You remember that scene from Remember the Titans don’t you? It is the semi final game. Petey is making excuses about why he can’t cover his man like he should. For the entire movie Coach Yoast has gone easy on him, but no more. He confronts Petey in front of the team. He says, “If you want to act like a star you have to give me a star effort.” Petey whimps out and another player is brought in to play in his place. A less talented player named Allen who gets the job done because he gives the effort required.

Petey comes back to the coach before the next game and tells him he is ready to play for the championship. Coach Yoast tells him he is going to sit on the bench and cheer for the team and he will have a chance to play the next year. It is only after the less talented player give Petey his spot that Petey has a chance to get back in the game and finally give a star effort. The Titans win the championship. They wouldn’t have if Petey hadn’t learned his lesson and been given another chance.

I see a lot of Petey in myself. I know there are things that I am talented at. I know that I have the potential to be really good in a few areas. I even act like it sometimes, but have I really given a star effort to go along with the star act? Don’t get me wrong, I have worked hard on many things and been successful, but there are areas of my life that I have been slacking. One of the glaring spots where I don’t put in as much effort as I should? Public speaking.

If you have seen me speak, you might wonder what I am talking about. I have been in Toastmasters for 8 years. I achieved my Distinguished Toastmasters award. I have given over 200 presentations in that time. How can it be that I am not putting in the effort? Let me explain.

I am one of those people. You know the ones I am talking about right? Those weird people who have always felt comfortable in front of a room. From as far back as 2nd grade, I remember being in front of large groups and not being that bothered by it. Sure, it was strange, but having the room stare at me was always kind of cool.

For many people, that is the thing they have to get over. Talking in front of people is one of the most fear inducing things known to man. That is why they join Toastmasters. They had a problem they needed to address and are able to get through it. It is always an honor to see folks do this too. It is a serious achievement.

At this point, what would be a serious achievement for me? Knowing that I had put all of my heart, soul, and practice into a presentation and figuring out what my real potential is. Maybe I am close to it now. I have a feeling I am not. Either way, I want to give that star effort and forget about the star act.

I have a contest that I am participating in next Saturday. This is my self nudge to get it done. I may even record it and post it here. We will see what applying maximum effort will do.

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