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What Presenters can learn from Ralph Waldo Emerson

All great speakers were bad speakers at first. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

All great speakers were bad speakers at first.

- Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Despite all the talk about how talented and gifted some people are, truth is: they’ve invested a lot of time and energy in becoming better. They’ve aimed high, and didn’t let a setback stop them from reaching for their goal.

There’s no such thing as talent

Ok, this heading might be a bit over the top, but different studies have shown that people tend to overestimate the impact of talent. There is such a thing a talent, but it’s not nearly as important as most of us think. It gives you a little head start, at best. But with enough practice, everyone can become as good as someone who’s seen as ‘extremely talented’.


So, if it’s not talent, then how come some people are just really great at what they do? The answer is: practice, and lots of it. And by lots we mean ‘a ridiculous amount of time and energy’. Some say 10000 hours, others say 20000, still others say 10 years. Whatever the actual number, fact of the matter is: you don’t become great at something in just a day. It takes effort. It takes time. And it takes…


Sometimes it will feel like your progress is taking leaps, at other times you’ll feel like you’re standing still and you’ve reached your peak. These are the moments when you’ll truly need your passion for the subject at hand. Passion is a sort of interest on steroids, a determination to become great, the will to keep going. Of course, passion is important, but so is planning. Breaking down a task into many smaller steps will make the end goal seem much less insurmountable.


Want to become a great presenter? First, you’ll need to be absolutely focused on becoming a great presenter. You’ve got to really, really want it. Make a plan of attack, work on one part at a time. Keep practicing, even if it feels like you’re stuck. Get inspiration from your examples, and take a break when you have to. Good luck and happy practicing!

In the next weeks we'll be giving you more great presentation tips, based on quotes from famous historical figures. Want to keep up to date? Subscribe to our RSS-feed or our mailing list.

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This post first appeared on Audience, please read the originial post: here

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What Presenters can learn from Ralph Waldo Emerson


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