My grandson, Carson, just turned one. He’s not quite walking, but he sure is trying. He won’t give up, and I expect we’ll see videos of those first solo steps very soon. As I watched him, I’m reminded of lessons that apply to learning how to be a great speaker.
If you’ve never walked, it takes awhile to learn how. If you’ve never given presentations, it takes awhile to learn how.
If you’re learning to walk, and fall down, you need to pull yourself up, and try, again. If your presentation BOMBS, you need to pull yourself up and try, again.
I think you see where I’m going with this Post.
Walking is a skill we learn. We don’t come into this world walking. We don’t learn to do this the first time we pull ourselves up and try to move our feet. It takes perseverance. We can’t give up when we don’t do it right the first time, or anytime after that. Falling down is part of the learning process. We don’t fall down and verbally beat ourselves up about it with negative self-talk like: “I’m a failure. I’ll never learn how to walk. Everyone will laugh at me if I try it again and fall. I’m a loser!” Often, no one is there to pick us up, so we need to pull ourselves up.
Sometimes when we fall, there is help available. Parents, siblings, and others help the child. We encourage them and applaud their efforts. Books, blogs, Toastmaster Clubs, and presentation coaches help the speaker when he stumbles. Their success are also recognized by applause and praise.
You can’t learn to walk without falling down. You can’t become a great presenter without falling down a number of times, either! Most everyone learns to walk. We continue trying until we get it right. Once we learn this skill, we’re able to use it the rest of our lives.
Not everyone learns to be a good speaker and presenter. Why is this? We’re afraid of failure. We’re afraid we’ll make a fool of ourselves and forever everyone will remember how poor we performed at the lectern.
I fell down, and stayed down too long!
After taking a Public Speaking Continuing Education Course I joined a Toastmasters Club. I had given a pretty good Icebreaker Speech, the first one Toasties do, and didn’t prepare as I should have for my second talk. It BOMBED and I fell down. Instead of getting up and working hard on my next presentation, I dropped out. It wasn’t until several years later, when I realized how important presentation skills were, that I joined a different club.
I won’t tell you I didn’t Bomb, again, because I certainly did. I delivered some speeches not worthy of being presented a second time. However, and often with encouragement and help from others, I did stand, again!
Please learn from my mistake. If you BOMB and fall down, don’t wait years to stand, again, Pull yourself up immediately!
About the Author
Fred E. Miller is a speaker, an author and a coach.
Businesses and individuals hire him because they want to improve their Public Speaking
and Presentation Skills.
They do this because we perceive really great speakers to be Experts.
Perception is reality and we rather deal with Experts.
He shows them how to Develop, Practice and Deliver Knock Your Socks Off Presentations! with –
Fred E. Miller