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Episode #60 - Stories That We Can Tell Ourselves & To Others: An Interview With Alexandre Matte
Episode 6322nd November 2023 • Speaking From The Heart • Joshua D. Smith
00:00:00 00:48:14

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Storytelling is an important makeup of our overall society. By telling stories of people, places, and things, we have been able to shape generations of society over and over again, which has been greatly enhanced by the Internet. Being able to be effective in storytelling, however, means a lot more than just having a compelling message. Today's guest, the 2022 1st Runner Up (2nd Place) World Champion of Public Speaking, Alexandre Matte, shares an international perspective (& story!) about how he has been able to utilize contests and his vast connections of coaching and other resources to learn an important lesson not by being a winner in a contest, but winning so much more by the impact and continuing lessons he now shows others because of his heightened awareness. How your story translates to others is an important ingredient in becoming not only engaging, but impactful as well in all aspects of life!

Guest Bio

A storyteller who can transport you to the time and the place he is describing, Alexandre practices the art of storytelling every day with his most difficult audience, his three daughters, aged two to ten. Recipient of the Storytellers of Canada Emerging Storyteller Award in 2018, Alexandre is a professional speaker and storyteller, and an occasional actor on stage or television! Multiple times decorated at the International Speech Contest, Alexandre finished 2nd place in the World Championship of Public Speaking in 2022, out of 30,000 contestants. After 15 years managing finances of cultural organisations, most recently as Director of Finance of the oldest cultural centre in French Ontario, he transitioned from counting to speaking. Since that time, Alexandre created the Standout Community, making professional coaching accessible to all, and is now host, along with Roger Caesar, of the weekly GREAT CONVOS podcast.

Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/Alexandriste

@Alexandriste on Twitter

  • Toastmasters International -Home (https://www.toastmasters.org) - Toastmasters is an international organization that has allowed many of my guests to be on the show through personal and professional connection, combining all kinds of different types of communication and leadership development. Learn more about this organization at the link provided, plus check out the "Find A Club" option where you can locate an in-person or virtual club closest to you and your likings!

YouTube Page: https://www.youtube.com/@AlexandreMatte/

Website: https://www.alexandrematte.com

Visit Our Website: https://speaking-from-the-heart.captivate.fm/

Visit Our Business Website: https://www.yourspeakingvoice.biz

Support The Mission Of The Business! Donate Here: https://speaking-from-the-heart.captivate.fm/support

Intro/Outro By: Michael Dugan, Podcast Host: Voice4Chefs

Transcripts

Intro:

Welcome to the podcast where relationships, confidence, and

Intro:

determination, all converge into an amazing, heartfelt experience.

Intro:

This is Speaking From The Heart.

Joshua:

Welcome back to episode number 60 of Speaking From the Heart, and today

Joshua:

we're featuring another Toastmaster that has made a positive contribution

Joshua:

to society as a whole, and again, I appreciate all the Toastmasters that have

Joshua:

been on the show and have shared their experiences in the month of November,

Joshua:

so If you are interested in checking out what Toastmasters is all about,

Joshua:

check out the link in the episode notes.

Joshua:

You'll be able to find a club near you that will be able to provide a opportunity

Joshua:

for you to practice your communication and leadership skills, but today we

Joshua:

have an international Toastmaster coming from Canada; Alexandre Matte, and is a

Joshua:

storyteller who can transport you to the time and the place that he's describing.

Joshua:

He practices the art of storytelling every day with his most difficult audience:

Joshua:

his three daughters age two to 10, and being the recipient of the Storytellers

Joshua:

of Canada Emerging Storyteller Award in 2018, Alexandre is a professional

Joshua:

speaker and storyteller and an occasional actor on stage or television.

Joshua:

He has multiple times been decorated at the International Speech Contest

Joshua:

in Toastmasters in which he had placed second, or what I like to call first

Joshua:

runner up, in the World Championship of Public Speaking in 2022 out

Joshua:

of a field of 30,000 contestants.

Joshua:

After 15 years of managing finances of cultural organizations, most recently

Joshua:

as the Director of Finance of the oldest cultural center in French Ontario, he

Joshua:

transitioned from counting to speaking, and since that time, Alexandre has

Joshua:

created the standout community, making professional coaching accessible to

Joshua:

all, and he is also the host, along with his co-host, Roger Caesar,

Joshua:

of the Weekly Great Convos podcast.

Joshua:

Now I have to say that in this episode we not only explore his journey to get

Joshua:

to the World Championship of Public Speaking, similar to Rich Hopkins who we

Joshua:

just interviewed, but we also talk about some of the things that have made him to

Joshua:

be really successful in what he is today, and more importantly, he has helped me,

Joshua:

even in this interview, to realize the true importance of what Toastmasters, let

Joshua:

alone contests in general, can do to bring the very best version of ourselves out,

Joshua:

in which we describe quite clearly, and with to such surprise to me, that I was

Joshua:

even acknowledging the fact that he spoke some truth as it relates to that subject.

Joshua:

But with that, let's go to the episode.

Joshua:

All right.

Joshua:

We're here with Alexandre Matte.

Joshua:

Alexandre, thank you for sharing your heart with us today.

Alexandre:

It's a pleasure to be here with you.

Alexandre:

Joshua.

Joshua:

Yes.

Alexandre:

Thanks for having me.

Joshua:

Yeah, thank you so much and I really have been excited to have

Joshua:

this interview with you, especially that one of the idols, essentially

Joshua:

of the World Championship of Public Speaking is here, the first runner

Joshua:

up from 2022, so that means so much to me that you have taken some time

Joshua:

to do this, so thank you as well.

Joshua:

Alexandre, I really want to talk a lot today about not just what has

Joshua:

gotten you started in public speaking, but really about how you've gotten

Joshua:

through that journey, so let's break this up into some bite-sized pieces.

Joshua:

First off, I know that my audience was really excited to hear about your journey,

Joshua:

essentially getting to where you're at, but what actually got you started

Joshua:

in Toastmasters in the first place?

Joshua:

Can you talk about that a little bit?

Alexandre:

We would have to go back to 2007.

Alexandre:

I was new to this city in Sudbury, Northern Ontario.

Alexandre:

I was there for work and that's essentially all I did, because

Alexandre:

I had no family, no friends.

