Always Have Something to Say

If you want to be a great communicator, it’s important to always have something to say. 

I learned this the hard way. 

Many years ago I traveled in Chile with a Christian missionary group. One thing we did a lot was share in church services, and often without a lot of advance warning. One afternoon early in the trip, our group leaders told us that that evening we’d be visiting a church, and a few of us, maybe 3, might be asked to share briefly. 

I looked around my group. In a team of 11, what were the chances that I’d be one of those 3? I decided to take my chances and not prepare anything. 

When I found out minutes before the service that I was one of the three who would be sharing, I was caught flat-footed. Not being blessed with the “gift of the gab”, I became quite grateful that my few mumbled words got stretched by translation to Spanish. 

From that day on, I decided I would always have at least a nugget of a speech to share in my back pocket so I could make the most of any opportunity that presented itself. 

The Ready Position

If you play baseball, one of the first things you learn is the “ready position”. Knees bent, glove open near the ground, you assume with every pitch that the ball will be coming your way. If you do the math, you know that the chances that any given pitch will even be hit by the batter, never mind hit in your direction, is quite slim. But rather than hedge bets, a baseball player decides to be assume the posture that gives them the best chance to make a play when the ball comes. 

What does that posture look like in your craft? Opportunities rarely offer the luxury of the perfect conditions or advance warning.

How can you assume the “ready position” to be best-prepared to make the most of next opportunity to come your way?