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