Getting Better Is Uncomfortable

Many clients come to me because they want to be great public speakers. Typically, they are people who are already really good, and they’d like to get to the next level: the “wow, they’re terrific” level, the “get paid to give keynotes” level.

I love working with people like this because they’re motivated, and they’re already good, so we can really dig into the small things that will make them more effective. Every now and then, though, a client wants to be great, but they seem to want to get there without discomfort.

I might say, “You’re more powerful when you stand still,” and they respond, “Oh, it feels good to me to move around.” 

I suggest, “Let’s pause right here to let your point sink in,” and they say, “Don’t you think it’s better when I keep going?”

I offer, “The word you’re emphasizing here changes your message,” and they say, “No, it doesn’t.”

I’m not always right, and I readily admit that many aspects of effective public speaking are subjective. But when a client consistently rejects suggestions that make them uncomfortable, I begin to doubt if they really want to get to the next level. 

The plain fact is that “getting to the next level,” in anything, means leaving behind some of the ways of doing things that we liked, that made us feel secure, that were our safe zone. 

It may feel better to do it the old way, but the old way wasn’t achieving the outcome.

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