How often do you speak in public? A few times a year? once a month? maybe on a weekly basis? or do you have the courage to find an opportunity to share your message every. single. day.?
The truth is, the more you practice the faster you will become the communicator and leader you aspire to be. There is no shortcut, no motivational and informative Youtube video, no amazing article (not even this one), webinar or workshop that will give you what you want and who you want to become. I’d go as far to say that the same goes for everything else in life.
But how do you get there? As Nike likes to remind us, you Just Do It™. Do it excited, do it scared, do it bad or good, do it poor or excellent, do it weak or strong. If your vision is clear enough and you’re acting with a sense of urgency (a hint of fun wouldn’t hurt too), you know you will get there someday and it’s just a matter or when.
Sometimes it may feel like we’re very far away from that goal, and other times, we feel like we’re already there. That feeling after an incredible speech, where everyone applauded and congratulated, you have finally become the outstanding speaker you always wanted to be. Good job. Though I would not fall under the illusion that your last best speech defines how your next ones will go. Sure, you have more confidence and courage. But what happens if you stay weeks, months or years without speaking? Will that skillset, courage and confidence still be there? I’m afraid not.
Think about when you go out for a run or any sort of physical workout. The first days are usually a struggle, difficult and uncomfortable. However, if you stick with it long enough and keep running or pushing the weights, eventually you will get better and things will get easier. What do you do next? That’s totally up to you. You can either repeat the same distance, sets, reps and weights OR you decide to move the needle a bit further; one more mile, one more rep, or one more pound.
I confess that sometimes I run away from opportunities I know will help me become a better communicator. I see a chance to speak up in meetings but I dismiss it, I see an open slot to talk to a group of people but I think I’m not ready yet, I know what I want to say next but I don’t. This does not help, and actually only reinforces the idea that we can always easily escape from our fears. It is important to forget that there is an EXIT door and dash forward, every. single. day.