Let me repeat. If you want to be a successful speaker on stage, be extremely lazy! And I am not the only wacko that says so. Fred Gratzon, a successful entrepreneur who founded the Great Midwestern Ice Cream Company and a telecommunications company Telegroup that went public in 1997 proved that theory. He even wrote an ebook that convincingly argued how we can do nothing and accomplish everything!
Central to Fred’s book is his personal axiom:
“Success is inversely proportional to hard work. That means, as effort and hard work become less, success becomes more. As you move towards effortlessness, success moves towards infinity. "
In my opinion, Fred’s wacky axiom makes a lot of sense. If you want to become a very successful speaker, you may want to think twice about trudging along the “hard work" path. Not that hard work is wrong, but perhaps there is a much easier path that requires less sweat and pain. Who won’t want that? Not unless you are a masochistic weirdo that takes pride in torturing yourself. If that’s the case, I say join the army.
Looking back at how I triumphed over my fear of public speaking and evolved into a gung-ho speaker in a short span of one and a half year, I believe I may have stumbled upon The Alternate Path, a path that Fred described to be of greater ease and effortlessness.
Here’s how you can walk that path. Just five words.
SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS!
That’s right. Very simple. Very DUH! Yet how many of us are doing it? Fearing public speaking is normal. Most people have it. And there is absolutely no doubt that this fear of ours is huuuuggggggeeeee, even astronomical and VERY real. But how do we handle it? We work really hard to fight it. We read tons of books, e-books and blogs on how to FIGHT our fear. We pay eye-popping, jaw-dropping and gut-wrenching sum of hard-earned money (pun intended!), attempting to ELIMINATE our fear. And sadly for most of us, it all amounts to nothing in the end.
Today I will like to propose that you take The Alternate Path. This path doesn’t even require you to fight the fear because it is too much of a hassle and hard work. Instead, take time to find the right angle to tackle the problem. With regards to public speaking, the right angle in my opinion, refers to ways you can be successful right from the beginning. Here are some ways that worked extremely well for me.
1. Find a group of audience that loves you from the start. You can never go wrong by starting to speak in front of a group that wants you to succeed. And this group could be as small as just your little puppy or your beloved wife or even your buddies from the army! I would also strongly recommend you to join the Toastmasters! It is an organization that was set up with the sole goal of making you and me successful in public speaking. And from my experience, they have one of the best community of people you can ever be with.
2. Start by taking small steps Yes. Stop trying to speak like Abraham Lincoln or Winston Churchill. You will never be as good as them. There is a reason why they are legendary. Instead pick someone your own caliber. Say your school lecturer or your CEO! If you can be half as boring as him or her at your first speech, consider that a big success. Go out and celebrate! Always give yourself a chance to win, no matter how small the win is. It is much easier to move forward that way. And in no time, you will find yourself joining the ranks of highly competent speakers!
3. Start by focusing on your strengths. I have mentioned this one before in my earlier post. Every speaker is unique. Take time to discover your strengths. Focus on them. Say you are extremely energetic on stage. Explore how you can leverage that energy on stage. If your friends think you are funny and not lame (that’s a world of difference!), start studying how you can be funnier. It is painless if you focus on your strengths. You will also start noticing yourself improve much faster. And the praises you received from your friends will only accelerate your growth as a speaker.
As Fred indicated in this book: “The right angle … is always in the direction of greater ease and effortlessness. " Note: you are NOT avoiding the job (becoming a successful speaker). You are merely avoiding the hard work of becoming one. So if you are sick and tired of working so hard with little results, take on The Alternate Path.
Be extremely lazy!
Philadelphia Funniest Man - won the International Humor Contest at Division Level last year. Absolutely passionate about public speaking and he takes pride in writing articles that are of value to individuals who are seeking to find their voice in public speaking. You can read more about his articles at his blog: Public Speaking for All