The main point of this article is to gently remind you that doing something frequently does not mean you are doing it well. The phrase, “practice makes perfect” is commonly repeated throughout classrooms, sporting clubs, and recreation facilities, reminding us that if we practice something enough times, we will become successful at it. And although there is truth to the phenomenon of practice, it is important to remember if we are not practice something correctly, we are probably not going to achieve the results we want.
But, I Do It All The Time!
Communication is one of “those things” that just seems to happen. Like breathing and seeing, we can talk and hear without putting much, or any, effort into it. But, this is where we make an important differentiation. Speaking and listening are very active processes. They do not just “happen.” Hearing and talking are physiological processes. We do them without thinking. They just seem to happen.
But, that is also why we have so many instances of miscommunication. We hear, but we do not listen. We talk, but we do not speak. In fact, because we just ‘do’ these things, we are never really taught how to actively communicate. WE are taught to read and write, but never taught to listen and speak. And perhaps because we are never actively taught these behaviors, we think that because we engage in it, we do it well.
Communication is based on Speaking and Listening – Active Processes that Require Work
Speaking is the same way. Talking are words that just tumble out of our mouths. They are often the socially correct, or completely unfiltered, ideas that come out of our mouths. Speaking, however, is the active process of putting together messages with intention, value, and meaning – the active process of where we attempt to create shared meaning with the person we hope is listening to our message.
Listening is an active process of taking in sounds, classifying it, giving it meaning and interpreting. Hearing is just what we do when there are car horns honking or a bird chirping in the background. Listening requires us to stop, process, and interpret. Add meaning to what we interpret and ask for feedback to clarify what we interpreted is accurate and correct. This is the process of communication. Taking in messages, analyzing them, seeking feedback.
Becoming An Excellent Speaker Requires Practice
The most grounding lesson I can share with aspiring speakers, whether your goal is to live stream on your social media sites or want to become the next John Maxwell in the world of motivational speaking, practice is the only path to success. And not just any practice, but a practice that includes feedback, self-assessment, skill-building, and a willingness to work.
Even the most charismatic people need to learn the tenets of good speaking practice before they can hone their art of engagement. Although speaking from the heart does count, it is more effective when the science of speaking is applied and practiced.
I get people weekly who reach out to the Wordwell Group wondering why their content, either spoken or written, is not garnering the results they desire. The response is simple. They need practice. And not just any practice, but ‘perfect’ practice with the assistance of someone who can help them elevate their speaking and writing.
And let’s be honest. If you do something regularly and you are not doing it well, you are confirming bad habits. As a communicator, that means you are creating content that is not meeting your goals – which means you are not meeting your goals. And just doing something to say you are doing it is an expensive way to market. Doing something that requires an investment in time and branding means you need to allocate resources to ensure you are doing it well.
Elevate Your Speaking With the Wordwell Group
Now is the best time to schedule your free consultation with the Wordwell Group. Finding your voice online, whether it is on paper or through video can be a challenge. In fact, finding your voice in front of any audience can be a challenge. The team at the Wordwell Group has worked in the space of speaking and audience engagement for nearly 20 years. They have the knowledge, experience, and skills to help you overcome your speaking obstacles and elevate your brand.
Schedule your Strategy Session and begin your journey to Wordwell.