Wise men learn by other men’s mistakes, fools by their own.
I gave a talk on learning and progressing as a public speaker recently, when I was asked by a participant, “how exactly can we model and learn specific skills from observing other, better speakers”.
Earlier, I had spoke about shortcutting one’s route to success, by observing the best, and incorporating the best practices into’s one’s arsenal of skills.
This is was one of the personal strategies that helped catapult my progress within a relatively short span of time, and it’s a very powerful and efficient strategy, especially in an era when resources and case studies are made easily available with the internet and Youtube.
So how exactly can one learn and model after others?
The following is a simple five-step process which I’ve used to great effect, and I hope it works well for you too:
1. Identify and Isolate the speaking styles, techniques and strategies used by other, proficient speakers.
2. Incorporate those speaking styles and strategies into your own speeches.
3. Experiment and Evaluate the effectiveness of those tools and strategies after each speech.
4. Identify and Isolate what worked, and what didn’t in relation to your speech topic and audience.
5. Reflect, Revise and Refine the strategies for application again in future.
So don’t switch off the next time you encounter a dreary speech, or be lost in thought and awe when mesmerized by a fabulous speaker! Whip out your notebook, and start jotting down notes!
Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him.
~Aldous Leonard Huxley, Texts and Pretexts, 1932
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