Have you ever had a situation that wasn’t so great and then it changed and you looked back, and asked yourself the question, “at what point did things change for me?”

in 1997 I had my back operated on. I had had excruciating sciatic pain down my right leg and I could no longer raise my toes. I was advised to do it and was told that there was a good chance of success. There was also a chance it might fail. I asked myself what would happen if I became paralyzed and ended up a wheel chair for the rest of my life?

It was a risk and I took it. Luckily it went well, and 20 years later, I am doing…okay.

You see, I still get back pain. I just had another bout of it and I have been in stabbing pain for two days until seeing my chiropractor yesterday. I sit gingerly as I type.

I have been pretty good – much of the time – at doing the right things; like morning exercises, watching my posture and doing Pilates. But still my back went into agonising spasm and I retreated to bed. It’s disheartening.

But I am now realising that up to now I have not been asking myself an important question: “what can I do differently?” I am bored with these episodes; I can blame my circumstances and my past, but it doesn’t help. There is an impact on many levels.

I now need to take it to another level and luckily, the answer came to me yesterday. I asked my chiropractor if he thought Pilates was a good idea. He simple said, “I don’t know. It might or might not be, but I suggest you go see a bio-kineticist and they will determine what exercises you need to do and what is good and not good for you.”

Bingo. I realised that whilst Pilates gets a lot of good press, it might not be the right thing for me, right now.

It makes sense. It’s time for a change; time to do something differently. I have just scheduled an appointment with bio-kineticist.

Change can be painful, but if we want to produce the results we really want, I think we need to do two things: 1. get clear and focused on just one or two things and, 2. get fiercely committed to doing our work to achieve the goals that are important to us.

What do you need to change? What do you convince yourself is working, but in all honesty, isn’t?

For many, public speaking is like that. We go on and on and thinking things will change and that we’ll one day just ‘get it right.’ We figure that if we can speak with relative confidence, that’s enough. Think for a moment about the last talk you gave. Do you think you gave it your best and had the most impact possible? Do you think about your audience and ask:

  1. Did you plan to educate inform or entertain them? Work out which it’s going to be.
  2. Did you include stories? Start by looking in your own life. People are really interested in you and your stories.
  3. Did you motivate them to take action? How would you know? How about a feedback form, or getting them to do something?
  4. Did you achieve the result you really wanted? How do you know if you did or not? Did you have a plan? If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.
  5. Did you repeat the main point at least 3 times (repetition is the mother of learning) It sounds simple, but try it out. We forget most of what we hear, but hook into repetition, story-telling and emotion.
  6. Did you touch move and inspire your audience? Did you have a measure for this?
  7. Did you cause your audience to laugh heartily? Did they shed a tear? Did you hear them? See them?

If you’re someone who resonated with the above questions, why not book me to speak, attend my Courageous Public Speaking Course or do some speaker coaching by clicking here?

All the best,