The video below is from May 18th, 2019 at a conference at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill, NJ with a few hundred people attending. This is the fourth time I delivered this speech in public and the final performance for a while.
You can see changes in this version of the speech highlighted in the speech text section below. Many were made days before this performance. Most of the changes were to add a little more humor and weave the theme throughout to make the message connect even stronger. There’s a new conclusion because endings can always be better.
If you’re interested in hearing me speak at your company, event, or school,
reach out or check out my other speech topics like leadership, creativity, physical and mental health.
‘Create the Space’ Links
If you want to watch different versions, check out my
other posts on this speech.
Interested in improving your public speaking skills? Check out my
series. You’ll see the evolution of this speech referenced throughout. How to Create the Best-Speech-of-Your-Life
Watch the video on
YouTube or watch below.
This is version 54 of this speech. If you want to understand the highlight colors better, read
“I am an accident.”
My mom was 41 when I was born.
I was the third and last kid.
I heard — the rumors …
I didn’t create much space for that.
The classic example of not creating space is the word ‘but’.
“I love you but”
“Your speech was great but”
“You all are the greatest audience I’ve ever met — — but — — — it’s hard, right?
However — last year I found
When I create the space to listen,
…(even when its hard) it makes the best moments in life possible.
The real title of this story is —
Love is blind but my wife can see
Chapter 1 – Selfish Man Child (that’s me)
Here’s a typical exchange at my house.
My wife is a ‘little’ shorter than me
— like a hobbit — but prettier.
B: “Matt, what’s your plan for Saturday?”
M: “Hmmm … r eading, coaching, lifting, napping, writing — maybe dinner at nine? ”
M: “ Wait. I know that face. Disappointment — laced with — rage. — — Okay…we ’ ll eat earlier . ”
I’m selfish with my time.
(Oh and a little secret) my wife wants to have kids.
(Can all the parents raise their hands?
What ’ s the one thing you lose when you have a kid?)
(Right. I’d like to keep all those — and my wife — happy.)
In times like this, I’m grateful for my mom .
Chapter 2 – Mom Lights the House on Fire — (again)
(We’re going so far back in time, I have to walk to the other side of the stage.)
I’m 12 years old.
Back then, my mom was
always on the phone.
One night <sniffs> I smelled a little smoke.
“Mom, dinner’s burning again . ”
The flames exploded over half our kitchen.
… my mom said.
“ MATT! Call 911!”
“Don’t worry. It’s just a kitchen fire. — ‘Tell me more ’ later. K. Bye. “
My mom created space to listen — maybe to a dangerous extent.
But she made you feel like the center of the universe .
Remembering this would change my life.
Chapter 3 – “Can I drive with double vision?”
(Probably not. Except that one-time.)
2017 was a rough year for me.
Constant dizziness. A yeast overgrowth! Double vision!!
One day I walked outside and we had two identical dogs…
or so I thought until I got closer and one disappeared.
My wife and I
were burnt out from this .
Plus, we still weren’t communicating well.
We even ate dinner – while watching TV.
One day I thought “What would my mom do?”. —
Then I said to my wife “Would you like to eat at the dinner table again?”
Creating that space paved the way for what happened next.
Chapter 4 – The Conversation
It was July 9th, 2018.
My wife and I ate dinner like any other night.
Then my wife put down her fork —
“Listen I love you with all my heart
— but — if we don’t have kids, I’ll RESENT you too. ”
(Did you feel that — ‘but’? )
(I had seconds to react.)
— — —
(But first some stats.)
(I’m 35, married 8 years, with 0 kids.)
(Could you predict this was coming?)
Me too and I knew three words from my mom.
I put down my fork and said, “Tell me more.”
The Final Chapter – A Gift
My wife coached teen swimmers for years.
She said “Ya know Matt, I learn so much from those kids.
We need to have kids because of what they can teach us.”
— — —
“Have you ever had one of those moments when things just ‘clicked’? “
When my wife told me her dream, the gears of life moved for me.
Now I object to telling lies about the birds and the bees — so we’ll skip that part.
We expect to have our first baby girl this summer.
— — —
I look forward to the moment when I can tell her
“Baby girl, you are no accident.
You are a dream.”
— — — — —
What are the best moments in your life?
— — —
Remember those journeys start by creating the space
to love — to learn — and to listen
— but — even when its hard.
My mom died ten years ago.
Now I’m getting a new little lady in my life.
I’ll give her the same message my mom gave me every – single – day .
— — —
“ How – can you – create more space – for the people in your life?”
— — — —
For me, it’s three words.
’TELL — ME — MORE’.
Back to you.