But I think it’s time to take a step back and consider how to apply this information.
If I had to guess, I’d say 15% of people who read this website actively try to apply the tips. This is due to a variety of factors, the largest of which is most likely apathy (I get it, I can be apathetic too!)
If you’re part of that 85%, I’d encourage you to re-engage and actually use these tips. Here are a few ideas of how you can do so.
- Set tangible goals for yourself. Not just “I want to get better”. My last year, I told myself I wanted to get first place speaker at least once. This helped me to actually achieve it.
- Be intentional about reading this website. I try my best not to write fluff like “be more charismatic when you speak”, because that doesn’t tell you how to get better. I write very practical and usable tips, so try to actually use them. (And please let me know in comments or by email if I’m not clear enough with anything I say).
- Write down your favorite tips and think about them when you practice speaking or attend tournaments. In between rounds are a perfect time to think about whether you’ve been following the tips and think about ideas for your next round.
- Commit to practicing speaking at least 15 minutes a day. Find an amount of time you’re comfortable with and ask your family to keep you to that pledge. Full disclosure: I didn’t do as much practice as I should have. I can’t imagine how much better I would have been if I had spent even more time practicing.
- You know that feeling in-round when you’re speaking and you keep saying the wrong word for something or stumbling over yourself trying to think of the next thing to say? This is a symptom of having too little practice. The rounds for which I was prepared, I never did this. One round at Nationals, I kept stumbling over myself and making odd word choices. It was because I was completely unprepared for the case and didn’t feel confident.
Thanks for being a part of Potent Speaking!