Last year, I was privileged to have done some professional speaking, presenting and sharing with a number of smart folks here and there. Hopefully, I’ll get to do more of this in 2019.
Most of my presentations were around the field of marketing communications (Public Relations & digital advertising), social media and content marketing. These included presentations at an international marketing conference, team training at a local startup, digital marketing seminar for a group of entrepreneurs, masterclass at a PR conference and lectures at a digital marketing institute.
Of course, there were also in-house training workshops with colleagues at BHM and ID Africa, several one-on-one pep talks, plenty of hallway ‘tutorials’, countless mini-rants and a number of impromptu speeches. And let’s not forget presentations to clients, plus loads of pitches for new business.
In all, my experience has been that sharing knowledge is the best path to learning or acquiring new knowledge.
This works for a number of reasons:
1. You get to discover new information that you might not have come across if not for the need to be ready for the ‘big day’. This only works if you do some additional research or brushing up of your existing knowledge ahead of the presentation.
2. You get new insight from people’s feedback and reaction to what you share. Most times, folks in the room have more experience, and even know much more than you do about certain aspects of the subject matter, or even the entire thing you are speaking on!
3. You get to test the veracity or correctness of your preconceived ideas and opinions on issues. By publicly sharing your thoughts in the presence of an informed audience, you open yourself up to scrutiny, criticism and push back. If you chat sh*t and say some nonsense, then you’ll get checked by someone in the audience. This comes with some embarrassment of course. And even if you are correct, having your ideas challenged by others only helps one dig deeper and come up with stronger arguments to support the theory, position or opinion.
4. While running your mouth and speaking to an audience of smart people, you’ll tend to come up with interesting new ideas, witty phrases and anecdotes that weren’t in your head prior to that moment. It’s almost like speaking in tongues, or an out-of-body experience. Also similar to the ‘Eureka!’ moments that creatives stumble on during brainstorming sessions.
5. Your spoken words penetrate your ears and get stuck in your brain and settle in your heart of hearts. This further strengthens your own ability to recall what you know now when needed at a future date. It’s almost impossible to forget a subject matter that you’ve taught over and over. Speaking out words is a remarkable memory exercise!
6. You get to improve your public speaking ability, which is a skill that is always useful for anyone, anywhere. As a politician, sales person, marketer, pastor, activist or classroom teacher, good public speaking skills will always make your life easy! Having a well-oiled ‘sweet mouth’ is useful for every human, even if just for the sake of ‘toasting’ or ‘shooting shots’.
A lot of people shy away from public speaking, teaching or sharing, usually due to stage fright, self-doubt, busy lives… and sometimes just the inconvenience of balancing these activities with a regular job or business. But at the end of the day, I believe every successful person or anyone with some measure of knowledge about a subject matter, owes it to the universe to share their knowledge (free or paid for) with others in the world.
The more we share, the more we learn.
PS: You can add this – sharing knowledge through presentations, trainings and speaking, to your 2019 resolution.