“What I did on my summer vacation.”
Every one of you have given a speech, or written a paragraph or essay about what you did on your summer vacation while you were in grade school.
You wrote about the lake, the mountains or the week at the beach. Or you gave a speech and your opening line was, “What I did on my summer vacation.” And you held your own hands and nervously performed in front of your peers.
You were worried about what they would think and you were nervous about performing in front of your classmates, but somehow you muddled through it.
Your essay was returned with all kinds of red marks for punctuation, grammar and misspellings.
For those of you who are pack rats, or have parents who are pack rats, you may still have the document.
PERSONAL NOTE: I have many of my daughters’ early writings. All gems.
I’m giving you this reminder, this bit of nostalgic instant memory, so I can issue you the following challenges: How have you progressed since then?
How much better are your writing skills? How much better are your presentation skills? And how important are those skills to your sales success, your business success, your social media success and your career success?
I’ve been a professional writer and professional speaker for 20 years. But like you, I’ve been an amateur since the third grade when I talked about what I did on my summer vacation, and in the fourth grade when I wrote about Hurricane Hazel which rocked Atlantic City where my family was living at the time. (If you Google it, you can figure out how old I am!)
What most people don’t understand is their initial training forms the foundation of their present skills. Your grammar, your ability to spell, your self-confidence to be able to speak, and your overall character are formulated by your ability to communicate both orally and in writing.
Every one of you reading this is now thinking, maybe I should have paid more attention when my high school English teacher was drilling the difference of there, their and they’re or the difference of your and you’re.
Think about the emails you receive with the subject line that says: “Your in Luck!”
The person who wrote it is immediately perceived as an idiot and the email is discarded as both disingenuous and poorly prepared.