Why You Should Do Your Best

Do Your Best

Recently I went in for a speech competition. I give speeches from time to time and my usual approach is to leave it a bit last minute! I can write a pretty decent speech with not much notice, but that short notice never leaves me enough time to practice it enough usually. I sometimes only have 2 or 3 run throughs and then provided I know the main points – which i do, it all works out fine.

This time though, I practised my speech not just 2 or 3 times. Not 10, or even 20 times. Not even 30. But, wait for it…. over 80 times! Yes, not a typo – 80+ times.


Was I that desperate to win? No, not really. Yes, that would be nice. But I was also getting it filmed and wanted to give it my best go. In the past, I might not go “all out” for something, because then, if I “fail”, I can then put it down to not enough preparation rather than not being “good enough”.

It effectively gives me an excuse to not succeed. And also doesn’t make me feel too bad because I didn’t put in all the effort I could have done into it.

This time I decided to give it a good go. And you know what?

I didn’t win!

No, not even top 3.

Was I gutted?


I was really happy.

Sure, a win from the judges would have been good. But a win from me was all I really needed.

No excuses. I did the best I could (I even prepared by delivering the speech to hundreds of roses in London’s Regent Park! – People thought I was a bit crazy, but some even offered to sit and critique, which I gladly accepted).

So, I had given it my all and done the best job I could. It wasn’t good enough to get the judges vote. But, screw that. It got mine!

But the story’s not over.

I realised I could enter that same competition in a different heat at a different club (you can enter twice).

So I decided to enter the one in Kent (first was in London). It was a mission to get there from my place. First a trip up to North London to pick up a car, only to drive for 3 hrs in traffic and roadworks to get to Kent. And many times I felt like turning the car off the motorway and just going home.

“What’s the point?” I thought – “There’s 15 people competing – worse than the London heat”. The chances of getting through were slimmer from a sheer numbers perspective than before.

But I went anyway – mainly because I had already paid for the event!

And I gave the speech. Taking into account some of the feedback from the previous heat. And….

I won!

I was surprised, grateful and happy to have made it through. Now I get to go to the semi’s later this year.

What did I learn from this entire experience.

That giving my best – even if I don’t get the result I’m after – felt better. And that persistence pays off in the long run.

It reminds me of the blog article and video I made not that long ago about SWSWSWSW. Some will, so won’t, so what, someone’s waiting.

That’ what happened here. The London judges didn’t favour me, so what, somewhere else, some others did.

Your takeaway?

Do your best, persist and who knows where it might lead you.

What do you think? Leave me a comment and share with us your experiences.

What do you think?