Many of my clients come to me with doubts about their speaking abilities and lack of confidence in their possibilities for improvement. They see themselves where they are, with little experience and little practice, and can't imagine themselves on the other side of the rainbow, standing on stage in front of 500 people, receiving a standing ovation.
They're envisioning this long, painful journey from point A to point Z, and all the hard work in between. And yes, becoming an established speaker with a reputation for excellence does take time and work, I'm not going to lie.
However, you only have to have one successful presentation to put you on the path to greatness. What do I mean by "successful?" I mean this: After your presentation, you find yourself having these three revelations:
1. "I did it."
2. "I enjoyed doing it."
3. "I want to do it again."
This is success! And this is a huge turning point for my clients. You don't have to have 100% perfect presentations, you don't have to have standing ovations (believe me, it's not that common among us regular folks), but if you can accomplish these three things, you are going somewhere. You are now at point B, and that's the best place to be if you want to grow as a speaker.
What's point Z, anyway? There's no such thing. No speaker ever reaches perfection, nor does she want to. But each step along the way, we learn, we grow, we improve. Then we learn more and grow more and improve more.
Start with getting from point A to point B. Start with finding your own enjoyment of reaching out and connecting to your audience. And you'll be on your way!