Alexandre:

When the workday was over, I just went to my small apartment.

Alexandre:

I watched an episode of Star Trek and that was it.

Joshua:

I love, and you're speaking right to my love language of Star Trek or even

Joshua:

just talking about that before the show.

Alexandre:

That's right.

Alexandre:

Yeah, so I had nothing to do during the evening, so one Wednesday afternoon, when

Alexandre:

I got an email through my work email I saw an invitation to join a Toastmasters club.

Alexandre:

"Come practice your speaking skills", or, "Come see what we can offer for you."

Alexandre:

I thought " Okay, Toastmasters, so, okay, I guess it's a bunch

Alexandre:

of people practicing toasts.

Alexandre:

I've got nothing better to do.

Alexandre:

I might as well go", and it was right beside my workplace anyway, and I

Alexandre:

didn't have a car, so it was perfect.

Alexandre:

The stars were aligned.

Alexandre:

I went to see them and I thought, "Okay, this is going to be really

Alexandre:

strange being in a room full of people who are really good at public speaking

Alexandre:

and can speak so well", and then I realized, "Oh, they're not so good.",

Alexandre:

or wait, that sounds a little mean, but they're not all professional speakers.

Alexandre:

They're not.

Alexandre:

They are there because they want to improve their skills and there were some

Alexandre:

who were just getting started and some who had been there for a long while.

Alexandre:

They had me participate in the Table Topics improvisation,

Alexandre:

and I just had fun with it.

Alexandre:

I was extremely nervous standing up in front of these people and I

Alexandre:

realized, "Oh man, if I'm nervous, just speaking for one minute, how am

Alexandre:

I going to get a good career if I want to make it farther in wherever I am?"

Alexandre:

Now, keep in mind this was 15, almost 16 years ago, so I was quite young

Alexandre:

just getting started professionally, so I knew it was going to be important

Alexandre:

for me to be able to express myself in front of a group, whether it be at

Alexandre:

work or elsewhere, and there were some members there who I admired particularly.

Alexandre:

I can mention Michel.

Alexandre:

Michel Lafrance, who was the president of the club, and just the way he

Alexandre:

conducted the meeting and commanded the silence, I thought, "Huh.

Alexandre:

That would be nice to have as a skill, so it took me still a few weeks to make

Alexandre:

up my mind, but because the members were so nice and kind and generous, I joined

Alexandre:

finally four weeks later, and, just a few months later that they said, "Hey.

Alexandre:

You should be the president of this club."

Alexandre:

"Ah, oh, really?

Alexandre:

Okay."

Joshua:

I have to interrupt.

Joshua:

I have to tell you that's sort of what happened to me too, was like, "Oh, I'll

Joshua:

join", and being in the United States myself, I joined a club and literally

Joshua:

three months later I was like, "Hey, can you be president while you're doing

Joshua:

that and learning everything?", so, i'm glad that we have that in common.

Joshua:

Thank you.

Joshua:

Somebody finally says the same thing that I've been through.

Alexandre:

Yeah, and what was interesting is that the role of president sounds

Alexandre:

super important and a lot of work.

Alexandre:

It is, but my first year as president, I was so well surrounded by the other

Alexandre:

executives that, it's like I almost didn't need to do anything because the outgoing

Alexandre:

president was with me and pushing me when I needed to, and all the vice presidents

Alexandre:

and anyway, really great team and we managed to get the great results that

Alexandre:

year, but it's that year as a president that then they gave me another challenge.

Alexandre:

It was Sue Glazier who said, "It looks like you are really starting

Alexandre:

to enjoy talking in front of us.

Alexandre:

I think you should start talking in front of other people as well.

Alexandre:

You need to join the International Speech Contest."

Joshua:

Mm.

Alexandre:

Wow, and I probably said, "Nope, nope.

Alexandre:

Competing; trying to beat other people; I hate it."

Alexandre:

I really despise competition.

Alexandre:

I rejected it, but Sue was so wise, so gracious, she said, "Stop looking

Alexandre:

at it as trying to beat other people.

Alexandre:

I see, Alexandre, that you really want to improve your public speaking.

Alexandre:

If you want the best way, the best path to improving your public speaking

Alexandre:

skills, the contest is that path."

Joshua:

When you were preparing for even the International Speech Contest

Joshua:

for the first time, did you have a sense of nervousness, or even fear,

Joshua:

of what other people might think, because you literally said that

Joshua:

you've seen the engagement of others.

Joshua:

You were really, really good at that, but yet, here you are, you're

Joshua:

going to compete in front of a whole bunch of other people that don't

Joshua:

know your speaking style whatsoever.

Joshua:

Was that a weight on your shoulders?

Alexandre:

Whew.

Alexandre:

Hey, good question.

Alexandre:

I have to think back, so 2009 is the first time I participated in the speech contest.

Alexandre:

I do remember the first time I competed just at my club,

Alexandre:

I was a little bit nervous.

Alexandre:

The first time I competed, I went through all the stages.

Alexandre:

I went at the club, at the area, the division, I went to the district, and

Alexandre:

then the district is probably the most nerve wracking because there's 200 or 300

Alexandre:

people in the room, and I'm relatively new I think by that time, because of all

Alexandre:

the practice I had done, I was already feeling much more confident, but still

Alexandre:

quite nervous because the nervousness arrives when I am not well prepared or

Alexandre:

well-rehearsed or when it's something new, so if you've got something new and it's

Alexandre:

not well rehearsed, then that's the worst possible point, so as long as I was well

Alexandre:

prepared, even if it was a new environment such as the district speech contest in

Alexandre:

front of 200 people that I don't know or have just met, I was fine with it.

Alexandre:

Instead, going to the next step, that was even more nerve wracking because

Alexandre:

then I was going to another city in the United States, with literally nobody

Alexandre:

that I knew, so I was quite nervous going into that other stage, so it's

Alexandre:

really interesting that I get these experiences one by one, and by going

Alexandre:

through it, then I was better equipped to do it again in the years that followed.

Joshua:

I'm curious, before you actually had your run to the WCPS,

Joshua:

or the World Championship of Public Speaking, how many times did you

Joshua:

actually go through the competition cycle until you got to that point?

