Just because you take speech classes, doesn’t mean you will get a good result. There are a lot of variables. Most people think it’s about how much you practice, but I would argue it’s more about changing your underlying habits consistently. That might sound like the same thing, but it’s a different way of looking at it, perhaps a harder thing to change.
Everyone wants a “quick fix”, which is probably why people talk about the “low hanging fruit” and the “best bang for the buck.” We are always trying to make things simpler and easier for ourselves. Instead, we might consider looking more deeply and introspectively at how we do things. If we catch something that we want to change, we can unleash more potential than we thought possible, enabling greater, more transformational change.
How do we focus on changing underlying habits rather than “quick fixes” with lots of perhaps meaningless practice, or worse, reinforcing practice that changes nothing?
- Record yourself in video and watch it. Resist the temptation to critique verbally or stop watching. Instead, take notes in 2 columns labelled + and – , and systematically jot down what you notice as either desirable or undesirable without allowing yourself to feel “bad” about what you see. Just notice.
- Choose wisely what you want to work on. You don’t have to change everything. Perhaps ask others for their opinions, but ultimately, make your own decision about what you honestly want to change.
- Investigate the process. Now that you know what you want to change, find out what you need to do realistically to get there. Do you need a Coach? Do you need discipline or support from someone? Do you need to save up for it? Do you need to commit to it? Do you need to change your schedule or delay other plans or activities to move up this change in your priority list? Make sure you are setting yourself up for success.
- Be reasonable and commit to your plan. Once you identify the right process with the right first change for you, be reasonable about your expectations. Will it take a month or two to change? How can you measure your progress? What can you do to insure you stick with it? Consistency is key.
- Celebrate your success. Take the necessary time to reward yourself when you meet your goals, and set the next level of goal. Assess again; things may have changed. Be kind to yourself.
Getting a result in Speech Work is similar to getting a result in any type of behavioral change; you have to look deep, dig deep, and then live deeply with commitment. Anyone can do it. Will you?