If we need anything right now, it’s clarity!”- interview with Luisa Montalvo

Luisa Montalvo was the second place winner of 2019 World Championship of Public Speaking. It was a great honor to make an interview with her. Let’s read it!

How can we imagine the little Luisa? Did you want to be on a stage when you were a child?

Such a different question!!! I like it! I was a little terror when I was a kid growing up. I did everything my parents told me not to do. I was always in trouble. I was constantly getting grounded for something. As for being on stage, the answer is YES! I’ve always wanted to be on a stage entertaining. I believe I’m one of the few who actually performs better if I have a larger audience. There’s nothing like it in case you’ve never experienced it.

Did you remember when you decide:  „I want to be a better public speaker!”? Why did you step on this way?

I recall I was at work and was walking passed a room where there were people laughing. I immediately wanted to go inside to see what was going on and just what kind of meeting it was. It was a Toastmasters meeting and I joined that day. It wasn’t that I wanted to be a better speaker, but

I’m so glad I joined because I feel I’ve grown as a speaker and definitely a better listener!

If I can help someone believe in themselves or if I can motivate someone to try to do better, I’ve achieved success.

 I read this content after your great speech (First impressions): „And to my father, who for as long as I can remember, has always had more faith in me than Ive ever had in myself. Miss you Dad.” How could he motivate you?

The mind will remember negative comments better than the positive comments and we listen and keep all the negative in the back of our mind. My dad was always encouraging me to do whatever I wanted to. He would always ask me ‘why not’ or ‘what’s stopping you?’ He helped me push back all the negativity that I would hold on to.

I saw the video of your mom when she kept your prize in her hand. How is she? What do you learn from her?

Thank you for watching her video. My mother is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s but luckily still recognizes me and still makes me laugh. I spend almost every evening with her. She is the reason I am the person and speaker I am today.

She came from a very humble background and through determination and dedication, she became a successful businesswoman.

It was because of her that I am the speaker I am today. She would conduct Avon meetings with 200+ in attendance and as I would watch her, I thought everyone got up and spoke in front of 200 people. It is because of her I have no fear of public speaking!! Thanks mom.

How did you prepare for the World Championship of Public Speaking?

 In all honesty, I didn’t prepare as much as I should have because I knew I would never make it to the World Stage (that’s my negative brain talking again), but when I was notified I would be headed to Colorado to compete,

I started sharing my speech with different toastmasters clubs and asking for feedback.

Your audience will always be brutally honest and they’re the best evaluators. I would listen to critique and I would adjust my speech according to what I felt would improve my speech.

What was your major experiences on the World Championship of Public Speaking?

Last year in Colorado was my first ever International Conference. I had never experienced one so this was all new to me. The people were all so friendly, so kind and caring. It was beautiful!! So many complete strangers congratulating me, complimenting me and sharing their well wishes for my future. I’ve never experienced such a positive atmosphere. It was surreal.

I felt as if everyone there had become my family.

I loved it! Even the competitors were all so kind to me. I want to go to all the International conferences from now on.

 What is the most important qualities if somebody wants to be a professional public speaker?

I feel that if the person can speak about something that is completely relatable to the entire audience, that’s a start. Adding tasteful humor and a personal story are also good steps to take in become a successful speaker. I believe the most important rule to follow for success is to leave your audience with a powerful message, one that has the audience thinking but also motivates them to take action.

 Why do you love Toastmasters clubs?

Why not! There are so many great reasons for loving everyone in Toastmasters. As humans, we have a need to be wanted or needed. We long for approval and yearn for kindness from each other. Toastmasters has shown me all this and has taught me so much.

I teach young people and I know how important the public speaking is to improve them. How can help the public speaking to the young people (and everbody) in your opinion?

Thank you for being a teacher, a very underrated profession. The most important tool to have for success is the ability to communicate. If we are able to teach and nurture the young (and everyone else) on improving their communication skills, then understanding each other starts at a younger age.

If we need anything right now, it’s clarity.

Toastmasters is the stepping stone to success.

 I saw a video and pictures about your  speaking to the Syosset High School Dog Rescue Group.Why this case so important for you?

This case is important to me for various reasons. These students are our future and educating them on dog rescue will help eliminate many of the issues we have today that need change. If I’m able to influence, teach and guide them to understand what needs to change, the future becomes that much brighter for our pets and society as a whole. Letting them know they have the ability to make the world a better place is priority Number 1.

 What does courage mean to you?

To me, courage is being able to do something even though YOU have every right in fearing the process and outcome.