On why you will never become an overnight speaker…

downloadI worked half my life to be an overnight success, and still it took me by surprise.,.Jessica Savitch

One press account said I was an overnight success. I thought that was the longest night I’ve ever spent.,Sandra Cisneros

A lot of people think I was an overnight success, but I was an opening act for three or four years, and then I signed my contract with EMI. Then it kind of blew up overnight, Vanilla Ice

I googled ‘overnight success’ and came up with these three quotes…there were hundreds more on the same lines.

Being an overnight success at anything is a falsehood, a common misbelief, a slippery slope…As in acting, business or music, overnight success in speaking in public doesn’t exist either. When you watch and listen to someone present exceptionally well it is the results of hours of work and practice – years sometimes to get their ideas clear and compelling. Days and months to get the delivery right. Time spent in reviewing presentations so that every presentation becomes a practice session where you work out what works, what doesn’t, how you can improve. A constant practice of being aware of what words to use, the timing and emphasis, the clearing away of clutter and the focus on what really matters. I read recently that TED talkers practice up to 2o0 hours before they take the stage.  Yes, there will always be exceptions but great speeches are crafted and great speakers get out there and speak..through practice and at the coal face.

This week I had the pleasure of hearing some wonderful feedback about a presentation a client of mine had delivered.  This client has been attending my SpeakUp!Club for over a year now and she believes it is the constant practice with feedback that has meant she has absorbed so many presentation skills.  For the first time she didn’t feel nervous and for the first time she knew she was in control – not just of the material but of the audience as well.

To be able to present you need to present.  A lot. The Beatles played in many a gloomy night club honing their craft before they delighted millions with their ‘voice’. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs spent many a night hunched up over a computer working out code before they transformed the world with their respective systems.  Look out for opportunities to hone your craft, work out your message.  Find your voice.

And enjoy the ‘overnight success’


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