I don’t like it.
I like Florien Mueck.
If you can get to his YouTube channel, do, he’s worth watching.
But I wish he hadn’t said that, or hadn’t been quoted as saying that.
Starting with a negative.
No, there is no perfection.
I live in a household of sporting people, and the shelves are lined with trophies. In any sporting competition, there are distinct winners and losers. A swimming race, say, takes a measured amount of time and the fastest wins. Simple and cut-and-dried (usually!)
A speech on the other hand … well! I have won many speaking competitions since about the age of 12. I have lost just as many. People come to me afterwards and tell me they thought I won. Sometimes I agreed, sometimes not. Despite the number of very well articulated criteria, there will always be that element of subjectivity involved. I know. I also judge!
So if there is no cut-and-dried “best” speaker, how can there ever be a “perfect” speaker, or a perfect speech?
Perfect according to whom? Perfect according to what criteria?
What if, on the other hand, we went to the second part of this quote and look at a speaking high.
What does that look like? What does that feel like?
To me, it feels like being in flow
– speaking fluently and with enthusiasm
– connecting with members of the audience so that they respond with emotion, or they participate
– it can feel powerful
– it can feel gratifying
– it can feel something close to perfection
And if we looked at the audience members after the speech, they would be doing what we, as speakers, aimed to have them do – repeating, remembering, rehiring, buying, changing, being motivated, or any number of other things we had designed.
It’s what keeps me speaking, meeting the challenge to be the best I can be, to climb higher and higher towards
no, not a mountain top,
not a peak
not perfection even, whatever that may be,
but certainly to more highs and greater heights.
And of course the corollary is that we all need to avoid becoming complacent, thinking that there is no better in us, no better experience we an provide, no need to strive or create anything new or better.
So, yes, Florian, I agree with you, and the quote stirred me to do that!!
And it’s what I want for all of us here – you, Florian, me and all of our fellow speakers and readers.