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What Risk Will You Take and How Will You Make It Happen? | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

What Risk Will You Take and How Will You Make It Happen?

Yesterday was the final session in a 24-part public speaking class I taught to a small group of high school students this year.

Last week, during the next-to-last class, we went through each student (8 of them), and their classmates shared what strengths they saw in each other. I told them after the exercise that in those moments when they might doubt their public speaking, to draw upon those affirmations and to build upon their strengths.

This week, after we worked on personal storytelling and leadership stories, we closed the class for the year. First, I explained that public speaking isn’t just something you take as a class and then stop doing. It’s a process of continuous improvement. We constantly analyze and work with what we say and how we said it to improve our next public speaking activity.

So I asked each of them how they wanted to improve their public speaking in the next 6 months and had them write it down. Then, they shared them.

Then I had them all envision it’s 5 years in the future and asked what they will do in their lives that will use the public speaking skills they have developed. They each pondered before writing down a 5 year goal. When they shared these goals, I could see a part of their hearts awakening. I explained to them that if they set a goal, write it down, and share it with others, it’s more likely to happen.

To finish the class, I told them they had what it took to reach those goals. All they needed to do now was to start the process – what strategies can them employ to reach their goals. And I challenged them to find people in their lives that can help them reach that goal, recruit them as accountability partners, and learn from those people.

The steps I worked them through can apply to us all:

  1. Encourage others.
  2. Believe in yourself and your abilities.
  3. Think how you can improve your talents.
  4. Set a goal.
  5. Decide what you need to do to make it happen.

So what’s your goal for 5 years from now? What will you do to make it happen?


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