We live in a time of instant gratification. Research? Thy name is Google, and it lives in your pocket. It's easy to think that learning a new capability can be achieved through watching a few YouTube videos and reading a blog or two. Malcom Gladwell's book Outliers brought the 10,000 hour rule to a global audience, where it takes that period of practice time to become world-class in a discipline.
I think the path for most of us is somewhere in between. You don't need to devote a lifetime to become proficient, but it also won't happen on your first time out. Here are a few tips:
1. Learn what you can, but competency comes from actually performing a skill or activity multiple times until it becomes ingrained.
2. Listen to feedback. It can be from experts who have achieved great skill, or from a friend. All feedback is valuable.
3. Don't think that not being perfect the first time you try something means you won't achieve competency. Everyone scuffs a knee or two early on.
Robert is a speaker coach, actor, director, author, speaker, executive and overall marketing guy. He writes about all aspects of presenting and connecting with audiences.