Joshua:

Is there a number that you can fix to this whole time?

Alexandre:

Yeah.

Alexandre:

I remember counting them; so I started in 2009 and the last time was in 2022, so

Alexandre:

that's 14 possible times to participate.

Alexandre:

For one year, I didn't participate because I was into the politics of Toastmasters.

Alexandre:

I was a district officer for one year.

Alexandre:

I didn't compete because I was a new father, so I was on maternity leave.

Alexandre:

So does that mean I competed; 11 times!

Joshua:

Wow.

Alexandre:

11 times.

Joshua:

What made doing it the 12th time, I guess that if I did my math correctly,

Joshua:

doing it that 11th or 12th time, getting to really being the first runner up of

Joshua:

the World Champion of Public Speaking, what do you say you did differently

Joshua:

that time than the other times?

Alexandre:

Mm-hmm.

Joshua:

Was there a magic formula that you utilized because knowing your

Joshua:

background, being a storyteller yourself, I think that it's really important to be

Joshua:

able to express and share our stories, and being fellow coach, I know that

Joshua:

I work on that a lot with my clients, is have your story so that you have

Joshua:

something to share, so I'm wondering, did you have your story ready to share

Joshua:

this time to really push it forward?

Alexandre:

Yeah.

Alexandre:

You know what?

Alexandre:

Something changed in my approach this last time, so 10 or 11; we'll have to

Alexandre:

write in the show notes exactly how many.

Joshua:

Yeah, yeah.

Joshua:

We'll have to figure that out.

Alexandre:

I'll fix the math.

Joshua:

Yeah, we'll fix the math, and for those that are listening,

Joshua:

you can check out the show notes.

Joshua:

We'll definitely put that in there.

Joshua:

Go ahead.

Alexandre:

So a while ago, I guess 2010, 2011, I was getting ready for the contest,

Alexandre:

and I had just followed a workshop in which they asked just tell a story.

Alexandre:

Think of a story that you've lived through, that you've never told publicly,

Alexandre:

and what is it, and I immediately thought of my trip that I had in

Alexandre:

Jerusalem just one or two years before.

Alexandre:

Okay.

Alexandre:

I want to share about that almost magical moment that I had when I was

Alexandre:

at the Western Wall of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, so I developed a story

Alexandre:

around that and it really helped.

Alexandre:

I made it to the world semifinals that year, but my other speeches, among other

Alexandre:

years, I was using the same approach, finding a nice story that I enjoy telling,

Alexandre:

but every time I had difficulty or it took long time to figure out why I was

Alexandre:

sharing the story, so two years ago, I was sharing a story of a going to the

Alexandre:

Eiffel Tower in Paris with my family.

Alexandre:

It's a really, really fun story about planning the perfect visit, but

Alexandre:

finally, it's not as perfect as planned, obviously, but I was struggling and

Alexandre:

with my coach, we managed to figure out a message, but notice I say a

Alexandre:

message, and not the message, because it could have gone different ways.

Alexandre:

Last year when I was preparing for the world championship, when I finally made

Alexandre:

it to the final, I reversed the process.

Alexandre:

I started with the message I wanted to share with the world, and it all was

Alexandre:

from one single experience during a ski trip when I was a lot younger, and I had

Alexandre:

learned that lesson, but I had parked that idea aside because it wasn't a speech,

Alexandre:

it wasn't even a story, it was just a very short conversation that I had with

Alexandre:

a friend, and when I discussed that idea with Mark Hunter, 2009 World Champion

Alexandre:

of Public Speaking, and my coach last year, he said, "I think we can make this

Alexandre:

work", and together we figured out how to weave a speech around that message.

Alexandre:

It was a lot of work, much more than my previous way of doing it, which

Alexandre:

was just find a story, tell the story, and then make a point, but it was so

Alexandre:

rewarding because I created, I think, the best speech of my life for that

Alexandre:

speech that made it all the way to the semi-finals of the World Championship.

Alexandre:

Now, for the final speech, I needed to create a new speech, and the way that

Alexandre:

I did that, because I had less time to work on it, I took a speech that I had

Alexandre:

developed a few years ago, but again, I was telling a story about my family

Alexandre:

and our family recipe and the no baked cake, if you remember that, Joshua?

Joshua:

Yes, I do, and for my listeners, you definitely want to

Joshua:

check out the no baked cake recipe.

Joshua:

I won't give it away.

Joshua:

I'll let you do if you want to.

Alexandre:

Yes, of course, so, a nice story about my family, about the

Alexandre:

family recipe, but the message wasn't exactly what I wanted to share, what

Alexandre:

it had just been this is so easy.

Alexandre:

You don't know the importance of family.

Alexandre:

Be there with your family when they're there, blah, blah, blah.

Alexandre:

We've heard that before, so I told my coach, Mark, I said, "I really want

Alexandre:

this to be about tradition, but I don't know how to weave this message into my

Alexandre:

story", so we needed other examples.

Alexandre:

We needed other anecdotes and together we managed to figure out how to do it.

Alexandre:

In other words, that was a long-winded way of saying, I concentrated, first

Alexandre:

of all, on the message that I wanted to deliver to my audiences, and

Alexandre:

because I was so passionate about those messages, that's why everything,

Alexandre:

all my actions that I did, whether it was editing my speech, rehearsing it,

Alexandre:

or trying to get some evaluations, I was always thinking, " Is this action

Alexandre:

that I'm doing getting me closer to my objective of getting my message across?"

Alexandre:

By starting with the message, I was able to get much farther

Alexandre:

into the contest because it made for much more powerful speeches.

Joshua:

Backing up a bit, before you even hit the stage, knowing that you were

Joshua:

going to be in the semi-finals, tell me the feeling, or the feelings, that you

Joshua:

had that ran through you, knowing that you had made it that far at that point.

Joshua:

Was there a sense of trepidation, excitement, fear of, "Oh my

Joshua:

gosh, I can't believe I did it.

Joshua:

Now I have to figure out how I might need to make this speech even better because

Joshua:

I'm going to go against the world at this point; some of the best of the best?"

Joshua:

Was that overwhelming for you, or was that sort of a validation?

