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The third key untaught skill

The first two

  • The first two key untaught skills (to fail and to communicate) each stand alone, but are very much linked in terms of life’s richness
  • The ability to accept failure as fruitful learning, and then to communicate comfortably in a variety of settings are powerful and being good at them effectively enhances the lives of most people, whether it be their career, personal life, or general happiness
  • All people have some level of ability in all three skills, but focusing one’s attention on the betterment of the skills will allow them to reap further benefits in life
  • I do strongly suggest focusing on each skill independently

The third key skill: To present

  • The ability to effectively present: to confidently convey a message to others, whether it be a small group, a single person, or a stadium
  • Presenting is clearly linked to the second skill of communicating, and presenting is taking communicating to the next level
  • At minimum, presenting in an informal way is a fairly integral component to most peoples’ lives (not something just for politicians and salespeople), whether were presenting a project idea to a team or impressing a hiring manager in an interview
  • Glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking is one of the greatest fears for human beings, young and old
  • Many never really get over it and remain largely uncomfortable with public speaking throughout their lives; Others somewhat impressively get through a successful career that involves presenting, selling, and leading, but never get comfortable at it (this isn’t a good thing)
  • The key benefit that comes out of speaking well is confidence, which is applicable everywhere in life
  • Confidence leads to a plethora or benefits, and like anything, as we get better at a skill, our confidence grows and we typically enjoy the experience more
  • Speaking to large groups of people can be pretty powerful, especially when you’re leading them and they’re looking to you for guidance and motivation
  • Even if you don’t have grand ambitions to be a sought after public speaker, its worth considering shifting your perspective to one that likes speaking as you’ll benefit in a range of ways

My story
  • I was pretty shy growing up and certainly never labeled ‘outgoing’
  • I had teachers along the way, one excellent (and somewhat unconventional one) in grade school called Mr Ondusko that definitely had a positive impact on my confidence and ability to speak and present to others (On one occasion when it was my turn to present to the class and I was just unable to do it, he convinced me to speak to the class, but facing away from them; Which worked and led to a gradual building of my confidence)
  • I wouldn’t say there were many other times in school from then through to the completion of university that really provided opportunities for me to develop my skills in speaking and presenting
  • Many years later the pivotal point for me, that helped me swing myself over the wall, into the camp of loving to present to audiences, came in a Dale Carnegie Course in 2004; In each class we were presenting once or twice to the group on prepared topics related to our personal growth and development; I loved this course in that it helped me be comfortable standing up and speaking to a group, but also had you dig into your past and learn about myself, a nice combination (I loved the course so much that I went on to be a Graduate Assistant with them)
  • Not long after I started the coaching business, which led me to participate in local networking events in Vancouver to help grow the business (and good opportunities to speak to people you don’t know), which then introduced me to BNI, the referral networking organization, which became an excellent opportunity for grow in my ability to speak well for 2 reasons:
    • The weekly opportunity to get up and speak to a group of people (and observe others doing the same)
    • But even more so to learn how to succinctly and effectively present what I did in my business, but also the reasons why someone should hire me


Practically speaking

  • What’s great is that there are a number of practical resources to help anyone become a better presenter and speaker – from a massive range of books and online resources; But practice of course is the key, and speaking in front of the mirror or recording yourself on video are great starting points, then global organizations like Toastmasters are very supportive and excellent opportunities for practice; Although Dale Carnegie training (which includes the Dale Carnegie Course itself) are not primarily focused on public speaking, they provide a positive venue for practice and personal development; BNI as mentioned earlier also ties in the business promotion element, while Le Tip is also very similar, with chapters around the world
  • Facts tell, stories sell (I love this statement and its so true): Tie in stories and real-life elements into your speaking to boost your success and your enjoyment
  • *Key tip: Present on topics you like, or even better topics you are passionate about (You’ll never love public speaking if you don’t love the topic)
    • Bonus: If you’re passionate about your subject, you’ll engage the audience far more and therefore be much more successful

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