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Is Public Speaking Like Riding a Bike? The Need for Practice as a Speaker

January 14, 2013

I doubt Steven ever looked this cool, but a picture of Steven’s BMX wasn’t available.

When I first joined the club, back in 2009, I remember the President at the time (Steven Bastian) related the following story:

“I still remember when I got my first bike on Christmas day 1979.  It was a bright blue BMX bike with protective and big tyres so I could ride through the Australian bush.  Up until that point in my life it was the best thing I had ever received. It took me a while to master as I rode each day in the Australian sun, but within a couple of weeks I was riding everywhere and have never looked back. 
I can definitely relate to the saying “It’s like riding a bike”, but somethings in life, including Public Speaking are not always easy to pick up after a break. After a break, you may again have to get over confidence issues.  Your body and hand movements go back to natural tendencies you had been trying improve based on feedback.  You are reluctant to volunteer for speaking opportunities.  Sometimes it feels like you have taken two steps back.”
At the time, I didn’t believe it. I looked at some of our best speakers and I thought that surely they would never have an off day. Since then, I’ve witnessed even highly competent speakers screw up: socially and professionally, when called to speak in public.
The truth is, public speaking is a performance art. Just as a pianist has to practice playing, so speakers have to practice public speaking. Those who are there, week-in, week-out are the ones who see the biggest improvements and the ones who stay on top of their game. Don’t miss -out – come along to London Corinthians and come regularly, and witness the changes in your speaking that result.
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