People often ask me what changed the game for me, and how I stepped out of the person I was and into the person I am today.
I always answer, without hesitation, that it was learning the craft of speaking, and sharing my story, in public, so that I could reach others with my voice and message. At the heart of my work, in helping people secure and deliver their first TEDx Talk, or speaking for fees and impact, is one core element – I’m now helping others have their voices (and stories) heard by more people.
That’s why I feel learning the craft of speaking, and storytelling, or taking it to a higher level, can be a game changer for you as well – and thereby help you get the life you want in 2018.
Here’s a certain truth: someone is waiting for your unique voice, and to hear your unique story. It could quite possibly change their life.
The more people who hear, and are impacted by, your voice, and story, the more lives you can change. And, the more lives you change, the better your chances of getting the life you want in 2018, and beyond.
The truth is, whether the life you’re aiming for in 2018 see’s you with more confidence, earning a passive and/or high-level supplemental income, impacting and/or transforming more lives, finding your purpose, influencing more people, or growing your core business; I firmly believe, the craft of speaking and storytelling to a wider audience, can directly, or indirectly, be the answer.
The question then becomes, how do you learn the craft of speaking or storytelling?
Outside of joining our program like ours, there are many steps you can take to learn, or get better at, the craft of speaking and storytelling in public.
Here is a list:
- You could join a local toastmaster’s group. Toastmasters International, in their own words, is a USA headquartered non-profit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. Years into the profession of speaking, as a paid speaker, I joined Toastmasters for less than $10.00 a month. Within a month, I had gotten rid of virtually all of my “ums and ahs.” That alone was worth many times the price of admission. In addition, I also learned more about the craft of speaking and storytelling. Plus, for those of you that fear speaking like I did in the beginning, you can grow and go at your own pace.
- Practice speaking in front of smaller groups you feel comfortable with. Even groups of two or three will help. Record your practice and takes notes about what you feel you are doing well and what you need to improve on. If you’re comfortable with it, you could also reach out to Rotary Groups or Chambers of Commerce and see if they will let you speak at one of their upcoming meetings and thereby, get in front of larger audiences, where a small mistake won’t end your speaking journey.
- Search and watch speaking videos by world-class speakers. It also helps to take notes about what works and what doesn’t, and then how you can incorporate what works into your speaking style/approach. You could start by searching talks by speakers like Steve Jobs, Mel Robbins, or Tony Robbins, or even by simply searching TEDx Talks.
- Grab and dive into books about storytelling like The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo, or Tell to Win by Peter Guber, or books about the speaking business like Speak and Grow Rich by Lily and Dottie Walters or Money Talks by Alan Weiss.
- Search and listen to podcasts dedicated to the speaking industry. We even have one called For the Love of Speaking.
The truth is, if you want to learn more about speaking and storytelling, the list of learning options is almost limitless.
Of course, the bigger challenge will be overcoming your fear of speaking or telling a story in public, if that is the obstacle that is holding you back. The good news is, I was once there too, and I have a solution. In my latest TEDx Talk, I address just this subject and share my approach for stepping outside your comfort zone. It’s the very same strategy I used myself to overcome my own fear of speaking in public.
Check it out:
Oh, and here’s another tip. Don’t set a New Year’s Resolution to start speaking in public.
Nearly 90% of all resolutions are abandoned within a couple of weeks. Set it instead as a goal and don’t set that goal until a week or so into 2018 or even set it late in 2017, because there is too much pressure around setting and keeping resolutions.
If you simply must make it your resolution, understand that people quit their resolutions before the new practice has even become a habit. A strategy to keeping your resolution is, when you know you’re just days away from creating the new habit, and also on the cusp of quitting, give yourself a reward to encourage you to continue well past the normal quitting timeline, and you’ll increase your odds dramatically for sticking it out.
One thing is certain: If you don’t currently speak and/or share your story in public, and you begin doing so in 2018, your year, and life, will never be the same again.