Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sharpen Your Pencil

Greetings Happy People,

If you want to write well, sharpen your pencil.

Why I am starting this post off with this sentence? In order to become better at what you do, you must “sharpen your pencil.” It does not matter if it involves dancing, singing, playing chess, or writing posts on a blog. The more you do things, the better you will become. Not too many people can get things right on the first try. It takes lots of attempts and efforts to become a pro.

I am a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). In Toastmasters, that means that I completed the highest levels on both Communication and Leadership tracks. Of all the millions that went through this organization, only a small percentage is able to complete this highly honored level. I have been a DTM for three and a half years, and yet I manage to keep my edge when it comes to giving presentations.

How can this happen? It happens by constantly “sharpening my pencil.” Just because I have reached the highest level in this organization does not mean that I have to stop doing whatever I have to do. If I were to rest and do nothing, my abilities will dwindle. Imagine if Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan were to stop practicing after winning all of those basketball championships. Chances are that their skills will get weaker. These guys “sharpened their pencils.”

How do I sharpen my pencil when it comes to giving presentations? In the words of 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking Darren LaCroix, all I can do is the following six words “Stage time, stage time, stage time.” This means that when the opportunity exist, never turn down a chance for stage time. Why? Because you can only get better by each opportunity that is taken. Sometimes I hit, other times I miss. Nevertheless, I take advantage of using stage time.

For example, I just did a presentation with my 7th beginner’s manual (also known as a Competent Communication manual). From ice breaker to vocal variety, to visual aids, this manual covers the basics of public speaking. When I do more projects from this manual, I will be better at my public speaking. When I do this, I am “sharpening my pencil.”

If you have something you want to do in life, remember that it can not be done in one shot. One must learn to get better by “sharpening the pencil.” It is the best way that anyone can become a pro in whatever one does. It may take plenty of time and effort to get this done, but it will be rewarding in the long run. Just keep sharpening your pencils Happy People!! You will be a pro sooner than you think!!

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention!!


Jesse I-I-I

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