My 10 am client canceled this morning. At 9:45. “Something came up.” Surgery? Family emergency? His boss called him in at the last minute? Not sure. “Something.” It was his third cancelation in less than a month.
If I had to guess, “something” would be along the lines of avoidance … fear, dread, or oh-please-anything-but-speaker-training! Even oral surgery. Understandable. Totally. But only understandable when it’s avoidance of an actual audience of 100. Avoidance of the training though? That just digs the hole deeper. Training demystifies the process of public speaking and therefore significantly reduces the need for avoidance. And we have fun in the training; this client’s colleagues all have done it and they had fun. Here’s what two of them had to say after their sessions:
“I wanted to let you know that I found this session very interesting. I went to it out of duty, but after it was completed, I thought it was time well spent.”
“I found the session interesting and it did get me to think about the topic in a different way.” (And this guy was very late to the session … low priority perhaps?)
Yup, they come into the room somewhat reluctantly, but they leave the room with a new perspective, with useful tips and tools. They didn’t say in their emails that they had fun, but I can assure you there were lots of smiles and laughs.
Avoidance is probably the number one killer of public speaking and speakers. But that’s why there’s training available… to arm folks with the tools and equipment they need for when it’s the real deal and they actually have to get up and be a speaker. Trusting that the training can help you become a better speaker is kind of like driving down a steep hill in the snow and trusting that your all-wheel drive will help you get to the bottom safely. Speaker training builds in the same kind of confidence as your all-wheel drive.
So, accept the gift of training if it’s offered, don’t avoid the support and assistance. The training will give you some super easy tips and tools, and then off you go, downhill in the snow. You can do it. It’s safe. Fun too.
SmartMouth Founder and Principal Beth Noymer Levine is a Communications Coach who is emerging as one of the country’s leading voices on how to prepare and deliver speeches and presentations that actually work for both the audience and the speaker.
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