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Mic Check by Rhetoric: Vol 4
Practice makes perfect (and a very funnel blooper reel)
If you've decided it's time to become a better speaker, chances are there was a specific impetus. Maybe a meeting gone awry, or negative feedback from a potential investor after a pitch, or maybe you listened to yourself after recording a podcast and thought, "is that really me?"
Whatever the reason, we all end up with the same question: how? Turns out, it's all about habits. In my opinion, James Clear is the authority on habit building, so if you're not already tuned in to his work I recommend it.
The thing is, once you decide to focus on being a better speaker, everything becomes an opportunity to improve. From the stories you tell your friends at dinner to sprint planning meetings to actual presentations, it's all the same muscle. We just have to decide how we get feedback and measure our progress across all of those opportunities, big or small.
My challenge to you this month is to choose one consistent "podium" moment—leading your team meeting, for example—that you want to focus on improving. Decide how you'll ask for feedback and how you'll measure growth, even if it's just that your team was able to recite back the biggest takeaways at the end.
📚 Open tabs
What team Rhetoric is reading during those awkwardly-timed few minutes between Zooms.
If you have (somehow) not watched Steve Jobs' keynote address at Macworld 2007...stop what you are doing and click here. In our opinion, this is the perfect example where the person brings the content to life. Yes, a simple slide deck release of the iPhone release would still be pretty cool - but it wouldn't have been this cool. Oh, and guess what? Jobs practiced...a lot.
Whether it's becoming a more clear and compelling speaker or something else, getting really good at a thing requires that we spend focused time practicing it. Here's James Clear on deliberate practice (and how to do it).
Whether you have a team working with you or not, building a company requires us to become (and perpetually continue to become) better leaders. Suzi McAlpine's thoughts on defining your operating values as a leader—not just as a company—are worth the read.
✨ New ways to present better
Here's what's is going on at Rhetoric this week:
We recorded a short Rhetoric to share how we think about the spectrum of communication, and how we intentionally choose the platform that suits our intention. Click in and leave comments as you watch if there's anything you think we're missing!
❤️ Your friends can be great presenters, too
Found this useful and know someone who wants to up their speaking game? Want to help us banish the grip that flat, written text has over our lives once and for all? Or perhaps you just like cool hats?
Share Mic Check with your network and we'll hook you up with some swag.