There are times when you may not have the opportunity to practice your presentation skills regularly. Let’s say you’ve been on vacation. Or have been out of town on business. Or have a more overloaded schedule than usual. Ultimately, you have not been speaking on a regular basis.
It’s easy to procrastinate getting back into the habit. There’s certainly some truth to a recent Internet joke, which gives us the following definition: “Tomorrow (noun) a mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored.”
The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to get back into a routine, similar to a workout routine, or practicing an instrument. The key is to start again, even if you start small. Take a cue from runners - after a break, even a marathon runner does not - or should not! - attempt to start again where he or she left off. Granted, there are those speakers who can easily jump back in. But if it took you a while to work up to a 1.5-hour presentation, and the though of it gives you the jitters, start again smaller. And think of musicians - most would not have at least a few rehearsals after a summer break!
The other incentive to get started again is staying in the loop of “go-to” speakers, both in your company and in community organizations. If you speak on a regular basis, your manager or community event organizers will have you top of mind as new speaking opportunities come up. If they have not heard from (or about) you for a while, other names typically bubble to the top of the list.
Now that the summer and the associated vacations are over, take some time to set some realistic goals (remember that New Year’s resolution?) for speaking that you would like to accomplish by the end of the year.
Above all, don’t procrastinate - start again now!
Find out more about clubs in District 4 Toastmasters: http://www.d4tm.org