“Practice makes perfect.”

Right?

Maybe not! (Just ask 🏀 Allen Iverson…)

“Practice makes perfect” is a cliche.

Practice can certainly elevate our performance, be it playing sports, playing a musical instrument, or making a client presentation.

It occurred to me recently that while we talk a lot about various aspects of communication (like networking and personal branding and listening), we haven’t focused on how to practice our communication skills. 

This week we kick-off a series focused on PRACTICING OUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS.  Read on to learn:

  • why “Practice makes perfect” is NOT true!
  • the BENEFITS of practice
  • HOW to practice effectively


“Practice Makes Perfect” – NOT!

 

Dr. Nadine Kelly Yogi MD
Dr. Nadine Kelly, YogiMD

Meet my amazing friend, Dr. Nadine Kelly.  If Nadine looks familiar to you, that’s because I interviewed her last year about how proper BREATHING AND POSTURE can help us be better communicators

Nadine is a retired physician, yoga instructor, certified health coach, host of the YOGI M.D. podcast, an Akimbo podcasting workshop coach, a taekwondo black belt, and a drummer! She knows all about PRACTICING! She practiced medicine, she practises yoga, she practices her podcasting craft, and she practices the drums!

How cool, right?

Nadine practices the drumsNadine practices the drums!

When I interviewed Nadine for this week’s podcast episode, the first thing she said was, “I detest ‘practice makes perfect’. ”  (That’s when I knew we were in for a good conversation!)

A few things you’ll learn in this week’s episode:

  • Practice is a good thing.  Perfectionism is not. We need to stop seeking perfection. “Practice Makes Perfect” is false. (Do you hear me, fellow ⭐️ gold-star seekers?)
  • Practicing allows you to be less reactive and more responsive. With practice, eventually, you’ll find that pause between trigger and response. (We all want that!)
  • With practice, the two important questions – WHY am I doing this and WHO do I need to be – become second nature. (It’s like muscle memory.) 
practice makes perfect quote Nadine Kelly

Thank you, Nadine!

Enjoy the podcast…

 

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HOW to Practice

Have you ever considered HOW to practice effectively? Well, Nadine has some great advice for us!

Here are 3 things to consider, whether you’re practicing 🧘🏾‍♀️ yoga, 🏀 basketball, the 🥁drums, or your next big 🕴work presentation.

1️⃣ Consider Your OBJECTIVE for Practicing

  • Instead of a goal associated with an outcome, focus on an intention.  The WHY.
  • For example, if you’re delivering a speech or a client presentation, your intention (your WHY) could be to connect with the audience, to entertain, or to deliver a message clearly to your client.

2️⃣ 2 QUESTIONS to Ask Yourself When Practicing

  1. WHY am I doing this? This is your intention. 
  2. WHO do I need to be in the scenario? What role are you playing? Are you the student? The parent?  The coach? The servant leader? Specify your role, and your practice will be more effective.
Nadine Kelly practices yoga
Nadine practicing chair yoga

3️⃣Practice by VISUALIZING

  • Visualizing as in EMULATING – In the 4P’s framework, we call this PIRATING.  Nadine asked me what it is about Madonna that I try to emulate.  (It’s her swagger.)  Suddenly I’ve set an intention for how to show up.  (And I have swagger!)
  • Visualizing your own SUCCESS – Be it mentally rehearsing playing your drums as Nadine does, mentally rehearsing a big, beautiful figure skating jump, or mentally rehearsing a successful client presentation, you can practice away from your craft by visualizing.
visualizing is practicing
image: Unsplash @ nkuutz

Visualizing is practicing.

 


This is going to take some PRACTICE!

Improving our communication skills is going to take practice.  Of course it is. Thanks to Nadine, we can now PRACTICE WITH INTENTION.

A reminder: I have mentioned several times that recording yourself, then watching or listening to yourself is probably the most effective and fastest way to improve your communication skills.  Please consider trying this.  I know it can be excruciating (trust me!) but it’s well worth it.

Lately, I’ve been practicing my craft by “being interviewed.”  Here are a few of those podcast episodes:
 

 Take it from the Ironwoman podcast

Take it from the IRONWOMAN
Ironwoman & executive coach Susanne Mueller
and I talk crutch words and listening skills.

Out of the Clouds podcast

OUT OF THE CLOUDS
Swiss renaissance woman (former executive
at Christian Louboutin, now luxury brand consultant,
mindfulness & meditation teacher, singer,…)
Anne Muhlethaler and I talk communication skills,
word-of-mouth, personal brands, and being creative.

School of Podcasting

SCHOOL OF PODCASTING 
Hall-of-fame award-winning
podcasting coach Dave Jackson
and I talk personal branding for podcasters!

What a fantastic experience it is to be on the other side of the microphone!

So there’s another way to practice your craft:

  • If you’re a podcaster, be a guest on someone else’s show
  • If you’re making a speech, go watch some TedTalks
  • If you’re a teacher, be a student in someone else’s class

 

What are YOU going to practice?

Please forward this email to anyone who might appreciate some advice on practicing their communication skillsThank you!  

Have a great week.

Talk soon,

Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach


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