Baseball and public speaking

Baseball is America’s sport. Organized baseball from tee-ball and little league to the majors has enthralled players and audiences alike for so long that we’ve even created casual games to play on-the-side just so that we can get more of them and play them longer in our lives. Wiffle ball and kickball at the family picnic come to mind.

With all the fun and accomplishment baseball has to offer, there are still many people that simply despise the sport of baseball and wonder why anyone would want to stand around on a field for a few hours waiting for a little ball to be hit to them. “Where could the fun in that possibly be?” you’ve probably heard someone say to you regarding the sport.

Only once we start playing baseball do we begin to fully appreciate its power, enjoyment, challenges, rewards and opportunity.

The same goes for public speaking. More people in the world fear getting in front of even a small group of people and saying something intelligent than they fear death or getting cancer! Those that never speak in public look at others that do and think we’re simply crazy for getting on the stage.

As we near the end of the regular baseball season and enter the playoffs, the thought occurred to me that speaking and baseball have a lot in common. So, I thought I would come up with some ways that might be true in hopes of inspiring those who do not speak, to start getting interested in speaking.

On this blog, of course, are many cases for why you should be interested in developing your public speaking skills, but this series is more focused on specific likenesses of speaking to baseball.

For those that do speak through management, sales presentations at work, or as a professional speaking business, my hope is that you will see how important it is to continue evolving your skills, no matter what level you feel your speaking competence might be.

If you are brand new to speaking or have been wondering if you will ever have the opportunity in your life to conquer the ongoing fear of public speaking that has held you back from job promotions, relationships, and other opportunities, my hope is that you will see some likenesses within yourself and these descriptions so that you will realize you are not alone in your fears. And, that there is a fast and proven method to overcome those fears.

With those goals in mind, here is a series of short blog posts to describeare some ways I feel speaking is just like baseball.

So, how exactly is baseball like public speaking?
Photo of embarrassed speaker

When you’re just starting, all you want to do is not embarrass yourself

Could you imagine if you were watching a major league baseball game at Coors Field here in Denver and all of a sudden you were picked randomly from the audience to play 3rd base? If you’re like me, you would turn down the invitation. Why? To avoid embarrassment on national television of course! The place to begin playing baseball is in a safe and supportive environment like little league.

The same thing applies to speaking. When we stand in front of a group for the first time, it’s not death we fear. It’s embarrassment. We don’t want people to laugh at us, right? Could you even imagine having no experience with public speaking and then all of a sudden your boss at work asks you to say a few words at the upcoming Christmas party to the 200 or so employees and their spouses that would be present? How scary that would be!

No, the right approach for someone new to speaking is to start by learning the correct methods and best practices in a safe and supportive environment where you will be inspired to improve rather than embarrassed.

Toastmasters offers that safe and supportive environment as you progress through a proven program of speech assignments that have helped millions since 1926. Colorado alone has more than 100 clubs to choose from. So, find a good club in your area and visit to get the feel of how the club operates and if the meeting time and day aligns with your schedule. You are always welcome to visit us at the George Sutton Toastmasters club in Aurora. Just let us know you’re coming so we can properly greet you at the door.

To #2 of Series How Speaking is Like Baseball: Natural Talent Helps but Anyone Can Learn >>