Most of us have sat in that high school classroom waiting for the bell to ring so we could avoid giving our speech.
The next day, we go to the bathroom and sit on the toilet until one of our friends calls our phone and says it’s our turn! And then we do what we all do in high school…
Why did we go through that experience?
Multiple reasons. We always come up with one or two good ones. Sometimes they change.
But the truth always stays the same.
We all want to be heard. We want to be ourselves and be expressive when we are. We like it when our ideas are listened to. We fall in love during the moment we are recognized for something we are proud of. We’re told, growing up, that public speaking is the number one fear in America, but who said it had to be for you or me?
Through a lucky set of circumstances, I graduated from The Dale Carnegie Course, where you practice public speaking the very first 10 minutes of each morning session. Yeah, that was fun. No amount of coffee helped me hide my insecurities then. I learned the fundamentals of speaking: how it started, why it’s valuable, and how it makes you more human…. sounds weird, doesn’t it?
But I did graduate 8 weeks later, and here’s what I learned. Allow me to share with you what I believe has transformed me, so you can be successful with this, too.
Here is why we must become students of the skill of public speaking before we become a customer of our funeral homes:
1. You Will Communicate With More Clarity
Clarity is almost a lost art in how humans communicate today, whether it be in writing, formal speaking, or just talking. Throughout the course of our lives, we become more and more exposed to sharing our ideas and maybe trying to convince someone of something.
If we can’t help them see our point of view and put it in words that help them agree with what’s being said, how are we ever going to lead?
This also helps us in conversations with our friends, family, and coworkers, and even our enemies. We become more comfortable sharing an idea or story because we know how to communicate clearly. Everyone around us will appreciate our ability to do that.
2. Your Confidence Will Skyrocket
This is not a myth…
In fact, let’s look at it this way: fear is destroyed by action. Inaction will reinforce our fears. If we make a decision to face our fear of public speaking, we not only develop a highly-paid skill, but our confidence rises more than we thought it would and we find ourselves approaching life on a higher level. The earlier you do this, the longer you have to enjoy the pure benefits of self-confidence. Dale Carnegie said that the surefire way to self-confidence is through public speaking. He writes thousands of stories on people he’s witnessed rise to a level of confidence they never knew existed in them because they believed in the actions they took.
Never, ever forget that you do others a huge service when you’re confident… why? Because if you don’t have something, you can’t give it away.
3. It’s Just All About You — In a Good Way
Something we know but find hard to admit is our craving to be appreciated and feel important. One day, we will find ourselves in a position to share our stories with others. We’ll receive a promotion. We’ll give a toast at a wedding. We’ll want to give someone praise in public. Or maybe you run for office or something. In the final analysis, public speaking is around us. And whether we believe we are capable of doing it or not, there is no way to be perfect because we all communicate differently. When we speak about another being, we say more about who we are and how we feel towards them at that moment. If your intentions are good and you are genuine, that will only earn you more respect and admiration.
4. Practice Makes Permanent
This was the one quote I took away from the course that stuck with me. After all, we are creatures of habit. So if we want to become better speakers, we need to practice more and more. It’s never that we aren’t good at a thing; we just don’t practice it enough. That is merely the only reason. The best way for us to learn the principle of habit is through a course where your discipline is furnished and polished into helping you become a better person. No one is born with a skill. All we do is laugh, cry, and poop ourselves as babies (sometimes we die that way too), but we’ll never stop forming new habits. We have the willpower to make ourselves into whatever we desire to become. It just takes time and practice. You will become permanent.
So what now?
Be this baby….
Take the first step. Take your time. Realize that we don’t know everything, and if we did, learning would be no fun. Remember that the most successful people in the world are recognized by name rather than the face because they were in the same shoes you’re wearing.
Find a course. Practice at your church. Start a club. Grab a few friends for dinner and share your day.
Because before you die, you will have touched lives and impacted people in way words cannot explain, but only proved with how much better they live because you existed.
P.S. Please refer to these links if you are considering public speaking. I promise you, beyond reason, that this skill helps prepare you to tackle life with a new perspective and confidence.
I believe in you.