The ninja presentation no one saw coming

My speech professor told this story in class one day:

A student once gave a martial arts presentation for his How-To speech. Leading up to it, he secretly recruited the smallest, wimpiest looking girl in class and trained her to smash through boards with her bare hands.

When the time came for his presentation, the student began by asking if anyone wanted to try punching through some boards. No one volunteered. So he called on the girl he’d secretly trained.

“Do you want to give it a try?”

She looked around sheepishly. “Uh, I guess so.”

You can probably guess what happened next. She stood up, destroyed three different boards with a couple Hi-Yah’s for effect, and quietly sat back down. The rest of the class was stunned, including the professor.

The presenter’s finally like, “Anyone else want to give it a try?”

Some of the students shot up. One big dude’s like, “Okay, I gotta try this.”

Other students stood up for a different reason: they thought it was fake. They examined the boards and asked questions.

Once the class settled down, everyone listened closely to the rest of the presentation, that’s for sure.

The moral of the story is this. Before anything happened, the class was indifferent. They didn’t do anything. They were scared. After the girl smashed the boards, though, some wanted to give it a try – others wanted to justify why they didn’t need to give it a try.

Such is the nature of encouraging examples.