Does success and failure have any similarities? Is it possible for them to share anything in common? Success and failure are two extremes and usually considered to be opposites. However, one thing they have in common is they both start with habits!
What is a habit? A habit is a behavioral pattern which has become second nature. It develops over time and eventually becomes permanent! In every field of endeavor and aspect of life, there are habits that lead to success and habits that lead to failure. Thus, we have good habits and bad habits. The same applies to public speaking!
According to Samuel Jonathan, the secret to a man’s success can be found in his daily routine. Whenever one comes across an individual one has great admiration for, one can emulate and possibly duplicate that person’s success by finding out what that person does on a daily basis. The truth is that there is nothing special about special people. It is how they do, what they do that makes you and I refer to them as “special”. Therefore, we are first and foremost an outcome of our habits.
The are three cardinal daily habits of world-class Speakers. They are habits, which if you cultivate on a daily basis, can elevate you to presentation mastery. Remember, these are daily habits, not weekly, not bi-weekly or at-your-convenience habits.
For this edition, we are just going to introduce the first habit, Reading.
The Chinese have a fantastic proverb which says that a man cannot give what he does not have. The same applies to public speaking. You cannot use a word which you do not know. On stage, you cannot utilize a phrase which you do not know the meaning of. You cannot articulate knowledge (or insight) which you do not have. For that reason, world-class Speakers are in the daily habit of learning new words. They are in the daily habit of acquiring knowledge. They know it is important to “grow” the head so they can get ahead. They do so by reading, researching and studying. They cultivate the habit of picking up the dictionary and learning new words. When they come across an unusual word, rather than ignore it, they research it and add it to their daily usage. As their vocabulary becomes richer, the chances of saying “Ummmhhh” significantly diminishes because they have an abundance of words that can fill-in the blanks. Their vocabulary bank is so rich that there is no "bankrupt" moment to say "Ummmhhh" or unecessary vocalised pauses.
To learn more about perfecting the daily habit of reading, stay tuned for the next episode.