I remember as plain as day the first time I heard that rhythmic auction chant. The way that the auctioneer blended a smooth song-like chant with the never-ending whirl of numbers was incredible to me. Standing in awe I thought to myself, “It’s do or die; I’ve got to learn that auction cry!”
I began developing my own auction chant three years ago when I was given a tape of world champion livestock auctioneers. As I listened intently to these professionals sing their auction chant, I began to feel more disheartened. How was I ever going to be able to talk that fast? It seemed to be an impossible dream, but I took a chance and pushed on. As I researched, I found that the best way to learn to chant was to go slow and try different methods to see what fit best. Because I thought I knew everything, it was hard for me to accept that I should change my chant. As time went on, I noticed that my chant was not only speeding up and sounding better, but that I was also using new and different words and expanding my abilities. I am now a licensed auctioneer and have been complemented time and time again for my chanting ability.
Looking back, I noticed a similarity between auctioneering and my FFA career. Both required me to branch out and expand myself before I could find success. During your time in FFA you will encounter opportunities to try new activities, meet new people and get out of your comfort zone. I encourage you to seize those experiences and enjoy the ride. At times it will be difficult and you will feel that bit of fear in the pit of your stomach, but that fear is only holding you back. Whether it be giving a speech for the first time or running for chapter office, you must release that fear and lunge head first into the unknown.
I took the chance and worked hard to change my chant. I took the chance to compete in creed speaking my freshmen year. I took the chance to run for a state office. You, too, can take a chance. Seize the opportunities!