September 20, 2021

Practice Makes Perfect? Think again

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Practice Makes Perfect? Think again

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It is often said that practice is the key to attaining high levels of skills in any discipline. And while true, if spend all your time practicing without ever actually putting the skill into real situations— you won’t grow. This is particularly important when it comes to your voice. 

So today, I’m sharing with you exactly how to get results from practicing your speaking skills. 

Inside this episode you’ll learn:

  • Why practicing on your own isn’t going to cut it
  • The big challenge that happens when you’re practicing in a vacuum
  • What are the benefits of starting to speaking now even before you’re ready
  • How does one get better
  • Building the resiliency in your speaking ‘muscle’ and trusting your own voice

Episode Show Notes:

Practice alone does not make perfect

It is often said that practice is the key to attaining high levels of skills in any discipline. We hear people say that the secret is you just need to practice and then here’s what happens next…but if we’re spending all this time practicing, what does it mean?

Typically it means us thinking through it in our heads, writing out and fixing our ideas, maybe turning on and practicing with our video camera which doesn’t include us actually getting out there and speaking on stages because we still feel like we need to practice.

I’m a fan of practice and rehearsing, and true they ARE needed to get better at speaking BUT what happens is you’re practicing in a vacuum and this is the really big challenge with this. You’re off stage and you’ll stay STUCK because you’re trying it right and I bet you’re still actively learning new tips and tricks to try so you’ve got to go back on your google doc outline or script and start working it again, writing it out again…and there you stay.

Get better as you go

If you have aspirations and you want to get better at speaking or become the person of influence that you dream about, the secret for you to achieve that is you have to train for that moment. You had to start somewhere—and that couldn’t mean you staying on the sidelines.

Yes, there are structures in which how we talk and say things better (that’s what we jam out all the time inside my program Speak Up to Level Up) but at some point practicing on your own isn’t going to cut it.  Your practice or lack thereof isn’t going to get you where you want to go. So what does it mean for you? 

You got to start speaking NOW! Just say yes to the podcast opportunity… show up to Facebook Live even when no one else does and you’re speaking to an empty ‘room’… even if you feel awkward and uncomfortable because if you want to get to the level that you dream about, the only way to do so is to get in the freaking game!

Start before you’re ready

When you start speaking NOW, you start building resiliency in trusting your voice. It’s not going to be perfect anyways so you may as well just get used to the sound of your own voice, to the sound of imperfection because your audience doesn’t want this perfectly curated version of youthey want the real you plus it gives you the permission to:

  1. Screw up when the stakes are small
  2. Have a record of your improvement
  3. Make adjustments / be a literal work in progress // draft mode

How does one get better?

Whenever someone asks me, “Heather, how did you get better?”  It’s because I showed up on real stages. That was my practice and that’s the best thing that I learned in the last 20 years of speaking to groups. I was speaking in some capacity every single day. 

Was I overly prepared for every single one of them? 

Sure as heck I practiced and prepared. I always had a plan but sometimes you just have to show up and you just gotta do it.

Coming back to all of it, practice is still good but it needs to be intentional rather than this keeping you stuck. Don’t just practice by yourself. Your practice can be you showing up. In fact you can make it actionable by:

  • Picking the platform that’s best for you that you can get on consistently.

Think of what is your stage right now, where your audience is and start showing up consistently. Treat your speaking your voice on a real stage as a muscle and the only way that you can strengthen that muscle is to work it out consistently.

That can be as simple as you showing up on Instagram stories or Facebook every single day or three days a week. What’s important is you start showing up and building the resiliency muscle to say, I’m the kind of person that does lives and shows up even when you’re not feeling great or even when you don’t feel like it. 

  • Challenging yourself to get visible and start making it happen today.

Ask yourself, what is it going to take for you to finally say this is your time and you’re done making excuses trying to get everything perfect?

Let’s start today—get off the sidelines and get in the game. That is how you grow up. You can go on your stories, introduce yourself, share something insightful for your audience that will add something to their day. Maybe encourage them  that if they too have been waiting in this realm of perfection that maybe it’s all about not being perfect and just getting in progress. Take that, run with it and share however that resonates with your audience.  Know that your message is more important than you getting it right.

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