Updated: Mar 1
In my quest to make these emails more regular, here is the kickoff email for what I hope turns into a book.
Whether I’m talking to clients or just anyone about public speaking, I always get the response, “I’m no good at this, I won’t improve.” That’s a fixed mindset. It’s a mindset that will always hold you back and prove yourself right every single time.
The next question of course is, “How do I change it and what do I change it to?”
The second part is easy, “I can get better at public speaking, I can improve.” It’s called a “growth mindset,” and one that’s backed up by research that shows that people who adopt a “growth mindset” are more likely to improve and to stick with difficult tasks longer.
But what does it take to change a mindset? You can’t just change it overnight.
One way to start at least, is to prove to yourself that you have improved at something in your life that you once thought impossible or difficult.
What was the first sport you played that you were actually good at? How long did it take you to practice to get good? How much coaching had to happen before you were regularly starting?
Did you learn an instrument when younger? What was it like the first time you blew into a trumpet or tried to play a chord on a piano? You probably didn’t sound great at first but after years of playing you’ve improved.
Maybe you’ve recently tried to cook and burned your first 10 dishes. So what? I’m guessing you stuck with it and can make some great meals now.
Public speaking is no different and it’s on you to remind yourself that it’s a skill just like anything else you learned in life. It takes a willingness to keep trying over and over again, so lots of failure, and in the end you get better at it.
For people that want to accelerate their progress, they turn to a coach. In this way, you get feedback that tells you if you’re on the right track. You also get words of encouragement when no one else around you will be telling you, “You can improve at this,” because let’s face it, the rest of the world thinks that speaking is a natural ability. It’s not and everyone reading this email knows differently.