In an Albany Business Review article titled: If You Want to Win, Plan to Fail, author Shawn Rhodes raised several salient points.

His three main takeaways were:
1. Focus on success vs. perfection
2. Welcome setbacks
3. If you’re on time, you’re late

As I reflected on his message, it struck me that much of it applied to public speaking and to communication, in general. Specifically he emphasized that excellence is not defined by accomplishing the goal. Instead, it’s defined by a culture that encourages its people to surpass their goals and raises the bar for everyone.

When I coach my clients to improve their day-to-day business communication I use the analogy of having insurance. What I mean is that it’s beneficial to anticipate the bumps in the road (since they always exist!). Once we do this the next step is to develop contingency plans, much like insurance. I ask my clients to think about their worst fear(s) and then we develop strategies that will get them past these concerns. It’s all about managing your fears.

Once we do that, guess what happens…they feel a far greater level of confidence since they know they’ve thought this through. It’s never about perfection; instead think about insuring your success.
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