Joshua:

I'm always curious, especially being that I've been a Toastmaster myself, and my

Joshua:

audience has known this, for almost 11 and a half years at this point, getting

Joshua:

onto almost 12 years, I know that for myself, I always wonder what's going

Joshua:

through the people's minds that are going through this process, and I got

Joshua:

a little bit of a taste of it from Rich Hopkins who was just on the show, and I

Joshua:

was showing you a little bit about that.

Joshua:

Rich's story is unique in itself of how he organized a group of people to have dinner

Joshua:

and everyone looked at him like, "Wait.

Joshua:

I don't want to have dinner with you.

Joshua:

You're my competition", but he had a unique taste to what he's

Joshua:

been through, but I'm kind of curious what happened with you?

Alexandre:

Yeah, and Rich, what can you say, has a supporting

Alexandre:

role in a big movie in 2008.

Joshua:

Yes.

Joshua:

We talked about that too.

Alexandre:

2008.

Alexandre:

Yeah, yeah-

Joshua:

Yeah.

Alexandre:

Movie SPEAK, so it was incredible to see his transformation,

Alexandre:

his way of how he changed his way of seeing the contest, and I

Alexandre:

had that sort of experience too.

Alexandre:

I think many people who participate in the contest, they often,

Alexandre:

they start and think, "Ah.

Alexandre:

I want to be the world champion.

Alexandre:

I'm going to get glory.

Alexandre:

Everybody's going to like me.", and then there's a point when we realize, "Huh.

Alexandre:

Maybe that's not why I am here.

Alexandre:

Maybe there's another objective."

Alexandre:

When I received the news, I actually didn't receive the news until a friend

Alexandre:

called me because I was on the road.

Alexandre:

I was driving to chalet or we're going to have a week with my

Alexandre:

mother-in-law, so I'm there in the car.

Alexandre:

My spouse is beside me.

Alexandre:

Our three kids are in the back, and it's end of June; probably June

Alexandre:

30, and I've been waiting for this news to come for weeks, so I've

Alexandre:

put it aside, I'm thinking, "Ah.

Alexandre:

I don't know.

Alexandre:

Am I going to make it or not to the semifinals?", and I receive a phone call.

Alexandre:

It gets through the Bluetooth in the car system, and I see it's from Roger Caesar,

Alexandre:

my friend from my area, my district, and also the guy who won third place the

Alexandre:

World Championship just the year before.

Alexandre:

I said, "Hey.

Alexandre:

Roger, what are you doing?", and he says, "Ahhhh, Alex.

Alexandre:

Oh, you made it.

Alexandre:

I'm so happy.", and he's just so excited as he usually is,

Alexandre:

but even more than usual, I'm thinking, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, Roger.

Alexandre:

Wait a minute.

Alexandre:

Whoa, whoa.

Alexandre:

Are you telling me that I; can I guess why you're calling me?

Alexandre:

Am I through?"

Alexandre:

"Yeah.

Alexandre:

Didn't you, didn't you get the email?

Alexandre:

I got the news really quickly.

Alexandre:

I wanted to call you", so he's the one who called me before I had a chance to

Alexandre:

read the email, so it was quite exciting, and then we arrived at the destination.

Alexandre:

I was thinking, "Okay, now.

Alexandre:

Whew.

Alexandre:

This is exciting.

Alexandre:

I've got the opportunity that I've been looking for 10 years", because

Alexandre:

the previous time I made it to the world semifinals was in 2012,

Alexandre:

exactly 10 years earlier, and I don't want to use the word fail, but

Alexandre:

just not quite made it to the final.

Alexandre:

I was this close to make it to the finals, so when I realized I've

Alexandre:

got this opportunity now, I guess two thoughts came in my mind.

Alexandre:

First, "All right, now what do I do to get this opportunity to share my big

Alexandre:

message in front of the biggest stage of my life in the world championship?",

Alexandre:

so, in other words, to make my semi-final speech so good that I make

Alexandre:

it through, and the second is, "Huh.

Alexandre:

I guess I should have been preparing for the past month.

Joshua:

Yeah, maybe it might've been a good idea to maybe just have that ready.

Alexandre:

Yeah, and that's what I've been telling to people who win their district.

Alexandre:

There's a one, two, or even more month period where you're just waiting for the

Alexandre:

results of the regional quarterfinals, and during that time, some of them

Alexandre:

are working on their final speech in case they make it through, and

Alexandre:

others are like me and think, "Ah.

Alexandre:

Either I'm not going to make it or I don't have time", and that was sort of me.

Alexandre:

I mean, I was very busy in the month of May and June with

Alexandre:

visiting schools, giving workshops.

Alexandre:

I was traveling also.

Alexandre:

That's why I had put the contest aside.

Alexandre:

I guess, a little bit secretly, hoping that I wouldn't make it through so that

Alexandre:

I wouldn't have all this work to do, but I was so excited when I got the news.

Alexandre:

I thought, "All right, this is my chance to represent my district, my

Alexandre:

city, my friends, and to make the best possible speeches that I can

Alexandre:

make so that my messages come across."

Joshua:

You have a similar story to a friend of mine that I have

Joshua:

known for many years, and you have even followed probably yourself.

Joshua:

Mr.

Joshua:

Aaron Beverly, who aaron Beverly took the first runner up during his year in

Joshua:

which a couple years before he actually did win then the World Championship of

Joshua:

Public Speaking, and I know that for him it was something that was really

Joshua:

and tremendous opportunity for him.

Joshua:

He's really gone on to do a lot of different things for himself, which I've

Joshua:

been following closely myself, and love to have Aaron on the show at some point.

Joshua:

It's even talk about his experiences with this too, to kind of have a comparison

Joshua:

to you, but I'm kind of curious.

Joshua:

Knowing that you were first runner up, are you disappointed that you were just this

Joshua:

close and I'm just holding my fingers up being this close, very small chance of

Joshua:

just being able to be the world champion?

Joshua:

Are you disappointed in that, and if you're not, or if you

Joshua:

are, can you explain why?

Alexandre:

Well, disappointed isn't the correct word.

Joshua:

I was hoping you would say that and correct me.

Joshua:

That was my trap I was setting.

Joshua:

I'm glad that you didn't fall for it.

