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?
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…
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.
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!