“The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.” Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist, novelist & poet (1854-1900)
Irish people are generally regarded as good storytellers; we often tell ourselves that we have the gift of the gab.
I believe we publish and sell more short stories in Ireland than anywhere else in the world; lots of our famous novelists are also great short story writers.
This natural ability to tell stories doesn’t often lead to us being good confident public speakers however.
I believe that the reason we are lacking in confidence in this area is the fact that generally during our school days the teachers focused on what was wrong, rather than what was right. Perhaps our parents were guilty of the same trait, because that’s the way they were educated.
E.g. if you did ten sums and 8 were right and 2 were wrong, were you praised for having 8 right or chastised for the 2 that were wrong?
If you stop and think back to your school days, the best teacher you had and the one that stands out in your memory is the teacher who encouraged you and found the good in you. Am I right?
I often use the analogy that the difference between good coaching and bad coaching is similar to Eastern Medicine and Western Medicine.
In Western Medicine we deal with symptoms; tell your doctor you have a headache and he will give you a tablet, if we have a lump somewhere they will cut it out. Whereas I believe Chinese Doctors look at your lifestyle and diet, to find out why are you feeling unwell?
In parts of China I believe that you pay your doctor when you’re well and you stop paying him when you’re unwell. The complete reversal to how we do it in the Western world.
Referring back to my analogy, bad coaching is the same as western doctors, they deal with symptoms. Regularly I hear presentation coaches say; stand up straight, put your shoulders back, take your hands out of your pockets, make eye contact, speak up – all symptoms that the speaker isn’t comfortable or confident.
I believe a good coach should focus on giving presenters confidence, filling them full of courage – and when they do, the symptoms listed above will generally disappear and what we will see is an engaging, energetic and enthusiastic speaker.
If it is important in your business life or your social life to be the person who can be relied on to present well on big occasions, please continue to read my blogs, or enquire about Aristo’s upcoming training programmes if you wish, for more immediate results.