever conversed with one of them? That day, at my sister’s little convenience store, it happened.
This small boy came running and with all excitement, he asked, “Ay adda i huha?”
He spoke audibly but I didn’t seem to understand what he said. He seemed to be speaking in the local language but I didn’t understand half of it. So I asked, “Anya diyay?” (What is it?)
He replied, “Ay adda i huha?”
Still, I didn’t get it.
I leaned in and asked, “Anya?” (What?)
With a tone of slight desperation, he retorted, “Huha!”
I was puzzled. I had to pause. I replayed it in my mind.
Then I realized, “Ahhh… suka!” (Ahhh… vinegar!)
I handed him a bottle of vinegar. He gave me a satisfied smile, handed me his payment and then walked away.
While he was running back home, I whispered to myself, “How blessed are we who can speak without such difficulty.”
Then I looked up, looked around and thought for a moment. “But I guess, at times, that little boy is more blessed than most people because a lot of people who can and should speak are not speaking at all. They shrink from themselves. They say they are shy and they stop there! Worse, they don’t seem to see the value of their ability to speak – the seemingly small and simple act of uttering audible and understandable sounds.”
I am very well aware of this fact because I know some of these people. One of them is very close to me. I always see him in the mirror. Yes, I was one of them. I was so shy. I didn’t want to speak. But the weird thing is I wanted to become a speaker.
I wanted to speak but I didn’t want to speak. Crazy, right? I would turn red and tend to ramble when all eyes were on me. As a result, I chose not to speak to spare myself from embarrassment.
One day, I realized that this was not benefiting me and the people around me. I had to change.
I began my journey to discover what must be done. When I found the path to help me develop, I stepped into it and followed it decisively. At first, it was fearsome. It was terrifying. It was difficult. But I kept moving my feet, one foot in front of the other. I ran when I could. I rested a while when needed. And today, I continue to walk that path.
I look back and see how I grew a lot in the process. It was worth the effort. It was worth the courage. Today, I do not say it was fearsome, it was rather fun! Today, I do not say it was terrifying, it was rather terrific.
I have this proposition that regardless of your profession or business, you and I should develop our public speaking skills. After all, public speaking is not limited to professional speakers, trainers, teachers, priests, pastors, preachers, professors and politicians. It is a mistake to forget about public speaking if you are not one of them. It is also a mistake to forget about public speaking once you become one of them.
You and I need to hone our public speaking skills no matter what we do in life.
Because all of us – at certain points in our lives – have spoken and will speak or present in various occasions for several reasons. So even if you are not a speaker by profession, speaking is for you. And if you speak or present regularly as part of who you are and what you do, then speaking is for you too.
It may sound grandiose, but I aim to help build a better community by having better presentations and speeches every time a speaker or presenter takes the stage.
My friends, I invite you to join me in this cause, in this aspiration, in this journey – to build a better community, a better country, a better world… one better public speaker and presenter at a time.
You might be saying, “I’m not as gifted as those famous speakers. I’m not as crazy as you are. I’m not a speaker or trainer like you. Why should I?”
“Why shouldn’t you? You have the ability to speak.”
What are you doing with your ability to speak?
You can speak clearly, why shouldn’t you?
May that little boy who has a difficulty in speaking speak a message to us.
May that little boy spark inspiration in our hearts.
May that little boy spur action in us – to speak up, to share our thoughts, to share our stories, to share our insights, to share our messages, to state what we stand for, to inspire others, to contribute, to express our love, and to develop the skill to do these.
May we exert the effort to speak up. That little boy is asking us, “Ay adda i huha?”
(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM is a communication and leadership trainer, inspirational speaker, and author of 4 books. His latest book SPEAK: How to Craft and Deliver a Speech or Presentation w/ competence & confidence is available at Mt. Cloud Bookshop, Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road, Baguio City or the ebook version at Amazon, bit.ly/speakbychris. To invite him to speak or train, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)