One of the single most valuable skills in this world is the ability to speak publically. It’s the number one fear for most Americans. If you can speak comfortably and articulate an argument during your speech you have a skill that the vast majority of people can’t even imagine having.
I only recently started to get better at it. I’m still not at all impressive but I’m definitely getting to the point of where I feel comfortable in front of an audience as long as I have done the proper preparation. Today I witnessed something rather incredible.
A dear friend of mine gives talks and presentations fairly often. He is a master. He can present a lively, electric, and engaging talk without any preparation at all. Just this morning we were talking when all of a sudden he realized he had a speech to give via Google Hangout to a group of 50 people in Europe!
He didn’t know what his speech was on, all he knew was that it was supposed to begin in ten minutes. Anyone else would be mortified. But he jumped into action immediately. He gave an elegant and exciting speech in 40 minutes. That ability is nearly priceless.
Being able to do that is valuable in every aspect of life. Being ready to perform with no preparation or notice and kicking ass. That’s rare. If you can do it, it’s an incredibly marketable skill. If you can’t, get better. Less than a month ago I was terrified of the possibility of speaking in front of even 10 people. The learning curve is very steep. Do it once, it’ll probably suck. Do it twice, it might be bearable. The third time was when I really started to feel the difference. When that happens, your personal stock soars straight up and I’ll be honest, it feels damn good.