Say Yes to Opportunities
Episode #2 of the course Speak like a leader by Mark D’Silva
Welcome to Day 2. Yesterday, we focused on how a positive attitude is a necessity to commence your leadership journey. Today’s lesson is a great transition, as your attitude toward opportunities to present will determine success.
In 1910 on a visit to Paris, US President Theodore Roosevelt’s speech included what is now famously known as, “the man in the arena.” His core message was to not live life as a spectator or a critic. He said that the credit belongs to the man who gets in the arena and participates in the action.
Leaders are participants, not observers; they are active, not passive; and they actively seek opportunities to communicate and present.
If presenting to others makes you nervous, think back to the time you first rode a bike or drove a car. Initially, you may have been nervous and slightly scared. But as you practiced, you became more confident and developed good riding or driving skills. It’s the same with presenting to others. The more you present, the more confident you will become. So, if an opportunity presents itself, seize it!
These may be opportunities at work meetings or at social occasions like birthdays.
If nerves are a problem, start presenting to a small group of friends. For example, if you want to present a message to work colleagues, then establish if there is a regular meeting where you can share your message. Make sure your message aligns to the overall objective of the meeting.
As you build confidence, speak to larger groups. Speaking at every opportunity will build your reputation, and as your credibility increases, more doors are likely to open. For example, you may look for existing forums to share your message. Simply contact the organizer to get on the program.
If you find it challenging to speak to a ready-made audience, then consider joining a public speaking organization. Organizations like Toastmasters International and Rostrum are committed to helping their members improve their speaking abilities and leadership skills. There are many clubs worldwide, and joining a club is probably the best investment you can make to present and practice your message.
Another great benefit of joining a public speaking organization is that you will learn different styles of speaking and members will support you to improve, so you become a better communicator.
Speak as often as possible in both formal and informal settings and watch your confidence boom!
Tomorrow’s lesson focuses on the importance of always being prepared when giving a presentation.
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