We did a poll recently and we asked the audience, “Do you think public speaking is a natural talent or a learnable skill or a bit of both?”
I was not surprised with the poll results.
46% said Learnable Skill.
2% said Natural Talent
52% said a Blend of Both.
I have to share another statistic with you.
We also published a report containing interviews of 1 Lakhs people. I have published this in my ebook also which you can download from here. We also put the same two options in front of them. Is public speaking a natural talent or a learnable skill.
95% said, it’s a learnable skill and that’s why we are attending your webinar.
And 5% said, it’s a natural talent.
After a few months, I added another option, “A Blend of Both”. I added it in our most recent poll also.
This is what happened.
The 95% people who thought it was a learnable skill got split in 40-45% saying its a learnable skill and about 50% people saying it’s a blend of both.
These are completely different mindsets for the same skill.
If you think it’s a learnable skill, Congratulations, like any other skill you can learn this skill.
If you think it’s a blend of both, I would like to warn you. And I am carefully using this word ‘warn you’. I used to feel that it’s a blend of both. Whenever you start speaking in public and if you some days have a good day, you will tell yourself, see, this is a learnable skill.
But if you have some bad days, then the same mind will tell you, see, I told you, it’s a natural ability and you don’t have it.
And the mind will always choose the easier option. If you give yourself that option, that “It’s a Blend of Both”, then every time you fail, instead of improving your skill, you will try to give up on it.
And this not only applies to public speaking skills, it applies to every other skill. All those people who believe that it’s a natural ability or a blend of both and even if you think it is a learnable skill, listen to this. It will strengthen your belief because unless you have the right mindset, you will not succeed in learning.
I was scheduled to give a TedX speech. There was another performer band there, ready to play their music. Nowadays, people believe that first they should speak with the audience and then they should perform. It’s a new trend going on.
This applies to dancers, singers too, they first speak to the audience and then they perform.
So the musicians started speaking to the audience, I was observing them as a student of public speaking. They were not confident at all and fumbling over the words. But suddenly when they started singing, OMG, they were completely different people, their energy level, their confidence level, was extremely high. I was confused. Are these the same people who were fumbling over their speech some time ago?
Yes! Why! Only because of one reason. They were trying to do something they had learned when they were singing. When you do something that you have learned you become confident. When you try to do something which you have not learned, it becomes very difficult to become confident, especially in front of the public.
Therefore, if we want to do anything confidently you have to treat that as a skill, you have to learn it, otherwise like many, you will also be stuck with this belief ….
Sachin Tendulkar – I can’t play like him. He is a born cricketer.
Shreya Ghoshal – I can’t sing like her. Maa Saraswati has blessed her with a very good voice.
Madhuri Dixit – I can’t dance like her. She has a natural talent for dancing.
Ot if you see someone speaking well in front of public and you say, I can’t speak like that , they are born speakers.
So all of you who believe in the concept of born speakers, born crickets, born this born that… I would like to leave you with this …
Only Babies Are Born On This Planet.
Rest everything we have to learn.