Well, it’s official. This year I’m giving myself an incredible birthday present. On June 8th 2013, my 31st birthday, I will attempt to break a Guinness World record for public speaking. I’ve already gotten the go ahead from Guinness headquarters to perform an official attempt. The name of the world record is “Longest Speech Marathon,” and to break it I will have to speak for over 30 hours straight, with 5-minute breaks for every hour I speak. The current record stands at 30 hours, and 6 minutes.
The event will take place in
Houston, TX Fairfield, IA, and it will be live streamed online. The speech will be broken up into (perfectly-sized) 15-minute segments, so it’ll be easy to watch, preferably with friends while you munch on some popcorn
As many of you know, I’ve had a passion for public speaking for a long time. A couple of years ago, I created a public speaking blog (the now defunct thespeakerpoint.com), and I started on my journey to become a professional speaker by competing in the 2011 Toastmasters International Inspirational Speech Contest. I did very well in the contest, getting 1st place through several rounds and eventually placing among the top 200 speakers in the world out of 25,000. I was well on my way to realizing my dream.
However, life’s plans don’t always seem to match our own. Right around the time of the Toastmasters competition, I was offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take over iPhone Life magazine, and become the new Editor in Chief. I took the opportunity, started putting in 12-hour workdays, and placed my speaking ambitions on hold. Almost two years later, iPhone Life magazine continues a robust climb towards ever-greater success, the 12-hour workdays are long gone, and my deep passion for the world of speaking once again has room to flourish.
As a result, I’ve started this new website with the goal of helping people build successful speaking businesses and become better presenters. This site will feature interviews with successful professional speakers, in addition to a treasure of useful content for anyone who wants to give better presentations.
This Record Attempt is Personal
For most of my life I’ve had a hard time following through with projects and life goals. I would get really excited about a new idea, work really hard for a week or two, then lose interest and let the project fall through the cracks. I’ve managed to become much more disciplined and focused over the last few years, but this world record attempt will be the ultimate test in resilience and persistence. I can’t quit halfway through the attempt, and the preparation will include voice training, learning to stay awake without caffeine, and discovering the joy of talking while I gulf down an entire meal. (That last one will be an interesting challenge—I’m a notoriously slow eater.)
Other reasons why I’m attempting this Guinness World Record:
- “Set or break a Guinness World Record” is #3 on my list of things to do before I die (see image above).
- I want a cool story to tell my grandkids.
- I want to be the best speaker I can be, and this is a fantastic motivation to train and practice.
- I want to inspire people to get out of their comfort zone and attempt the impossible.
Preparing for the big day
The Guinness World Record organization sent me a long list of requirements I need to meet. Among them are:
- There must be a minimum of 10 spectators in the audience for each part of the speech.
- Two experienced timekeepers must time the attempt.
- The entire attempt must be filmed from start to finish, and sent to us in DVD format or on an external hard drive/USB memory stick.
- You may consume food and drink while the record is in progress, but this must not disrupt the flow of the attempt.
I think planning the logistics of the attempt will be its own challenge. I will need lots of volunteers for logbook record keeping, photography, signing up witnesses, and much more, so if you plan on being in Fairfield, IA, and want to lend a hand, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What I hope to achieve
Ultimately, this world record attempt is about striving to leave a legacy. Most people in the world do not have the privilege of choosing how they want to live their lives. Most people are trying to survive, make enough money to feed themselves and their loved ones, and give their kids the best chance of success they can.
Life is too short, and we are too privileged not to attempt something remarkable. Everyone has a story to tell, but few know how to tell it well. Ultimately, I want to help people connect with their own stories, and teach them to channel those stories in an authentic and powerful way. It is the realities of our common stories that create new myths and paradigms in our collective consciousness. Change begins from within, yes, but our voices are the vehicles that make that change a reality.
Let’s do this thing. Yeah!
Dear friends, here’s the link to my new awesome site. Thank you for following me at publicspeakingguy.com. Against improbable odds, I’ve managed to get about one thousand unique visitors to
Watch live as I attempt a Guinness World Record for Logest Speech starting at 11:00 am CST on Saturday, June 8th, which is also my birthday. If everything goes according to plan, I will break the record
Hello everyone, below is the official press release of my Guinness World Record Attempt happening on June 8th, which is my birthday. You’ll be able to watch it live here, or through my Facebook page
Well, that was weird. In preparation for my Guinness World Record attempt on June 8th for Longest Speech Marathon, where I will speak for 34 hours straight, I tried to stay up for 34 hours to see how it