I would like to lose ten pounds. In fact, I would like my body to look the way it did in my early 30s. But here's the problem: I'm not willing to do the work. Sure, I work out, but back then I was at the gym six days a week, lifting heavy weights and doing cardio. Six days a week.
And I eat pretty well (at least I have a healthy vegetarian diet going for me), but also eat too many sweets and drink too much wine (well, that's what my triglycerides are telling me). If I really want my body to be the way it was at my peak of fitness, I need to do the work.
I read magazine articles and books about healthy eating and exercise. And I know all that. I'm an expert on what works for my own body. But I don't want to make the effort. I don't discipline myself. So I stay the way I am.
I know you hope your presentations will magically improve without the work. I know you hope that, by reading articles and books and watching good speakers on TED, you will become a more effective and engaging speaker by osmosis. I know you know you could be doing better.
But better requires work. There's just no way around it.
~ It requires first learning what makes an effective presentation (including proper use of PowerPoint) -- and if you're reading this blog, you're on the right track -- and then using and practicing those tools and techniques.
~ It requires preparing way more than you're preparing now.
~ It requires changing your attitude about public speaking.
~ It requires getting feedback from legitimate sources, not people who are afraid to hurt your feelings.
~ And it requires accepting every speaking engagement that comes your way and making opportunities when they're not coming your way.
But you don't want to do the work. I hear you. Believe me, I get it.
I don't want to be a big bummer. The Internet is full of people who tell you how to "lose ten pounds in a week" and "make millions of dollars while you sleep." I'm not one of those people. Losing ten pounds in a week is a temporary condition caused by diuretics. Making money while you sleep? Yep, that still takes a lot of work. While you're awake.
So, here I go again:
Your presentations won't change if you don't make the effort. Your PowerPoint will still be riddled with tiny text and too many bullets. Your content will be unfocused or boring, or mediocre. Your delivery will be disconnected or stiff or monotone, or just unmemorable.
And my body is going to stay the same, flabby, with this ten extra pounds. Unless we stop fantasizing and start DOING.
We can do it. We can even make it fun!
Who's with me?