So, you want to deliver a great speeches?
You want to do an awesome presentation and impress your colleagues and boss?
If you want to succeed, and succeed fast, you must follow this one simple rule:
Don’t be afraid to fail. And fail often.
Failing often is a surefire way to succeed at speaking. The more you make mistakes, the better you’ll get.
You see, no matter how much you plan, your speech will never go quite as you expect. When you fail you have a choice: you can try again or you can give up.
If you look at the people you know who keep trying, even after they’ve failed at something, you’ll notice a trend: they eventually succeed. If you look at the people you know who give up after they hit their first wall, you’ll also notice a trend: they tend to have few or no successes.
Persistence pays off.
Take, for example, standup comics. When you watch an HBO special you are watching the results of months, perhaps years, of testing, failure, and refinement. The comic makes it look effortless, but they had to fail big to get where they are.
The reason most people are terrible public speakers is they give up. They fail once and fear ever trying again. Worse still, some don’t even try the first time.
When I first started out public speaking I lost count of the number of times I failed. But each time I failed I just adjusted course a little and tried again. I took what had worked and discarded what hadn’t. As a result I succeeded.
Imagine the guy who is perennially single. He goes to a bar with his friends, he sees a girl he likes across the way, and he goes over to talk to her. She blows him off so he approaches no more women that evening. The following evening a similar thing happens. Eventually he assumes he is a doomed to failure and stops approaching.
Fall down seven times, get up eight.
Whatever you are trying to do: deliver a presentation, prepare for a TED talk, start a business, build a new career, meet a new girlfriend/boyfriend; you must keep going when you fail. See the failure as a learning experience and adjust course slightly.
Don’t stop moving forward. You can and will succeed.