Public Speaking Lesson from the Tennis Court

In his book Mental Tennis, Vic Braden gives a wonderful lesson in how to improve in tennis that I think about often in regard to presentation skills.

When it comes to improvement, most players start thinking in terms of thousands of changes, and of course the whole idea becomes overwhelming. But in fact, frequently all you have to do is solve one or two problems and you become a whole new tennis player. Think about that: if you straighten out one single stroke you can improve your game enormously. 

The same is true with public speaking. By solving just one or two challenges, you can dramatically improve your ability as a public speaker.  Maybe you need to speak with more energy. If that’s the case, then work on speaking with passion for a month. Maybe you need to have more focus to your messages. If so, then never give a message without making sure that you have three clear messages.  If you need to tell more stories, then work on getting good stories for your presentations.

Pick one part of your speaking “game” and work on it. Once you fix it, then pick another. Before you know it, you’ll dramatically improve your ability to connect with listeners.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email