“The Wills,” “The Won’ts,” and “The Can’ts”
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every Opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”– Winston Churchill
Some of you may be familiar with Harvey Mackay. He is a former envelope manufacturing company owner from Minneapolis (You remember envelopes, right?) who just happens to be a best-selling author of several management and personal development books for the past thirty-two years.
He published his most recent book, “You Haven’t Hit Your Peak Yet! Uncommon Wisdom for Unleashing Your Full Potential” in 2020 at age 88. In his book he talks about “the wills,” “the won’ts” and “the can’ts.”
According to Harvey MacKay, “The wills” accomplish everything. “The won’ts” oppose everything. “The can’ts” fail in everything.”
You can divide speakers into these three groups. Let’s examine the differences of these three groups of speakers.
“The Wills” Speakers
Have you ever attended a well-delivered presentation and thought to yourself, “I wish I could do that.” I bet you have thought this.
“The wills” speakers deliver presentations and garner great applause from their audiences.
“The wills” speakers, although encountering many obstacles along the way, still find ways to get things done.
The most outstanding trait of “the wills” is they think of difficult situations in terms of challenges and solutions and not problems.
Some examples of how “the wills” overcome speaking challenges are:
The slides are not advancing when they are delivering a presentation. The solution to this challenge? Immediately go into a small group exercise to provide time to solve the slide advancement challenge.
A critical sub-point supporting the second main point was missed and the presentation is now at the third main point. “The wills” resist the urge to go back and brief the “critical” sub-point supporting the second main point. “The wills” will just forget about the “critical” sub-point to the second main point. Their audience has.
An audience question is asked to which the presenter does not know the answer. The presenter simply tells the questioner, without hesitation, they do not know the answer to the question. However, if the questioner can get the presenter his/her e-mail address, the presenter will have an answer to his/her question within twenty-four hours.
“The wills” are always loved by their audiences. The second group of “speakers” is “the won’ts.” You can guess what their attitude is toward presenting.
“The Won’ts” Speakers
“The won’ts” do not want to present even though with a bit of effort, they could prepare and deliver a passable presentation.
What are the reasons “the won’ts” don’t want to present in front of an audience?
It might be they are petrified of delivering a presentation in front of their direct reports, their peers, and their bosses or to a room full of total strangers. By the way, I find the most interesting audiences are the ones with strangers. More on this a future newsletter.
It might also be because even though they have the ability to deliver a presentation, they lack the confidence in themselves to prepare and deliver the presentation.
It may not mean they are scared to present. They just might not have the discipline to prepare and follow through with the delivery.
The way to combat the feeling of “the won’ts” is to talk to others that give presentations and ask how they do it.
“The wills” are always loved by their audiences. “The won’ts,” never give presentations, but maybe the saddest group of people are “the can’ts.”
“The Can’ts” Speakers
Those who truly can’t deliver presentations don’t have the knowledge as to how to prepare and deliver a presentation. Sometimes “the can’ts” know this; sometimes they don’t.
However, this situation is easily remedied by reading good books on public speaking, practicing delivering a presentation to their bathroom mirror, and joining an organization like Toastmasters where they can have an audience before which to practice presenting.
Delivering a presentation is like learning to ride a bike, play the piano, or building a bedroom chest. It is definitely a learnable skill. Like riding a bike, playing the piano, or building a bedroom chest, your presentation skills will keep getting better the more you use them. Why is this?
When you see your presentations get better, you will start seeing benefits from this like an increase salary, increased feeling of control, and, most of all, the increased esteem you are given by others.
So, “the wills” give many presentations to wide acclaim. “The won’ts” never give presentations. “The can’ts” never give presentations because they just don’t have the knowledge.
Which one do you want to be? Pssst! Be one of “the wills!”
Call to Action
When faced with an opportunity, raise your hand and volunteer
When faced with a problem, think of it as a challenge and find a solution
If you can’t do something, find the resource to learn to do it.
“We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action.”– Dr. Henry Link
Introducing a new book from Frank DiBartolomeo! “Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”
Launches January 30, 2021 online and in a store near you!
DiBartolomeo Consulting International’s (DCI) mission is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence colleagues and other technical professionals through improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence.
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