How Writing Will Make You a Better Speaker

How Writing Will Make You a Better Speaker

Have you ever noticed you're good at something you shouldn't be good at?

Over the past couple years, I've noticed marked improvement in one aspect of my life due to activity in another. I'm curious to see if I'm the only one.

Has getting good at one thing made you better at another?

How Writing Made Me a Better Speaker wide

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When I was in high school I had the opportunity and honor to join our school's theater team. We traveled all over the great state of Texas competing, practicing and honing our craft.

I wasn't all that great but I learned a ton.

While my experience in theater happened over ten years ago, I know acting and performing then helped me be a better speaker and coach today.

That's a pretty easy connection to make. Acting in plays in high school helped me become a better public speaker today. But not everyone had the chance to do theater in high school.

What can we do today to help us improve our speaking skills now?

I have a solution, but it will take time and dedication if you want to see results.

Are you ready?

Here it is, my best tip for becoming a better speaker…

Start writing!

Say what?! How can writing help me become a better speaker?

I'm glad you asked.

Two years ago I started writing here on my blog. If you're curious (not that you should be), you can sift through my archives going back to January of 2012.

When I first started writing, my ideas were good, but, I tried to… I don't know, make something different out of them. I tried to take my idea and grow it into a thousand words.

But over the past two years of writing, I've learned how to focus my ideas and shape my thoughts.

Two years of blogging has helped me shape my message into something that's interesting and easily digestible.

Since the middle of February I've been attending meetings of a local Toastmasters group. I want to increase my speaking skills so that when I'm in front of teams, or on my podcast, or even coaching my clients, I'm able to better articulate what I want to say.

I've been speaking almost every Tuesday since, working on my skills.

While speaking as often as you can is one of the best things you can do to get better, I've noticed I'm able to talk in front of strangers much easier than some of my fellow Toastmasters.

I began to wonder why speaking was coming more naturally to me so I started thinking about it and this is what I've discovered.

Writing has made me better at speaking.

I'm not an expert at speaking but I do know this –

If you want to improve your speaking, it helps to improve your writing.

Writing has helped me shape my thoughts into stories. It has taught me what people find most interesting and what really grabs their attention.

For example, writing, like speaking, must have a flow to it; it has to make sense.

When we read a book or blog post, as well as when we listen to someone talking, we like to pull out little nuggets of information that we can use later. Things like quotes and anecdotes are easily remembered and shared.

Some of the most popular articles on the internet have titles like 7 Types of People Successful People Avoid and 49 Things to Do Before the End of the Year. We like to read and listen to things that provide specific, actionable information.

If you have the aspiration of being a public speaker, or if you simply want to get more comfortable in front of groups, I highly suggest starting a blog and start writing out your thoughts and sharing your adventures.

If you're worried about the technology and getting going, I can show you, point you in the right direction, or set it up for you.

Don't let the fears of today hold you back from achieving tomorrow.

Surely you've had a similar experience. I know you've developed skill in one area because of cross training in another.

I have no doubt you're an expert in something, even if we have to dig to find it.

Do you already write a blog? Have you already started writing your life story? Share a link in the comments below; I'd love to take a look!

 

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  • Ellory – I think you are right on the money with this one. Writing provide opportunity to reflect and refine a message, that in turn provide a mental “script” or at least a guideline to reference when we speak. Intersting that we both attribute acting/drama experience to helping our speaking careers : ) After a year of blogging on JonDHarrison.com I honed my craft and laid out the ground work for my next step – http://ClassicallyTrained.net – Life & Leadership Lessons from Classic Video Games. Yes, Leadership, Productivity, and Video Games. : )

    • Thanks Jon! I almost wanted to focus on the the cross-training aspect of this topic.

      In so many ways, putting your thoughts on paper, or onto the screen, is significantly harder than talking or thinking. That’s probably why so few people, comparatively speaking, do it.

      But the benefits are many. Thanks for your writing! Keep up the good work and let’s chat about Mass Effect someday =)

  • Ellory – I think you are right on the money with this one. Writing provide opportunity to reflect and refine a message, that in turn provide a mental “script” or at least a guideline to reference when we speak. Intersting that we both attribute acting/drama experience to helping our speaking careers : ) After a year of blogging on JonDHarrison.com I honed my craft and laid out the ground work for my next step – http://ClassicallyTrained.net – Life & Leadership Lessons from Classic Video Games. Yes, Leadership, Productivity, and Video Games. : )

    • Thanks Jon! I almost wanted to focus on the the cross-training aspect of this topic.

      In so many ways, putting your thoughts on paper, or onto the screen, is significantly harder than talking or thinking. That’s probably why so few people, comparatively speaking, do it.

      But the benefits are many. Thanks for your writing! Keep up the good work and let’s chat about Mass Effect someday =)

  • Hey Ellory, stumbled on your article while I was pondering the same question. Since I started writing for my blog regularly, I can feel that my speaking skills have also been on an upward trajectory. I guess it’s because thought, speech, and eventual writing all come from the same place within us. So working with one improves the other right? I like your stuff and I would really appreciate it if you took a look at my blog and could pass me any tips you have.

    ->> http://circatodo.com

    Thanks buddy

    • Hi Brian! Thanks for reading and commenting. I’d say “yes,” one does improve the other – especially when you start using tools like Grammarly or the Hemingway App and you’re constantly and instantly reminded of what you typed wrong.

      I took a look at your site. It’s a great start. You’ve got an opt-in, an about page, and some other great elements.

      One thing I’d HIGHLY recommend is that you enroll in my free 30 Blog Transformation email course – http://www.ellorywells.com/30days and join the FB community. The free lessons will really help you out.

      One more tip. Change your header to something “college-y” instead of the farm. That should help tie things together and show people more about what your site is about.

      Good luck!

      Ellory

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