Forget about effective public speaking for a minute. Close your eyes….It’s game time; you just paid $500 for tickets for your family to see your favorite team, and even more for food and souvenirs.
The players take the field (or court, or ice)….straight from their living rooms. No practice, no training camp, no warm ups, nothing – straight from the off season to the new season – out of shape, out of sync, and looking a lot like a middle school kick ball team.
This happens every day, but not on the field. In boardrooms, conference rooms, auditoriums and court rooms throughout the world. Very talented professionals, some who are “best in class”, address an audience and …..strike out looking..
There is a reason why the most talented athletes with the most natural ability still practice constantly during the season. There is a reason every team conducts a training camp prior to the season. There is a reason why every athlete, whether bobsledding or boxing, watches hours upon hours of tape to fine tune performance. The reason – drum roll please……
Practice and preparation are the “big secrets” of effective public speaking. The President does not “wing” the State of the Union address. Every day, executives wing presentations, and it matters. Every time an executive delivers a sub-par presentation it sends a clear message to the audience. Effective public speaking is no different than professional athletics – practice and preparation make all of the difference. The great Casey Stengel said, “Most games are lost; not won.” This rings true with speeches, addresses and presentations as well, and it does not have to. Practice and preparation will improve any presentation dramatically.
There are effective ways to practice and prepare, and I will begin a series next week with some tips on some of the most effective ways to ensure your next presentation is your best presentation.