The Hardest Speech I Have Ever Given

Occasionally someone asks me, “What’s the hardest speech you’ve ever given?” The answer may surprise you. I have a daughter–Madison Victoria. She is smart, beautiful, and kind (and always has her hand in my pocket for something)! Maddie V, as we call her, plays club volleyball. Her coach sent me an e-mail and asked if I would come give a motivational speech to twenty 14-16-year-old young ladies.

The week of the event, Madison said to me, “Dad, I need you to give the best speech of your life. Don’t mess up. These are all of my friends.”

Folks, I have to tell you—I really struggled with this one. For the first time in 31 years of public speaking, I felt nervous, especially after seeing at least 10 mothers and fathers sitting behind their children waiting to hear what I had to say.

Maddie told me later, “Dad, you did a good job,” and that her friends enjoyed it.

That day, I hope I planted seeds of possibility, and I will never forget the hardest speech I’ve ever given.