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Get Out Of The Rut


Stuck in the Mud

By Bob Goodyear

Years ago, I went camping with my Boy Scout troop one spring. Our campsite was guaranteed to be incredibly fun! It was off the beaten path and only accessible by a single dirt road that few people knew about. We reached the dirt road full of the anticipation that only a group of 12-13 year old boys could generate. We piled in the back of our scoutmaster’s truck and headed down the road. It was easy to follow because of the ruts that had formed from traffic over the years. He followed the road for a while but then got to a spot where his wheels began spinning. He had hit a muddy spot in the road where water had accumulated. No matter how much he revved the engine, the wheels were spinning deeper into the mud. We were caught in the rut and needed help. It was on this day that I first learned about the danger of being stuck in a rut.

Now what does this have to do with presenting? Sometimes we may find ourselves caught in what I call the “rut of presenting.” We may have found a way that works for us but we develop bad habits as we present the same way every time. This is really dangerous. As we continue to drive down the same road the ruts deepen. Before we know it, we find ourselves in a situation where we aren’t nearly as effective as we were previously. We know we need to escape the ruts but don’t know how.

This is when a coach can help us recognize and identify the ruts and offers suggestions on how to escape them. A real coach looks at us objectively and helps us get out and improve our speaking.

Getting back to my camping trip, we needed help to get us out of our rut. Fortunately the owner of the land where we were camping heard the noise of the spinning tires and came to our aid. He pointed out to our scoutmaster an alternate way to avoid the rut. He helped pull the truck out and then sent us a different way. Just like a good coach, he saw the problem and suggested an alternative to achieve our objective.

If you feel like you’re in a speaking rut, look for someone who can help you identify it and suggest alternatives. Even experts in any endeavor look for coaches to help them achieve their best.

Bob Goodyear is a veteran speaker on technology who understands the communications challenges that technical professionals face. Find out how Bob can help your organization with its presentation.

Reach Bob by email or by phone at 678.447.7272