Alexandre:

If you look at the announcement; go to the recording of

Alexandre:

the announcements of the results when they announced second place winner.

Alexandre:

I think you just barely see me jumping up and down, because I was so excited

Alexandre:

just for the recognition of placing in the top three, and also I could

Alexandre:

say, I don't know if Roger Caesar is listening, but I thought, "Ha,

Alexandre:

I've made it better than Roger."

Alexandre:

Roger and I are great friends, and he's the first one who to call me after the

Alexandre:

results also, he is, "Ah, congratulations!

Alexandre:

Yay!", I said, "Hey, Roger.

Alexandre:

You know what this means?

Alexandre:

I made it farther than you, my friend.

Joshua:

Oh, yeah, yeah.

Joshua:

Good-

Alexandre:

And he said-

Joshua:

That's a good point.

Alexandre:

And then he said, "Oh, well, listen.

Alexandre:

It doesn't matter where you're first, second, or third.

Alexandre:

It doesn't matter.

Alexandre:

What's important is that we're now in the same category", and yeah, it's easy

Alexandre:

to say when you're only third place.

Alexandre:

We have a great relationship, Roger and I.

Alexandre:

That's why we created our podcast.

Joshua:

Yes.

Alexandre:

We talk about that later, but no, I was so excited for that recognition.

Alexandre:

For the past 10 years I had just been working on getting the opportunity

Alexandre:

to share something of importance in front of the world stage.

Alexandre:

I was dreaming of the opportunity to have 2,000, 3,000 people in front of me.

Alexandre:

Now, the context was different.

Alexandre:

I was alone in a studio.

Alexandre:

There were 700 people in the venue in Nashville, but about 4,000 people I hear

Alexandre:

were watching online live, so I did have thousands of people that were there,

Alexandre:

so getting the second place trophy, or prize, was the cherry on top, so I

Alexandre:

wasn't aiming for the title of World Champion, and by the way, when we win

Alexandre:

the championship, we are automatically disqualified from competing again, so this

Alexandre:

means maybe one day I will compete again.

Joshua:

Yes, it does mean that and I know as of this recording when we're

Joshua:

doing this, the 2023 World Championship public speaking hasn't happened yet, so

Joshua:

when you're listening to this, I know that there will be results of that, which

Joshua:

I'll put those links of the results in the show notes that you could take a

Joshua:

look at and even listen to some of the winning speeches, but Alexandre, I'm

Joshua:

really curious about this and this has been something that's been on my mind

Joshua:

for a long time, and from somebody that has gone through the circuits maybe a

Joshua:

dozen times or getting close to a dozen times, and even working with contestants

Joshua:

that are going through this process.

Joshua:

I'm really curious about your thoughts with this.

Joshua:

Do you think that contests help us to become better communicators or even

Joshua:

be better leaders overall, and I guess this answer I'm hoping to hear from you

Joshua:

doesn't have to be necessarily limited to what your experiences have been in

Joshua:

even Toastmasters because, and I am more appealing to the listeners that

Joshua:

aren't Toastmasters have no idea what this is about; what we're talking about.

Joshua:

Do you think that pushing ourselves to become something that we never thought

Joshua:

possible can be done through contests, or does it take a longer process, maybe

Joshua:

working with a coach, maybe working with someone that is pushing you to your upper

Joshua:

boundaries that you never thought you had?

Joshua:

Can you give us your thoughts on that?

Alexandre:

Yeah, of course.

Alexandre:

For me, the contest had been life transforming.

Alexandre:

Participating in the contest was; Hmm, let me think about this so that I'm accurate.

Alexandre:

I think participating in the contest has been more useful for me than all

Alexandre:

the other aspects of the Toastmasters training program, especially in the past

Alexandre:

few years, not only because it helped me hone my public speaking skills, but

Alexandre:

because if I wanted to really be effective in sharing a message, in other words, of

Alexandre:

convincing someone of thinking a certain way or of doing something particular,

Alexandre:

one thing that has been important for me, and this I share with my own coaching

Alexandre:

clients is, are you listening to yourself?

Alexandre:

Oftentimes, sometimes we'll say, "You know, this is why this is more important

Alexandre:

than anything I've got to tell you.

Alexandre:

This is what needs to be done right now, and you've got this big message."

Alexandre:

Then, you ask, "Okay, so how's it been working for you?"

Alexandre:

"Well, sometimes, I don't know.

Alexandre:

It's not so good."

Alexandre:

"Okay.

Alexandre:

Well, are you really living up to the message that you have that you're

Alexandre:

sharing?", so I'll give you an example.

Alexandre:

My semi-final speech last year, it's all about having conversations

Alexandre:

with people with whom you disagree.

Alexandre:

I give the example of a political discussion.

Alexandre:

Those can get heated.

Alexandre:

One example that I was going to use in my speech, that almost made it to

Alexandre:

my final script, was when I saw a post on Facebook from a friend who said

Alexandre:

something like, "If you voted for such candidate, I don't want to know about you.

Alexandre:

You can kindly remove yourself from my friends list and from

Alexandre:

my life.", and I did that.

Alexandre:

I removed myself.

Alexandre:

I thought, "Oh, well if she's not open to conversations, then I'm not

Alexandre:

going to speak with her anymore."

Alexandre:

That was four years before my speech, and I thought, "This is a great

Alexandre:

example because I'm showing people that she's wrong because she's not

Alexandre:

listening to anybody", but it made me realize I wasn't listening to her.

Joshua:

Oh yeah.

Alexandre:

While I was looking through my speech, I'm thinking,

Alexandre:

"I can't share this example.

Alexandre:

I'm a hypocrite.

Alexandre:

If I use this example, not only if I use this example, but if I leave it as it is",

Alexandre:

I reached out to her four years later.

Alexandre:

I just invited her for a conversation and I shared with her what I was doing and why

Alexandre:

I reached out to her, and then I talked about that particular Facebook post.

Alexandre:

You know what she said?

Alexandre:

She said, "Oh, yeah.

Alexandre:

I was really in a bad place at that time and I was feeling mad

Alexandre:

because of the election results.

Alexandre:

I didn't really mean it."

Alexandre:

I'm like, "I should have reached out to her back then.

Alexandre:

It might have prevented the falling out of a relationship.", so are

Alexandre:

you really listening to yourself?

