At first blush, you can probably answer this question pretty easily. Or at least be close. You might just relate it to your own children, and think, “Oh, I must have been two or three”.
Ok, my bad. Let me re-phrase that question. I didn’t mean when you could speak words, or full sentences. I meant, speaking in public. Ahhhhh. The great fear.
I would hazard a guess that, for most of you, you would be unable to answer that question. Sure, you might be able to hold your own in a one-on-one conversation, although I know some individuals who are challenged at that, as well. However, how would you rate yourself when speaking in front of a group? Or at an office meeting? Compare yourself to the Tony Robbinses and the Steven Coveys of the world. Still rate yourself pretty high?
Ok, maybe that’s not fair. Maybe it’s not fair to compare ourselves to these “Professional” Speakers. Then again, how may baseball teams have entered Spring Training thinking they had no shot at winning the World Series? How many of the Airzona Cardinals a few years back TRULY believed they would be within 30 seconds of a Super Bowl Championship when they broke camp?
There are resources that are out there, but we need to make time to tackle them. Whatever industry you are in (I know this is mostly Real Estate, but others are represented here, too), you are always in a business to sell yourself. Every word you say, every action you take represents who you are as a service provider. If you cannot speak comfortably and confidently about who you are and what you do, your prospective clients will not have confidence in you, and then your commission does not matter. Further, how you COME ACROSS when you communicate can contradict every message and every bit of experience you can present when you go to get that piece of business, or when you are speaking to that group that you want to impress.
If you haven’t “learned to speak” yet, you really should invest the time. Not doing so wastes most of those presentations, chamber mixers, and other public events that you struggle to and spend good money to attend. Then, “you are only as good as your sign”. Whether you seek out a local Toastmasters Club, or whether you find somebody to give you private coaching, it will be time, effort and resources well spent. A good speaking coach can have a world of impact on you, your presentation skills, and, ultimately, your business.