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Are you interested in becoming successful with a newly acquired skill? First, think about why you invested your time, money — or both — to gain that skill. Was it to advance your career or hone a desire to just become better in an aspirational area?  Either way, you should take stock to see how you are progressing. Are you on track, or do you need to make a confession — a confession that you may need help with your skills?

It’s not easy to make that confession. Some people never do; they just push on and may struggle for years. However, those that do admit they need help will likely gain the shortest route to get where they want to be. It’s sort of like using a map to get where you want to go, as opposed to setting out to drive and hoping you make it to your destination. 

If you want the shortest route from where you are to where you want to be, consider engaging a coach for an objective assessment and to speed your success. One thing I know for sure is that when it comes to increasing your public speaking skills, coaching is the “secret sauce.”

We all would like the secret sauce, or the fairy dust, to speed our success. For increasing the chances of success, coaching is a well-known element. It’s just not so closely adhered to. Why don’t we engage a coach? Because we are all so busy living, doing, putting out fires and creating activity. After all, coaching takes extra time, effort and skill. But consider this thought: Can you afford not to do it?

For my presentation skills clients, I’m especially passionate about encouraging them to include short coaching sessions following the training event. When acquiring new skills in an interactive environment such as public speaking, you are often in the moment and learning at a very fast pace. When the training day(s) are over, the tendency is to breathe a sigh of relief and put the training materials on the shelf with the thought, “That was a great session, I learned so much. I’ll get my notes out later and practice again.” Good thought; however, what really happens? Life takes over, you get busy and rarely ever get back to your notes and/or practice. I hope you didn’t waste your money.

Do yourself a favor, increase your ROI in your newly acquired skill and schedule quick coaching sessions a few short weeks out from the initial event. This will increase your awareness of your newfound skills and encourage you to practice before getting back together with your coach. Statistics say when you have participated in a learning event, you stand the chance of losing up to 80 percent of what you learned within 30 days if it is not reinforced. That’s a sad waste of your initial investment.

So, don’t throw your hard-earned cash to the wind. Reinforce your skills. Invest in a coaching session or two, so that you continue building your confidence. The next time you get the opportunity to speak publicly, it won’t be overwhelming.

As owner and president of PresentingPlus! LLC, Kate Tunison helps clients develop confidence and skills as public speakers and business communicators. Based in Alpharetta, PresentingPlus! Works with clients in the Atlanta area and nationwide. Contact Tunison at www.presentingplus.com.

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