There’s a reason for practice. During my sabbatical I wasn’t accepting new speeches, but of course honored the ones that had been already booked. And I discovered that speaking is like anything else: If you don’t practice, your skills slip.
The last speech I did was a Risky Is the New Safe keynote at the C-Suite conference presented by Jeffrey Hayzlett. Nice event, nice crowd, I got a nice response. But the next day, I told Jeffrey I couldn’t accept my check.
I was pretty sure the evaluations would come in good and no one seemed unhappy. But I was unhappy. Because I knew the speech wasn’t even close to the level I’m capable of delivering. Because I was out of practice.
We sometimes think practice is just for sports, but it’s for everything. And if you’re truly a professional at something, you get in your practice. You never really win the match in the match. You win the match by the practice you do leading up to it.
So what do you need to practice today?