Find the extraordinary in the ordinary

My friend, Lance Miller is an award-winning public speaker and trainer. He graduated from Michigan State University with a Degree in Food Systems, Economics and Management. Lance has an extensive background in business and is a philanthropist who has worked in numerous humanitarian causes around the world.

Lance Miller

In 2005, Lance won the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. Today, he is regularly invited to speak at events around the world. He is always engaging and always insightful. You can learn more about Lance here.

In a recent newsletter to his readers, Lance shared an important message and one which I often think about: How can we create meaningful messages for our audiences?

Often we see speakers who recount amazing tales of adventure or discovery or adversity overcome, and we think there is no way that we have anything remotely as interesting to share about ourselves. In fact, that’s not the case. You can create a powerful message based on the most ordinary of experiences.

In the article below, Lance shares what he considers the key to creating a message that will make an impact. He also shares three ideas to help you spark your creativity. (Hint: You don’t even have to leave home.)


Create your message

by Lance Miller

When I first started speaking I did not know where to find messages for my speeches. Most speakers I coach today are caught in the same conundrum.

I used to wish I had endured some horrendous near death tragedy so I could share my story of triumphing over the ultimate adversity! Unfortunately, I had no such tragedies in my life.

I have learned that the best messages are simple. The best messages share lessons that anyone can apply to improve their life. The trick is to find the extraordinary in the ordinary situations of life.

I used to drill myself on this concept.

  • I would be stuck in traffic and think: “Do a speech on this traffic.”
  • I would walk by some stairs and think: “Do a speech on those stairs.”
  • I would be washing dishes and think: “Do a speech on washing dishes.”

I practiced and practiced finding simple universal messages that applied to life. Each time I worked to find the extraordinary in the ordinary.

I soon discovered that what I was really doing was reigniting my creativity. I was creating my own significance of the world before me, rather than having the world create it for me.

Today, I see messages in everything! But this did not happen overnight. It was a process of learning to create again.

If you need to reignite your creativity, here are three suggestions:

1.  Go to your pantry, close your eyes, reach inside and grab something. Whatever you grabbed, create a speech about what is extraordinary about that item and how it applies to life.

2.  Next time you have a negative emotion like, frustration, anger, hopelessness, create a speech about what is extraordinary about that situation and how it applies to life.

3.  Take a normal daily activity, like getting up in the morning, making coffee, doing your laundry and create a speech about what is extraordinary about that and how it applies to life.

You don’t have to die to have a good message. You just have to create one!


About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
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2 Responses to Find the extraordinary in the ordinary

  1. Bára says:

    So simple and feels like a breath of fresh air.

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