How to start your public speaking career? With a beginner mind.

[pullquote3 quotes=”true” cite=”Shunryu Suzuki”]In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.[/pullquote3]

Spring is a great time to open the mind to new possibilities. To do so, we have to have a beginner mind.

I used to think I knew a lot about public speaking. After all, I studied vocal music at university, sang professionally, worked as a radio announcer for many years and acted in commercials. My ego told me I was really good.

One day I was walking across the campus of York University in Toronto and noticed a sign in the School of Dramatic Art saying, “Take a voice class with one of North America’s top voice teachers, David Smukler.” I wondered what Professor Smukler could teach me that I didn’t already know.

Apparently a lot. I completed the entire voice teacher training program at York University and The National Voice Intensive in Vancouver, and I still attend voice classes with Professor Smukler for my personal growth. One of the greatest lessons he ever taught me was to start each voice and public speaking practice with a beginner mind. Now the possibilities for learning are limitless.

It was very humbling to admit that I don’t know as much as I thought I did… but as long as I stay in beginner mind I will always have a lot to learn.

Reading suggestion: Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind,  by Shunryu Suzuki

  1. rhonda page
    rhonda pageApril 3,12

    You’re right Cathy;
    We have to keep reminding ourselves that we don’t know it all – and we probably never will. Your newsletter looks great!