My Car Crash Reflections

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I was involved in a car crash last Friday.

The car was written off.

And I had to admit that I was not at my best as a driver.

After 35 years of driving I had allowed a little bit of complacency to slip into my trip.

My attention drifted for a few seconds too long.

The other driver was guilty of the same thing.

The incident seemed to happen in a micro-second.

This led to 2 hours waiting to be recovered, and followed by a long evening of jumping through the oh so many hoops and questions of reporting to both the insurance company and local police force.

It took 5 hours from start to finish and was less than an ideal start to my weekend.

That’s the glass half empty version of events.

From a public speaking perspective it was a gift.

Nobody was hurt.

This had been my immediate concern, and that of the other driver.

The conversation between us was friendly.

A very kind man came back to share the dash cam footage he had as he approached from the other direction.

He didn’t need to do this, but he did anyway.

And it provided yet another anecdote for my public speaker training day which I have been working on.

Because everyone who ever started as a public speaker has had to crash a few times.

Crashing as a speaker is inevitable.

Indeed, it’s a right of passage for anyone who has a message they want to share with a live audience.

Bouncing back to improve performance is optional.

And like driving, nothing encourages improvement quite so effectively as crashing in a live situation.

Crashing a car is a lot more dangerous than crashing on stage.

And yet fear of crashing as a speaker by far outranks the fear of crashing in a car.

According to surveys on fear perception.

Which is a great place to start when introducing my next event.

Because being a better speaker involves resilience, persistence and practice.

And personal stories help to make your talks unique, and hammer home key points.

And as great speakers will likely tell you, to quote Thomas Edison:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Fortunately, with the right training and feedback you will likely not need to fail as often as Edison did to be a great speaker.

But you will need to fail occasionally, and keep bouncing back.

And if you are serious about improving your speech, presentation or pitch then watch this space for my upcoming workshop.

And what a weekend I had feeling grateful that I came out of this unscathed, as you surely will if you join me at my next event.

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