Alexandre:

That's what I mean.

Alexandre:

It really made me think of what I was sharing and go through it all, so

Alexandre:

if people, when they're working on a speech this much, like you're working

Alexandre:

for months and months, for one moment that will last seven minutes long.

Alexandre:

One speech; and if you really dig deep into your own life to figure out,

Alexandre:

"Okay, are you living your own message?"

Alexandre:

If you're not, it means that you've got something to correct before

Alexandre:

sharing that message, so that's why participating in the speech contest,

Alexandre:

for me, has been instrumental not only in making me a better speaker,

Alexandre:

but in making me a better person.

Joshua:

Thank you for that, because for some skeptics, which I will freely admit

Joshua:

to even you and my audience, and you know this because we've had conversations and

Joshua:

you were even surprised to see this too.

Joshua:

I often felt that contests might not always be the best vehicle for ways

Joshua:

in which we can improve ourselves, but I think today, you've given a

Joshua:

strong testimony to that effect.

Joshua:

I have one last-

Alexandre:

Oh, Joshua.

Alexandre:

Yeah.

Alexandre:

It was important for me to share this with you because I can go back to something

Alexandre:

that I saw on The Official Toastmasters International Members Group on Facebook.

Alexandre:

Someone mentioned, "It is moving towards the time that we stopped

Alexandre:

contests altogether and got on with enjoying club membership.

Joshua:

Yes.

Alexandre:

As if club membership can't be enjoyed with contests.

Joshua:

Yes.

Alexandre:

And Joshua responded, "1000%.

Alexandre:

I never thought of contests as proving anything."

Joshua:

Yes, true.

Alexandre:

That was a while ago, and I thought, "Joshua,

Alexandre:

we're going to talk about this."

Joshua:

Yes.

Joshua:

We are and I wanted to put that in here because I am one of those people and I

Joshua:

think that for me, it's been about the hard work, but hearing your story makes

Joshua:

me realize that there are different ways to all getting to that solution

Joshua:

that we all want to have, which is the communications and leadership aspect,

Joshua:

so yes, thank you for calling me out on that and thank you for that too,

Joshua:

because I think it's so important to think about those different perspectives,

Joshua:

because I sounded like that woman.

Joshua:

I literally did sound like that woman too, that you were even saying,

Joshua:

"I'm going to be a hypocrite if I use this as part of my speech."

Joshua:

You're absolutely right.

Joshua:

I had that same problem too.

Joshua:

Here's my final question before we wrap up, and I'll give you a few moments

Joshua:

to talk about your coaching business and even the podcast for that matter.

Joshua:

Do you feel that you, you, yourself, are making a change in this world as

Joshua:

a result of your experiences with the World Championship of Public Speaking?

Joshua:

Not just through your clients, but through what you are doing to

Joshua:

become the best version of yourself.

Joshua:

Do you feel like you're doing that?

Alexandre:

Yes.

Alexandre:

If I didn't feel that I wouldn't do it.

Alexandre:

After sharing a speech like what I did at the final stage last year,

Alexandre:

sometimes people, or any speech really, when you're in front of an audience,

Alexandre:

people will come up to you and say, "Oh wow, you're such a great speaker.

Alexandre:

That was a fun story", and they're elevating you, like, "Oh yeah,

Alexandre:

this feels good.", and I got a lot of that through the years.

Alexandre:

I still do sometimes, but after sharing a really great speech as humbly I did

Alexandre:

last year, I got messages and emails and texts like this: "After hearing

Alexandre:

you, Alexandre, I'm going to make some changes around me so my family will maybe

Alexandre:

be a little more cohesive", or, "I'm going to do something in my work now.

Alexandre:

I'm going to try something new so that the ambiance is better.", or, "I haven't

Alexandre:

talked to my brother-in-law in a long time because we disagree on some things.

Alexandre:

Maybe I need to make the first step."

Alexandre:

When people come to you and share this sort of testimonial, it means

Alexandre:

you're really making a difference, and that's why I do what I do, because

Alexandre:

I think it can make the world a better place, even just one person

Alexandre:

at a time, one speech at a time.

Joshua:

All it takes is just one decision that can ultimately change the

Joshua:

perspective of so much, and I really appreciate you answering that, because

Joshua:

I think it's so important to hear it from someone that has gone through

Joshua:

that and has done it so many different times, so thank you for sharing that.

Joshua:

Alexandre, I want to give you the last few minutes here to share about your business.

Joshua:

How can people reach out to you if they're interested in being coached by

Joshua:

the first runner up of World Championship Public Speaking 2022, and how can

Joshua:

they even listen to your podcast?

Joshua:

Tell us a little bit about your podcast as well, because I'm sure that

Joshua:

they would want to go check you out.

Joshua:

So last few minutes are yours, sir.

Alexandre:

Yes, of course, Joshua, and by the way, I mentioned my coach, right?

Alexandre:

Mark Hunter, who was instrumental in helping me reach the final stage.

Alexandre:

He wasn't the only one who helped me.

Alexandre:

There were dozens, if not, hundreds of people, even just small feedbacks

Alexandre:

of people that helped me along the way, so I think it's important

Alexandre:

to mention that it's not just me.

Alexandre:

It wasn't just me with one person.

Joshua:

It's the relationships that we build that really help to

Joshua:

create that best version too, and that really helps a lot to know.

Joshua:

I know I have people just like that in my life.

Alexandre:

So, after I won second place, and not only from second place,

Alexandre:

but reaching the finals, I was already decided I'm not participating anymore,

Alexandre:

at least not for the foreseeable future.

That's what I wanted to do:

make it to that final stage, so I'm really happy

That's what I wanted to do:

to be able to offer what my coaches have offered me, and that is guide other

That's what I wanted to do:

people to make their best speeches ever, so I do that with different people in

That's what I wanted to do:

different ways, but the best way for you to find out more about what I can

That's what I wanted to do:

offer is going to my website, which is my name dot com, alexandrematte.com.

That's what I wanted to do:

We might need to say one letter at a time.

Joshua:

Yes.

Alexandre:

But Alexandre is like Alexander, but r e at the end, and

Alexandre:

Matte is like when you sit on a mat?

Joshua:

Yeah.

