After “thousands of hours of practice,” speaker accepts imperfect self, and audience does too

In a piece, sent along by speechwriter Nate Osburn, business author Peter Sims shared how he went from “suck to non-suck” as a public speaker. Essentially, he took advice he had once received from former New York Governor Mario Cuomo: talk about things you believe in passionately and know the material cold.

Knowing the material “has taken me thousands of hours of practice,” Sims acknowledges. After many hard reviews, he began to get better reviews: “As the audience came to see that I was just being me and trying to share and teach them, quirks and all, they stopped analyzing and judging me, and could just enjoy the moment.”

So, to sum up: Practice for thousands of hours, and then just be yourself. —DM

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