Why Intelligent People Pay Attention To Public Speaking Skills: They Can Make Or Break Your Personal Success!

The deceptive comfort zone!

“I created a comfort zone in my 30’s and settled there.”

He pauses and looks at me as if to confirm I am listening or that it’s safe to say what’s on his mind.

“Daktari*, that’s one mistake I have the hardest time owning up.”

*[Daktari is swahili for doctor]

Let’s call person A Sam.* He’s 64, father of 6, recently retired. I met him while he was preparing for his son’s graduation.

“I will have to speak. But I am tired of feeling terrible and inadequate about public speaking, at my age. You see, it’s the one thing that never changed… I am still as scared of speaking in public as I was in my 20s.” The dead sincerity of his words stunned me.

The illusion of ‘eventually’, ‘soon’, ‘later’

“There’s an illusion out here daktari. ‘By next year I will have gotten better’ or ‘I will get round to it, soon.’ And that’s what I hoped… but I did nothing to make that hope come true.”

This conversation is no different from many others I have heard in the last three months, especially from people in Sam’s age range. I can perceive the feeling of loss, a sense of deep regret that makes me shudder.

As if to prove my fears, Sam startles me when he says, “After 40-plus years of mediocre speaking skills, I want to work on this!”

The number rings a circuitous echo in my head, “Forty-plus years!” Oh my! I know forty but I can’t fully feel what forty years of burden would feel like.

Forty-plus years of feeling embarrassed about speaking in public, yet it’s an essential skill. In fact, in some settings, public speaking is the make-or-break ingredient….

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About The Author

Dr Job Mogire is a Research Scholar at Harvard University and the CEO of the House of Mastery. He founded the OWN YOUR STORY public speaking platform that trains individuals and corporates on how to unearth and package stories in ways that engage, influence and persuade with impact. He’s the author of several books, including Better Speaking and Bold Grasp. Info{at}hseofmastery.com | www.facebook.com/jsmogire

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