"I'm good enough - I don't need to get better!"
We see and hear that concept a lot these days. From governments, businesses, and business people. In a world where just surviving seems to be success, doing the work to become great at anything, from financial management to customer service to networking, and yes, even speaking, seems overwhelming...and unnecessary.
Which means now is the perfect time to get better - because so few are willing to do so.
Yesterday, we had a guest speaker give the sermon at church. He is a well-respected member of our congregation, and has speaking experience. He did a good job. Used a fun prop to get our attention, made good use of Bible references, had moments of humor, and delivered a strong message that left us something to chew on. He did better than 9 out of 10 other people in our church could do, I'm willing to bet. Maybe even 95 out 100. In the end, he did well enough.
It doesn't mean he couldn't have done better. Been more smooth with his prop. Added more impact to his points. Added one or two more humor moments. Used PowerPoint more effectively.
But WHY? Why should he worry about getting better when he's good enough? Why should YOU try to get better when all those folks in Toastmasters think you're good enough? When your boss picks you to give the next sales talk because he thinks you're a good speaker? When you've gone out in front of real audiences and received positive feedback and maybe even a $500 check?
Not so you can be an elite, champion speaker. You might not even care about being an elite, champion speaker.
Not so you can get more speaking opportunities. You might not even want more speaking opportunities.
Not so you can charge more. You might be richer than Bill Gates, or think money is the root of all evil.
You should get better for THEM. For your Audience. For those people whose lives you have been given a rare chance to impact with your message. Whose future might rest on the choice they make when they leave the room based on what you have shared with them. Whether its a sales goal, a life strategy, or a sunday sermon.
You should want to get better for THEM. If you don't care about THEM - then get off the stage and let someone else speak who does.
Become a better speaker. Join Toastmasters. Buy speaking books. Take a class. Practice more. Write your speech. Film yourself. Buy some CDs. Hire a coach.
Perhaps I should go up to my fellow church member and suggest some of the above. I might be seen as a bit of a jerk, though, to suggest it. After all, he was pretty good. I know I'm not the perfect speaker, and despite my success and happy clientele as a coach, I am constantly striving to get better, to learn more, and to give my next audience more than my last audience.
You might be good enough. But your audience deserves BETTER.