Case Study: Yoel Romero and The Jesus Speech

On Saturday night, after a brutal TKO over Lyoto Machida, UFC Middleweight Yoel Romero took to the microphone for his post-fight interview. Having just won over the crowd with such a lively performance, everyone was eager to hear what he had to say. Romero opted to speak for himself instead of using an interpreter.

His words left everyone floored:

Some have already parodied the situation. Romero has tried to clarify. Others have tried to provide proof of that.

At this point, it’s up in the air as to what was really said. You can argue one way or the other. I would, however, like to use this as a springboard to discuss the dynamic of The Jesus Speech.

Yoel Romero is far from the first athlete to mention religion in an interview. In the UFC alone, there are plenty of outspoken fighters who’ve name dropped Jesus. When you watch them, you can certainly see how passionate they are about saying the name and spreading the message.

It’s just too bad I find that delivery highly ineffective.

Now, I know it’s tough. People with Christian roots, those devoted to their religion, feel compelled to speak in this manner. After all, it says so in the Bible:

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’.” (Mark 16:15 NKJV) 

“Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.” (Psalms 96:3 NKJV)

The whole belief is to not deny the faith. The attitude is to reach as many people as possible. So, I can partially understand the reasoning: you have a whole crowd in front of you, and your words are going to be broadcast on television– internationally even.

I mean, you might as well. What better moment could you ask for? You might not ever have a chance to reach these people again. If you throw the words enough, maybe they’ll just stick.

And in a similar way, some people think it’s good luck when bird crap hits their car. Just what are the chances?

The real sin here is the shotgun approach to spreading a message. And for content that’s so prioritized, so near and dear to their hearts, you’d think they want to spend some more time crafting it. A little bit more effort should be made for the delivery.

If you have a message that’s eating you up inside, something that’s urging you to tell as many people as possible, you’ve got to have your delivery on point.

That means choosing 1) the right audience 2) the right medium and 3) the right words– words that give the best representation of your idea so that there’s no way anyone could ever misunderstand your intent.

Yoel Romero failed in doing so.

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