I had an encounter in August 2015 that revolutionized my perception of being armed. I was airborne to Asaba from Lagos and was full of gusto over my assignment in Asaba as well as the clement weather. An enjoyable flight was programmed in my head not only because of the weather but also because of the safety records of the airline and because of the brief but enriching chat Professor Pat Utomi and I had. No sooner had we boarded than the manager of the hotel I would lodge in called to know if we were taking off so as to effect my transportation and prayed for a safe flight because there was rainstorm at the time. Just about 13 minutes of cruising we ran into storms that made the pilot to circumnavigate, climb and descend severally. I could appreciate the apprehension amongst passengers but one caught my attention. She was beautiful but fear ruined her makeup. Ibinabo sat to my left on the other side of the aisle. She was visibly the most apprehensive, agitated, dramatic and totally beside herself. I reached out to her with my left hand and took her right hand in a bid to soothe her and allay her fears. I noticed a small book clutched in her left arm and requested to see the beautiful looking book which was titled “Battlefield Of The Mind”. Joyce Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries did an amazing job with that book and it is highly recommended for a read. As Ibinabo and I talked she confessed she had bought the book a week before because of aviophobia (fear of flying)but never got to read even a page. Ibinabo was ARMED with the book but was not EQUIPPED by it. She typified the story of David who was armed with king Saul’s Armour but was not equipped by it. In fact, David could hardly walk with the Armour and would have been a minced meat to Goliath if he had fought in them. To be armed is not same as to be equipped. To be equipped is to be prepared for a particular situation or task. I could arm you with a sophisticated weapon and send you to the battlefront without proper and adequate training but that might be your death sentence. Like my friend Ibinabo, many, including some of you reading this are armed in some ways but not equipped. I have been privileged to interact with aspiring public speakers who have wowed me with the naturals they’re armed with: voice texture, good mien, awesome personality and charm yet are scared to pick up the microphone let alone stand before an audience however small it might be. They are ARMED but not EQUIPPED. It is a disservice to yourself and humanity to be so blessed with talents but no abilities to accentuate them. The ability is nurtured through training and retraining in the classroom, on the job and mentoring. Like Anthony Robbins counselled, awaken the giant within. On the 12th of November 2016, I shall be hosting a PUBLIC SPEAKING TRAINING that will revolutionize your speaking experience and make you use your speaking skills as a stream of income. Watch this space for further details. Isioma Ebigwei.
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