Posted by: mrpeatie | August 2, 2008

Mad Skillz

It’s no secret that in order to be successful in whatever endeavor you choose to focus your time and effort on in life, you need to be constantly learning, practicing, and honing all the skills that are involved with that endeavor. There is a great quote that sums this up very well:

If you aren’t getting better at something, that can only mean you are getting worse at it.

The music was lame, but Justin and the boys had mad skillz

The music was lame, but Justin and the boys had mad skillz

I’ve used that quote a good bit at work and in Toastmasters. I’m often embarrassed to admit that the quote is from Justin Timberlake during his N’Sync days, but he couldn’t have said it any better or been more right. Justin and the boys practiced relentlessly during the height of their popularity. Say what you want about the music, but they all had mad skillz when it came to singing and dancing.

I got to thinking about all this when I came across yet another top 10 article via Digg. This one was the Top 10 Skills You Need to Succeed at Almost Anything. I was pleasantly surprised to see public speaking at number 1.

The ability to speak clearly, persuasively, and forcefully in front of an audience – whether an audience of 1 or of thousands – is one of the most important skills anyone can develop. People who are effective speakers come across as more comfortable with themselves, more confident, and more attractive to be around. Being able to speak effectively means you can sell anything – products, of course, but also ideas, ideologies, worldviews. And yourself – which means more opportunities for career advancement, bigger clients, or business funding.

Most folks despise public speaking because of the stress and anxiety it induces. A key thing to keep in mind is that those feelings never actually go away. After countless speeches, meetings, and presentations I still get nervous and my heart rates increases whenever I get up in front of people. Toastmasters doesn’t rid you of these things. What it does is make you aware of how your body reacts in these situations so it doesn’t freak you out nearly as much. It teaches you to use the adrenaline rush and all the other things your body does when stressed, to your advantage. Being nervous about public speaking is ok. It just means you care about your performance.



  1. You are a SICK writer. You will pwn Fundraising Well.

    (from iPhone)

  2. Excellent post.
    I gave my first real presentation at CreateSouth in April, I felt as though I was going to commit some serious social gaffe at any moment (passing out, wetting my pants or both). Somehow though I made it through without any dire social consequences.
    Shortly thereafter I did my first interview.
    I’ve always been terrified by the prospect of public speaking, so these steps have been huge.
    Oh, just as an FYI I don’t think the P&C will be picking Lowcountry Blogs back up, so Dan Tennant and I started

  3. Chad – It’s easy writing about stuff I’m interested in (sports, weather, Paula Creamer) so we’ll see how it goes with FW. I’m ready to roll though.

    Heather – I’m glad you and Dan started lowcountryblogs. I really miss the P&C site. So many great writers and stories around here. I’m heading there now!

  4. […] my previous post I talked about the importance of consistently practicing and getting better at whatever it is you […]

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