Someone is Always Better

High school baseball pitcherMy son was a rock star pitcher in Little League. He threw a shutout in his state tournament and just toyed with batters whenever he was on the mount. Imagine his amazement when he started his first game in high school as a freshman pitcher—and the first 6 batters got hits off of his pitches! Just when you think you’ve really got game, someone comes along and shows you how much opportunity you have to improve.

One of the reasons professional speakers tend to avoid continuing their development as speakers is because they think they’ve already “got game” when they’re on stage. But, analyze any newscaster, politician, or motivational speaker, and you’ll quickly see just how much improvement they could have with just a little extra curricular practice of certain skills.

I once counted 26 uses of the word “ahhh” by president Obama during a single reply to a reporter’s question at one of their press conferences. I once timed international sales trainer Brian Tracy almost 9 minutes that he was looking at his overhead transparency writing notes instead of looking at the audience. Another popular speaker I watched spend a full 40 minutes attempting to entertain the audience with stories about vacations with his family where he should’ve been using that time to teach the audience steps that they were there to learn how to perform. The entire time, his hands were locked on the side of the lectern without a single hand gesture!

The Toastmasters program is regarded by many professional speakers as “beneath them” or for beginner speakers only. As noted in a previous post titled, 25 Beneifts of Toastmasters for Professional Speakers, it’s a shame that so many pros think of Toastmasters in that light. The professional speakers who do take the plunge and join a club are quickly humbled—often by new speakers who have just started the Toastmasters training program a few months earlier!

If you are a professional speaker or in a position at work where you already give formal presentations, do not underestimate the validity of the Toastmasters program. There are more than 100 clubs to choose from in Colorado alone. Visit a few clubs in your area and find a club that has other professional speakers and corporate presenters as members. You are always welcome to visit us at the George Sutton Toastmasters club in Aurora which has a well-rounded mix of professional speakers, corporate presenters and hobbyists. Just let us know you’re coming so we can properly greet you at the door.