We’ve talked about writer Malcolm Gladwell’s concept of 10,000 hours – the amount of time it takes in any field of study to become an expert. Since that is five years of full time study, this metric can be daunting to anyone who asks how long it takes for to become a good presenter.
Well there is good news – the research we’ve been reading recently suggests that it takes just 50 hours of intense practice to truly master the mechanics of any skill. But here’s the challenge, deliberate practice is a special kind of practice. It’s an intense, laser focused drive to improve skills, with immediate feedback and correction. We are not talking about repetitive, half listening kind of practice; we are talking about the kind of practice that demands full attention. World class athletes and musicians can’t get more than a few hours a day of this kind of deliberate practice, it’s just too exhausting.
We have to commit to improving our skills, with fast feedback and corrections when needed, for short intense periods of time. We can’t do this kind of practice with our smart phone on. All distractions have to put aside. Research shows that the difference between good ice skaters and Olympics bound skaters is not time on the ice – it’s what they do with that time. World-class skaters work on new skills; good skaters mostly practice what they already know.
So for those who truly want to master the skills of presenting, here’s our suggestion: dust off your skills tips card (or download one here), and commit to practicing 30 minutes a day. Real, deliberate practice with no distractions, maybe done as a few shorter sessions. In just over three months, you will be amazed at your mastery.
We are happy to help you create a personal plan to really own the skills of presenting and facilitating. We believe anyone who is committed to being better – in any field of study- will ultimately surpass those who are complacent who think they are good enough already, thank you very much.
Your success is our goal. It not only looks good on you, it reflects well on us too!