Mistaeks are good… (sometimes!)
I was on the top deck of a late afternoon bus, and heard someone at the back on the telephone. “The accelerator, yeah… Well then you put yer foot on the clutch… No, the pedal on the other end, right over to the left… Well, if you’d wanted an automatic, you should have stolen an automatic!”
The world is a stage, and the actor at the back got our attention with a strong voice, not the type of voice you’d want to mess with. He knew his audience on the bus and he drew us in. In one small snippet we had all the information for a story and he left us wanting more, a rare quality in an overheard telephone call.
The comfort zone is merely a boundary line. You can either stay within it and watch as it shrinks around you, or you can cross the border, venture into the foreign land with its different languages, and steadily increase your range. When you are there you will find that actually there is nothing to be scared about. Take a risk and be willing to make a mistake.
Your challenge at your next Toastmasters meeting is to push your boundary. Maybe set yourself a target of talking to 8 people before the meeting, or if you’ve a speaking role, use 50% more of the stage than you have done before, or do a Table Topic with your arms stretched towards the ceiling for the entire 90 seconds.
Wherever your boundary is, cross it. Be an ambassador for yourself to the rest of the world. As they say in the army, “Train hard, fight easy”.
This is about silencing your social editor. Whatever your social editor is trying to stop you from doing, do it. What is your afterthought? When you said the first line of your speech, what was the tiny voice in your head telling you? Express it. We want to hear what you want to say. And if you make a mistake, the bigger it is, the more you will learn and the better you will get.
But what about humour, I hear you ask. Well, 90 seconds with your hands above your head, I’ll sure as hell laugh! But I’ll also laugh at your mistakes.
Below is a short piece about learning from a mistake. Barnaby (a lovely bloke by the way) is an excellent comedian – something that he has learnt to be.