When I was in primary school I knew that I was going to enjoy public speaking. Debating was my first love though my attention shifted towards public speaking and training. Right now I’m involved with three Toastmasters Clubs here in Shanghai – to me, it still offers the best value speaking training in the world today. Yet I am still staggered at how people who call themselves leaders can possess such embarrassing communication skills.
Speaking to a group in a way that is impactful, interesting or informative may take skill…
It may take practice…
Doing it well might even take some talent.
… but it’s just not that difficult!!!
Communication skills aren’t just a “Status Skill“: They’re a life skill. This is one of those things upon which the very quality of your life depends… it’s not like being able to roll a sushi or sail a yacht or play the grand piano in the foyer of a fancy hotel – although all those are cool – but rather one of the most pervasive and impactful domains of skill development that exist.
The very quality of your life comes down to the quality of your communication skills… with others, but also with yourself.
When I was a kid, I was skinny and weak. Now, I could have transcended my personal insecurities and come to accept myself exactly as I was (all that $#!t) – or I could just learn how to fight. So I got a black belt in the form of karate that wikipedia refers to as “simplified street fighting” or something (and yes, I still wear my gold Bushido Cross).
When I started a company, I didn’t think I knew what I was doing. And I was right. Now, I could have struggled and fought my self-doubts and denied or faced my fears until I finally proved to the world that I did know what I was doing. Or I could just get an MBA.
You can deny or ignore the cause of your insecurities and fears if you like… but sooner or later I find that I have to either get the sheet of paper that will tell me that now I “can”, or I need to do the thing that proves that I “can”.
It’s no better than transcending your fears… it’s just another option 🙂
Oh… and I love Shanghai’s snow…