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VIEWPOINT: CHOOSE EXTRAORDINARY Habits of inspiring speakers

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It is said that hard work and discipline lead to self-mastery. In this article, I share those habits that have shaped me into the speaker I am today.

  • Habit 1: Never turn down stage time!  Regardless, if you are presenting to two or 200 people, every audience is there to shape and groom you. If you are saying no to stage time, you are saying no to growth.
  • Habit 2: Crave feedback. Be open to suggestions and embrace feedback after your talk. Remember that you will never be able to please 100% of your audience – so do not try to. However, if the majority of the feedback is similar, then take note of those comments. Listen to your mentors and do not question them – follow their advice.
  • Habit 3: Video record yourself. You will not know what your audience is seeing on stage until you see it for yourself. You do not need to get any fancy video-recording equipment – your mobile recording devices will serve the purpose. Review your video 2–3 days after your presentation – this gives you time to be rational and objective.
  • Habit 4: Focus on your message. As a speaker you have a unique set of experiences, knowledge, skills and expertise. Focus on delivering your uniqueness.
  • Habit 5: Be confi-ble! There is a fine line between being confident and being humble. You need to ask yourself if you have the attitude of a student or an MBA graduate. A student will work the system, stay curious, ask questions and become proficient. An MBA graduate will want to change the system. Being a qualified professional does not automatically make you a professional speaker. Humble yourself to make mistakes and learn from others.
  • Habit 6: Compete against yourself! Compare your most recent presentation against your prior best attempt and not against others who might be more experienced than you are.
  • Habit 7: All experiences are good! There is no such thing as a bad presentation. All types of stage-time and feedback present a further opportunity to learn and grow.

Author: Dineshrie Pillay CA(SA) is a business owner and public speaker trainer