The Power of Perseverance
By Lee Pound
Many beginning speakers
are afraid to give their first few speeches because they fear that they
will not be very good.
In fact, they are right.
They won't be very good. This has more to do with lack of experience
than any failing in that particular speaker. When we see polished
speakers give perfect performances on stage, we think that we must be
that good as well. The truth is we may never be that good.
However, every speaker
who keeps speaking and keeps reaching higher and higher can get ob very
Every speaker has unique
goals, abilities and backgrounds. This differences are what give
speakers power, not the polish and glitz you sometimes see.
Every speaker grows
gradually, adding new skills each time he or she takes the lectern. Many
of those speeches will be badly done.
Remember, a child
learning to ride a bicycle must fall off a few times before learning how
to stay on. Growth comes with practice, not contemplation. Growth comes
with failure, not success.
I tell new Toastmasters
members to speak as often as possible even if they are scared to death
that they will fail. Even saying two words is a success if it leads to
saying three the next time.
The next time you see a
young speaker afraid to go on stage, encourage them to try anyway.
The next time you are
afraid to try something new, do it anyway. Even if you don't succeed,
you will learn and you will do better next time. That's how greatness is
born, one step at a time.
The Magic of Stories
By Lee Pound
Most speakers know that
stories can be an important component of gaining the trust of your
audience. But most speakers use few stories because they do not know how
to do so and don't know how to learn.
Many speakers make up for
this deficiency by bombarding their audiences with facts and hoping the
sheer weight of the information will get the point across.
This almost never works,
not even for trainers used to delivering high volumes of information. In
fact the best trainers know that the audience must be relaxed in order
to absorb the facts. They use stories, games and other methods of
involvement to do this.
A speaker on stage has
less direct contact with the audience and must add stories to to his or
her speeches to relax the audience and to get them into a learning mode.
We will talk further about how to add stories to your speaking in coming