“Some Guy” Named J.R. Smith Speaks

One of the biggest sports stories right now is how the Cavaliers beat the Warriors in the finals. I think it’s the finals. Maybe it was for the title. Maybe the finals and the title are both the same thing? I’m not really sure because I don’t keep up with basketball.

I know it’s supposed to be a big deal because the Cavaliers lost… something… beforehand. And there’s also a guy who’s on the Warriors who’s name is Curry. That’s cool. I like curry.

The bottom line is, as significant of a moment this might be to many, it really didn’t do much for me until I saw this tweet:

And now, I give a damn. Boy oh boy, do I give a damn. That’s not the Curry man up there. That’s not even critically-acclaimed athlete turned actor Lebron James. That’s “some guy” named J.R. Smith.

I’ve watched it ten times already. C’mon, you should catch up. Watch it again:

I’m sure every athlete looks forward to the winning moment. I’m sure everybody has some idea of who they’d like to thank and the words they’d want to share. But I doubt they’re ever prepared for the wave of emotion that comes.

It’s overwhelming, uncontrolled, and from what I can tell, it must be awesome.

You can’t tell me this was rehearsed. If J.R. did any kind of run-through in his mind, there’s no way he’d have it come out like this. But I’m glad he allowed it to happen. I feel incredibly honored to see this kind of rawness from another human being.

When it comes to emotion, you’ll often hear the word “heart”. You got to have heart. It’s a good message that’s been overdone into a cliche.

But thanks to J.R., I feel it’s worth repeating. With all the speech work that I do, I give lots of guidelines. Many of my clients ask me for “rules”. I’m often reluctant in how to advise that front.

Sure, with more rules you get more structure. And more structure can mean more of a coherent system. But then you get too systematic. It gets mindless. You can hit the right beats, execute reasonably well, but your message? It’s just sterile.

Sterile’s not a good descriptor for anything or anybody.

In the end, emotion from the speaker and the emotion that can be drawn out from the crowd trumps any rules out there on speech. When you move your mouth, less tongue, more heart. 

Published by Jon Dao

Formerly, the Conversation Coach

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