Bell Noontimers, each one of us can and should give more prepared speeches – we can and we should. Let’s take the easy one first – the should. Confident communicators are developed through practice. Every Toastmasters meeting brings an opportunity to give at least one speech in a safe, supportive environment. Every time we don’t, we miss an opportunity to practice and get better. That’s why we should give more speeches.
But you’re probably wondering how I can say that you can give more speeches. How do I know what your bandwidth is? Come with me for a sneak peek at some club performance data. I’m going to talk about you and me and two things we can all do to give more prepared speeches and get more out of this learn-by-doing program that we’ve all signed up for.
Even though I know that practicing speaking makes me speak better, it takes me a long time to complete a speech. When I was writing my last speech I stopped to read email, talk to my husband, talk on the phone, send text messages, and stare at my cat. So many distractions – so little progress. Days and days of stopping and starting… stopping and starting for days and days and days. It really takes me a long time to just get it done.
I wanted to know if it was just me, so I decided to analyze the Bell Noontime Duty Roster. What I found was very interesting. We average one 5- to 7-minute speech every 5 months. Did you know you could complete a certification program and become a web designer, HVAC technician, truck driver, or real estate agent in 3 months!
If you asked me why I would probably say that we’re busy. There aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. But… the truth is that many of us avoid difficult activities by doing easier things. That is not a winning strategy because those difficult things that we put off usually have higher payoffs! Great people have the same 24 hours to work with that we do, but somehow, they find the time to get great!
Here are some things we can all do to shorten the time between speeches. First – find the courage to say no to the things that distract you so you can spend more time on your greatest opportunities … preparing and practicing your speeches. If we consistently choose comfortable tasks, we will live far below our capabilities. Second – set goals. I filled out the Goal Setting Worksheet Ksenia emailed us, created a vision statement, and then identified long, medium, and short-term goals to get me there. My short-term goal was to complete 3 level 3 speeches by the end of October and I did it!!
What about you? You can give more speeches if you say no to distractions and set goals. You can give more speeches if you make it a priority. Bell Noontimers, each one of us can and should give more prepared speeches – we can and we should. Use your time wisely and you’ll get it done!