Why I Speak.
I began speaking while in college to help out local charities. I didn’t realize, at the time, it would one day turn in to a career. The Syracuse athletic department was very community-minded and encouraged some athletes to get involved locally. I took a few speech classes during my freshman year. Soon I was organizing my thoughts in to a program I could deliver that was informative but laced with humor.
Later, while playing for the Miami Dolphins, I continued speaking for local charities. Quarterback Clubs, civic organizations and corporate entities starting calling as well. And, with Miami being an expansion franchise, many of us athletes were called on regularly for personal appearances – mostly to help sell tickets!
Now, I enjoy speaking about my pro ball experiences and, mostly, share the more humorous side of the NFL. And, of course, there are a lot of parallels in sports and business that are fun to talk about. Sharing my personal experiences and insight on how my team achieved perfection is gratifying and, I believe, useful in helping others achieve their goals.
When telling the unusual story of the ’72 Miami Dolphins perfect season, I try to convey the discipline needed to devise a plan, execute that plan and, most importantly, stay motivated throughout the season. Dealing with all the emotional ups and downs during that season were extreme – losing our star quarterback, Bob Griese, in the 5th game to a broken leg, altering our plan on the fly with an aging backup, Earl Morrall, and depending on someone different each week to step up and make key plays were all difficult at best. Often, these are similar challenges in business as well.
Many of the factors we faced during that perfect season are what most people in sports and business are still struggling with today – attitude, desire, motivation, dedication, sacrifice. These emotions and how we reacted to them gave us the winning edge in ’72. Knowing how to deal with emotional stresses, knowing your competition and trusting in your colleagues or “teammates” are all critical to success.
Yes, a career in speaking can provide good income. We all like making money. But I enjoy sharing my story with others to, mostly, laugh and, hopefully, inspire, motivate and convey, as I learned, the real value of TEAMWORK.
Pro Football Hall of Fame ‘87
Your chat with the group was exciting, entertaining and very humorous. Everyone I spoke with was thrilled with your presentation and appreciated your efforts.”
– Ford Division, Ford Motor Co.