Alexandre:

But you-

Joshua:

Yes, yes.

Alexandre:

But you add an e?

Joshua:

Add a T and an E, especially for those that are from America,

Joshua:

you will have to add those letters.

Joshua:

Yes.

Alexandre:

It would've been shorter just to say all the letters.

Joshua:

I'll have it in the show notes anyway, but No-

Alexandre:

It's great.

Joshua:

Reinforce it-

Alexandre:

People can-

Joshua:

so.

Alexandre:

People can click on it directly.

Joshua:

Yes.

Alexandre:

But, that's my website where you can find out more about me and you

Alexandre:

can watch my speeches by the way, and when you get in touch with me, I've got some

Alexandre:

really cool offers, like the model that I used to craft my speeches is based on

Alexandre:

the Hero's Journey from Joseph Campbell, and it was really useful for me to write

Alexandre:

my speeches, so you can get a copy of that when you sign up on my website, and

Alexandre:

you mentioned the podcast, well, it is called Great Convos, because it's partly

Alexandre:

based on the speech that I had about great conversations, so I have great

Alexandre:

convos with my co-host, Roger Caesar.

Alexandre:

Every week now, we've just finished season one with our 20th episode.

Alexandre:

By the time that we're speaking now, but by the time that this

Alexandre:

airs, we'll be in full with season two with new surprises, new guests.

Alexandre:

It'll be really cool, and for more info about that, you can go on

this website:

greatconvos.live.

this website:

Greatconvos.live.

Joshua:

And I won't clarify the spelling on that because I think

Joshua:

it's pretty straightforward.

Alexandre:

I think so, and if it's dot live, it's because we are live.

Alexandre:

We're on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Alexandre:

We do this on Monday at lunchtime for us on the East Coast; so it's 12:30

Alexandre:

Eastern Time, and we will eventually be on more platforms, so Facebook and

Alexandre:

LinkedIn for the moment, but we have a lot of fun with it, and we just have

Alexandre:

great conversations similar to what we're doing right now, you and I, Joshua.

Joshua:

Yes.

Joshua:

Yes, and honestly, this has been a really fun conversation.

Joshua:

It has been an honor to be able to learn a little bit more about your story and

Joshua:

to be corrected on the importance of our contests and how we can make things

Joshua:

better in our lives, so thank you for setting the record straight with me, and

Joshua:

more importantly, thanks for inspiring possibly a generation of people, maybe

Joshua:

even Toastmasters that are listening to this as well, to be able to not only

Joshua:

share what's inside of their heart, since this is about speaking from our hearts,

Joshua:

but more importantly, being your true, authentic self, no matter how many times

Joshua:

it takes to get on that stage and be able to share it, so Alexandre, thanks

Joshua:

for being on Speaking From The Heart.

Joshua:

It's really been a privilege and an honor to have you as part of my show.

Alexandre:

Merci Beaucoup!

Alexandre:

Thank you so much.

Joshua:

I want to thank Alexandre for being willing to be a guest on

Joshua:

my podcast and just the incredible interview that we had together.

Joshua:

It was really a joy to have, for the first time actually, somebody that had come

Joshua:

so close to being the World Champion Of Public Speaking on the show, and that was

Joshua:

a real joy and I appreciate both Alexandre and Rich for being part of that experience

Joshua:

with me, because I think that we learned so much from those individuals that have

Joshua:

gone through so many different things in their lives to achieve the success that

Joshua:

they have, and I think that really leads into a lot of the conversation that I had

Joshua:

with Alexandre because he's been able to have so many good things happen because

Joshua:

of this experience being in Toastmasters, but I think for us, there might not be

Joshua:

good and strong people sometimes that are in our lives, but we can have the

Joshua:

things that make us feel good inside if we're willing to just share a little bit

Joshua:

of the love and knowledge that we have within ourselves, and I feel that he's

Joshua:

been on a journey, especially after the World Champion Of Public Speaking, to help

Joshua:

so many different people, which we even talked about in this episode about the

Joshua:

willingness to continue paving it forward for others that might want to share in

Joshua:

some of the same spotlight that he's been able to share throughout his journey.

Joshua:

I think sometimes we have to go through this journey that we have with

Joshua:

the people that support us, not only with the ways in which we're being

Joshua:

involved, in which Toastmasters helps a lot with, but it's about having

Joshua:

that close association with others.

Joshua:

Oh; having association with others.

Joshua:

Yes!

Joshua:

Those are always great opportunities for us to just acknowledge and

Joshua:

engage and have conversations, maybe sit around discussing which ways

Joshua:

we can be able to become better.

Joshua:

Am I rambling?

Joshua:

Does it sound like I'm rambling?

Joshua:

I might be rambling, and I'm saying all this to say that sometimes we just go

Joshua:

through those notions of just wanting to be associated with someone and I think

Joshua:

that for each of us, whether we're doing it intentionally or not, we might not

Joshua:

spend enough time with the people that truly care about us the most, and I

Joshua:

think that we often have to pay homage to those individuals from time to time

Joshua:

so that we can acknowledge what they have truly given to us, because let's

Joshua:

face it, if it wasn't for them, We wanna be able to get to where we're at right

Joshua:

now, which often begs the question: What is the story of which we want to

Joshua:

tell not only about ourselves, but about the people that influenced who we are?

Joshua:

What can we do to narrow it down so that we have just those people

Joshua:

that we truly care about, that are circling us, to help us to understand

Joshua:

what we are capable of doing?

Joshua:

I know for the longest time in my life I had that struggle, and I have

Joshua:

to admit that even in Toastmasters starting out being the most socially

Joshua:

awkward person, which obviously many of you, my listeners, have found

Joshua:

out later on, that I had autism.

Joshua:

It really stunted my ability to work through many of the things that

Joshua:

oftentimes some people take for granted.

Joshua:

Being able to interact with others was really a challenge for myself, but I

Joshua:

think that for many of us, we often walk into venues or even situations for

Joshua:

that matter when we are involved with public speaking more specifically, in

Joshua:

which we have to focus on the message that we want to have and be able to

Joshua:

create a story from that, and I think Alexandre really has mastered that.

