Last week, I was on LinkedIn and came across a post from a friend of mine who does promotional marketing. Her post shared a video about how fragile or round items are imprinted with logos, etc. Was this knowledge high on my need-to-know list? No. But I watched her video anyway, and as I watched it, I realized how full life is of things I’ve never thought about… or would ever think about… if someone hadn’t presented me with the opportunity.
Scientists are the first to remind us that doing something “different” is one of the keys to a healthy brain… things like learning a new skill, a new language, trying out a new recipe, listening to a speaker 😊, etc. This is the link to an article that talks about eight ways to keep your brain healthy—including one that involves one of my favorites, dark chocolate!
We’re all subject matter experts of one sort of another, and part of what we do involves sharing most of the same information every time we speak. Even our own area of expertise can get boring if we stop learning, growing, and stepping outside our comfort zone. Sure, we make adjustments for specific audiences, but it’s still basically the same material. And, if we don’t want to become one of those people whose presentations start losing their “ZING,” it’s up to us to take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen.
Explore the “cutting edge” of your topic. Pay attention to what’s going on in your field of expertise. How are your fellow experts pushing past limits, making new connections, suggesting new possibilities, and developing new perspectives, strategies, and technologies? In the process of paying attention to what’s going on within your topic, you’re likely to get a “ZING” of inspiration to update your own talks so they include the latest and greatest of new ideas, information, etc., that are relevant to your audiences.
Make your growth as a speaker one of your priorities. Remember, the more skilled and confident you are as a speaker, the more people you’re going to be able to get your problem-solving expertise in front of. The cool thing about growing as a speaker is that there are so many options, starting with the obvious:
- Give yourself permission to enjoy other people’s speaker success. Accept it as evidence—if they can do it… you can do it. So go to YouTube, watch successful speakers do what they do, rinse and repeat!
- Pay attention to the speakers at the events you attend. Do you like how they are engaging and interacting with their audiences? Are they following the “rules” or breaking them? Either way, it’s a learning experience.
- Read a few articles or a book or two about public speaking.
- Take a public speaking class, work with a coach, join Toastmasters and/or the National Speakers Association.
How great is it that when we exercise our speaker brain, we expand our subject matter expertise and grow our speaker skills at the same time. Better than that, we’re helping our audiences (which are full of our future clients/customers) exercise their brains when we share our newly refreshed and engaging content with them. The better job we do as speakers, the more brain exercise we all get. Clearly, this is another speaker win-win for everyone!