Practice makes perfect. Well, that is what we are constantly told isn’t it? But is it correct?
This idea was probably best publicised as Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000-hour rule”, which says that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at any skill.
There is a problem with this idea. Research suggests it isn’t true. The practice is helpful in improving performance but it plays a surprisingly small role in determining whether people become virtuosos or not.
I figure although practice may not make us perfect, it certainly provides us with a heck of a lot more skills to fall back on when required. And when it comes to public speaking it is quite obvious, practice promotes…
- A better performance
- Enjoyment as it becomes easier
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When I first became an aerobics instructor (many moons ago) I wanted to hone my skills and would practice routines at every chance (I said many moons ago and before the age of Les Mills choreographed programs) till I was confident I knew them backward and reproduce on demand (at 150bpm). It meant I was confident and could assist my class better as I didn’t have to think as much. The routines became rote.
I’ve found it much the same for my speaking clients. It can be blatantly obvious when a speaker hasn’t prepared and practiced. So although maybe practice doesn’t make perfect…it certainly makes for a proficient performance.
- Practice will motivate you to do better
- Seek out opportunities to practice
- To relax and enjoy the process