Joshua:

If he hasn't mastered it, it's because he definitely has been working on that craft

Joshua:

and continuing to perfect it, but I think for somebody that has been recognized by

Joshua:

even the Canadian government in one ways than one about the ways in which he's

Joshua:

been able to do storytelling, I think it certainly exemplifies the fact that maybe

Joshua:

we should pay attention to his story.

Joshua:

The story that he shared even in this episode, for that matter, of how he's

Joshua:

gotten to where he is, is something that shows that we are all human.

Joshua:

We're not these individuals that we can look up to as idols, thinking that

Joshua:

they have led exemplary lives and that they've been able to get to where they

Joshua:

need to be just because of the work that they put within themselves, but it's

Joshua:

really about not just really sharing that message that we have, or even

Joshua:

sharing what we are capable of doing.

Joshua:

It's about sharing it with others that have truly blessed us in our lives

Joshua:

to create some of those opportunities that we necessarily take for granted.

Joshua:

I know for myself, I have taken for granted so many of the things that

Joshua:

Toastmasters provides, and even for a period of time, I had been utilizing what

Joshua:

Toastmasters has given me to show me what I have been missing out on in my life.

Joshua:

Let's face it.

Joshua:

I would not be here if it wasn't for the fact that Toastmasters has shown me some

Joshua:

of the courage and some of the strength to do a podcast just like this, let alone

Joshua:

even open a business for that matter, that is helping others to see their true

Joshua:

voice, whether that is the verbal or the nonverbal, but sometimes, we have

Joshua:

to learn how to shout at the top of our lungs to share the message that we have

Joshua:

inside of ourselves, because that's the only way some people want to listen to it.

Joshua:

Does that sound familiar?

Joshua:

I hope it does, because in some episodes past, we have talked about

Joshua:

that concept of being willing to shout from the mountaintops, from the

Joshua:

valleys, from the in-between, where someone disagrees, being able to make

Joshua:

that point, but I think what's really important here is about living and

Joshua:

realizing that sometimes, even if we're not the first runner up of a contest,

Joshua:

we can learn so much about ourselves.

Joshua:

I mean, look at what Alexandre has been through.

Joshua:

He's had to go through it several times in order to get to where he is to

today, and that is the key:

persistence.

today, and that is the key:

Can we change our way of thinking as a whole by being persistent?

today, and that is the key:

Are we willing to listen to ourselves by being persistent over and over again

today, and that is the key:

by creating some of those best works in our lives, whether they're still

today, and that is the key:

in progress, or they are finished.

today, and that is the key:

I feel a lot better after listening to this episode of hearing the successes that

today, and that is the key:

help us to get to what we ultimately want to do, and I think that is really the key.

today, and that is the key:

We really want to be able to do some of the best things in our lives if we're

today, and that is the key:

willing to challenge that status quo, and I think that for many of us, we often have

today, and that is the key:

to challenge that status quo by just doing it; by making us feel like we're capable

today, and that is the key:

of doing such things, by being willing to speak our hearts, to be able to understand

today, and that is the key:

and learn what it is to go through some of those things in our life that maybe

today, and that is the key:

just maybe a competition can provide.

today, and that is the key:

Sometimes we just need that nudge.

today, and that is the key:

We just need to be pushed in that right direction and sometimes having those

today, and that is the key:

people around us, maybe they don't even know us very well, but they help

today, and that is the key:

us to go into that path that we need to go into, that definitely creates

today, and that is the key:

some of those opportunities that we are able to excel in; to literally become

today, and that is the key:

something that we are recognized in, so that we provide not just that easy

today, and that is the key:

mixed cake, as Alexandre talked about, that formula that always works if we

today, and that is the key:

need it in a pinch, but to be able to evolve into some of those relationships

today, and that is the key:

with people that we often don't evolve into, which is really my point.

today, and that is the key:

He's been able to have these relationships with people throughout this whole entire

today, and that is the key:

process that he's been through, not only with building the family that he has,

today, and that is the key:

but also understanding and fulfilling a promise that he had deep inside of

today, and that is the key:

himself that he wanted to do, and maybe that pause, especially of what he's doing

today, and that is the key:

right now to help others achieve that dream, might be helping him to get to

today, and that is the key:

that ultimate goal, but sometimes that self-reflection inside of ourselves,

today, and that is the key:

that moment in which we capture some of those best moments of being willing to

today, and that is the key:

say that we need to grow during this time of need, can ultimately become something

today, and that is the key:

of a powerful Eiffel Tower in itself.

today, and that is the key:

I feel that we can always have a story of creating that message, that concentration

today, and that is the key:

of what we want to ultimately become, if we're just willing to share some of the

today, and that is the key:

things that we have in which we have deep down inside of ourselves, to not only

today, and that is the key:

showcase what we're truly all about, but we're willing to say that we are able

today, and that is the key:

to focus not just on that message, but on the other people that are around us.

today, and that is the key:

For the longest time, and even as we talked about the reflection of

today, and that is the key:

contests, I always thought that maybe this is the only way to do it.

today, and that is the key:

I think that this interview challenges me a bit on not only what we can do,

today, and that is the key:

maybe that same formula over and over again that sometimes we often go to when

today, and that is the key:

we feel like that is the answer to move forward, but I think that it also helps

today, and that is the key:

us to understand that there's always more than one answer to that big earthly

today, and that is the key:

equation that we're trying to always solve, which really boils down to the same

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What is the story of which we want to tell?

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What can we do to narrow it down?

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Do we need to shout at the top of our voice in order to make that point?

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Can we change our thinking as a whole?

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Are we listening to ourselves?

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I think that those questions, all combined, whether you want to take it

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in a public speaking context or not, can ultimately change the course of

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not just our futures, but our ways of moving forward, one step at a time.

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No matter what step we take, it can be for the better if we're willing to do

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the work that's behind it, and maybe we get a nice, cool story to tell others,

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way down the road, of our true successes.

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Thanks for listening to episode number 60 of Speaking From The

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Heart, and I look forward to hearing from your heart very soon.

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Thanks for listening.

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For more information about our podcast and future shows, search for Speaking From

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The Heart to subscribe and be notified wherever you listen to your podcasts.

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Visit us at www.yourspeakingvoice.biz for more information about potential

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services that can help you create the best version of yourself.

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