By Featured Speaker Arvee Robinson
After diligently training for over five months to run in the Los Angeles Marathon, I can’t help but notice the similarity between learning how to become a more powerful speaker and how to become a powerful long-distance runner.
1. The first similarity is overcoming the fear.
Fear comes from not knowing what to say, what to do, or what may happen in any given situation. Most people would never dream of running a Marathon without training. They have an overwhelming, justifiable fear that without proper preparation, running 26.2 miles could injure them badly. They know that best way to overcome that fear is through practice and training.
Public speaking is no different. It is universally judged the number one fear. Yet, instead of practicing and training, some individuals think they can stand in front of a room full of people with their knees knocking and give a speech that produces results. Highly, unlikely.
As in preparing for a Marathon, the best way to overcome fear and learn to be a better speaker is to practice. Rehearse one hour for every two minutes you plan to speak. Practice in front of your friends, your dog and your kids. Practice in front of anyone who will listen and encourage you. This will reduce and possibly eliminate your fear.
2. Get out of your comfort zone.
Geeezzz, you think I was a natural born runner? Think again. I never ran anywhere in my life. The first time my fitness trainer asked me to run to the end of the block as a warm up, I laughed. I did it anyway. Each day I ran further and further. Today I am running 25 miles per week and getting ready for one of the biggest physical challenges of my life, the L.A. Marathon, which will now be my third marathon.
How does this relate to speaking? Speaking in front of a group of strangers can feel uncomfortable. It may be a stretch for you. Do it anyway. If it feels uncomfortable, chances are you are growing. Do a little at a time. Start with a short five minute presentation, like my first run to the end of the block. Work up to an hour speech. Soon you will feel much more comfortable in front of a crowd, especially when you are reaping the rewards of your efforts.
3. Inner Game
This is your belief system and the stories you tell yourself. If I didn’t believe that I could complete the L.A. Marathon (and believe me there were times when I had my doubts) I wouldn’t have trained for five months. Whenever that little voice spoke words like “you are too old or you are out of shape” I told it to shut up and ran even harder. The voice is quiet now and I am excited every time I step over the finish line.
The same inner game applies to speaking. Do you tell yourself you are a lousy speaker or do you tell yourself you are the best?! You will believe what you say to yourself, whether it is true or not. Henry Ford said: “If you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you are right.” Change your language and you will change your results. Tell yourself that you are a powerful, persuasive speaker and that people love to hear you speak! Soon you will believe it and it will be so. You too can cross the finish line with your speech and get a raving review. Just don’t stop, keep on going, even if you are scared, even if it doesn’t feel comfortable, change your language and you will win the race!
Arvee Robinson is a Persuasive Speaking Coach, Master Speaker Trainer, International Speaker, and Author. She teaches business owners, service professionals, and entrepreneurs how to use public speaking as a marketing strategy so they can attract more clients, generate unlimited leads and grow their businesses, effortlessly. She teaches a proven system for delivering persuasive presentations, and easy to use formulas for creating a killer elevator pitch and a magnetic self-introduction. Arvee has helped hundreds of individuals to win clients and close more sales every time they speak. She offers private coaching, workshops, and weekly teleclasses. Her programs make people money for the rest of their lives. For more information, visit www.instantprospeaker.com.