January 12, 2010

What's your excuse?

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I wrote a blog post a couple of years ago on how to practice your public speaking at work.

Comments included the following excuses (paraphrased):

"I gave a report once and they stole my idea."

"It's really hard to change."

"We can't have humor at our meetings because the meetings are always negative."

"I'll show new people around as long as they're willing to do what's required and not 'pass the buck.'" (Poor new person!)

"I don't have time or availability to volunteer."

"We don't have any meetings where I could speak."

Now, here are some responses with a more positive attitude:

"Just taking one step at a time no matter how little can slowly help your confidence."

"I blush a lot when I speak, but my coworkers are used to it."

"Your ideas sound very scary, but that's why I'm taking this class."

"I can see myself introducing a new person around the office."

"We don't have meetings where I could speak, but I could always join the book club."

"I'm hoping that in practice I will get to be less nervous."

There's a big difference between these two groups. The first group read seven tips and couldn't use any of them. The second group read seven tips and found the ones they were willing to try. They were open to practicing and taking the opportunities around them to improve.

Which one are you? The one who always has a million excuses why you can't do something, or the one who tries to find a way to make it work?

Your public speaking won't improve if you don't speak. That's just a plain fact. It's up to you to find the opportunities wherever they are. It's okay to take baby steps, but you have to take them, regardless of how small they are.

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