TELL A COMPELLING STORY
Find the Profundity In the
We may not realize it, but we
gain experience every single day, and if we look closely
enough at the events of the day, we can find profundity
in many situations and turn that into a lesson worthy of
About twenty years ago, I was
standing in the middle of a river, fly-fishing. I love
to fish, and there I was, waist deep in this beautiful
river, just having a great, relaxing time when it
suddenly began to rain.
I walked over to my day camp
along the shoreline, where I had set it up under the
bridge where the highway crossed over the river.
It was mid-afternoon and I hadn’t
eaten anything yet, so I fired up the little grill I
brought and began to cook my lunch. I had packed a nice,
big, juicy steak, a baked potato, and some veggies.
Now, you’re probably wondering
why I would bring a steak on a fishing trip. Well, the
truth is that I love to fish, but I’m not always
successful at it. For this reason, I always bring some
food in case I don’t catch any fish.
As I was cooking my lunch on the
grill, the smoke from the coals began to rise and fill
the air under the bridge with the tantalizing aroma of a
steak being cooked. The sizzle of the steak, and the
warmth from the fire made for an absolutely delightful
It was pouring rain and a little
chilly out, but under that bridge, with my
soon-to-be-savored lunch, I was toasty warm and very
As I was getting set to begin
enjoying my lunch, I reached out to take my perfect
looking steak from the grill, and…SPLAT…bird poop landed
on it! A LOT of bird poop!
I looked up to the rafters under
the bridge and there were the culprits, two baby pigeons
looking over the rim of their nest as if to make sure
they had hit their target, and believe me, they had!
The two of them must have fired
off at the same time because what landed on my steak was
huge! It looked far too big to be from only one of those
two little pigeons. Nevertheless, there it was, right
smack in the middle of my big, juicy and perfectly
I looked at my steak and
considered my options. As it finally dawned on me that
my lunch had been destroyed, my bottom lip began to
quiver and I felt like the entire day’s wonderful
feeling was taken away from me.
Many years later, I was invited
to be the motivational speaker at the graduation
ceremony of a local business college. As I was working
out what my message to new graduates should be, to help
them as they ventured out into the business world, I was
somehow reminded of the pigeon story and created a
motivational keynote from it, called “Eagles, Steak and
Pigeon Poop.” The point of the message was that there
are two kinds of people you’ll encounter in your life,
the ones who want to poop on your steak (the pigeons),
and the ones who want to help you soar (the eagles).
My adventure with the pigeons is
a simple event, and most of us would forget about it and
draw no value from it, but as a speaker, you must learn
to explore every event that occurred to you, and find
the profundity in it so you can share your stories in a
meaningful way with your audience.
I’ve created keynote speeches
from many seemingly mundane events, such as buying a
pair of pants, playing a game of darts, and going to a
So, what’s the lesson? There is
profundity in almost every event that you experience.
All you have to do is open your mind and your eyes and
find the worthwhile lesson in it.