On having too little to say

Last night in a meeting, I was given a topic to speak about for two minutes. It was a challenging form of communication as it was impromptu speaking, and I had to talk about random things about leadership in front of a group without preparation. I had a timer in front of me. I did the opening by asking questions, I asked the audience if anyone wants to be a leader and if anyone can step up and speak up. Then I started to talk about how to lead by example instead of micro-managing etc. Then I was running out of things to say. My mind started to be blank, I started to get nervous and I looked at my timer, only thirty seconds had passed. It felt a long time already when everyone was looking at me and listening, but I couldn’t think of anything to elaborate on my topic. I started to make up an example, talked about a project at MBA that I led by showing people how I get things done instead of pointing fingers to tell others what to do, blah blah blah… one minute has passed. Finally. Then maybe it’s time I should start to think of a conclusion with a good ending. Maybe I should do a call to action by telling everyone to be a great leader, everyone has to practice good public speaking, that’s what I was doing. One minute and thirty seconds, I had too little to say, not even completed with two minutes.

If I might have done differently in that situation, I would do my preparation and homework in advance. The topic was indeed random, and I couldn’t prepare for it. However, that doesn’t mean I couldn’t think about this topic before if I had a habit of thinking. I would read a lot of books and newspaper with a repository of information in my mind that I could retrieve relevant information when required. I would have a lot of different kinds of life experiences that I could share an interesting story with others when necessary. I could write a little bit more every day, such that things I said maybe written before at some point that the words are beautifully crafted in my blog posts. There are too little to say when there is nothing happened in a boring life, when there is nothing new to learn and when there is no independent thinking with important ideas to share. I could learn some rules and structure about speaking, which I don’t need to remember the rules, but the rules are already part of my habit of speaking, with an opening point, reasonings to support, examples to illustrate as well as an ending to reiterate what I try to say. Then, maybe I would have a lot more to say.

In general, to avoid having too little to say, I would need to work hard and practice. It would be rewarding by spending time gathering ideas, enrich my life and study for new vocabularies to express myself. It is very powerful if I could write and speak fluently such that I could create an impact on the worlds influencing others to take actions and becoming an effective leader. I would learn by rules to speak without thinking of rules. I don’t need to stop and think about how to get more to say, but it’s a habit that I master the laws of efficiency in speaking until it is second nature for me to speak correctly rather than otherwise. In the beginning, I will find a great deal of difficulty at first in putting principles into practice, but if I persevere, I would be able to success. Having more to say would be habitual as a result of practice. There are advantages as a fluent speaker over the speaker with too little to say, as people who can make a great speech would sound like a better leader. And I am determined to be a better leader since we are living in an age with FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) and I admire those who can lead and overcoming this to make our society a better place for us and our future generation.


Originally published at https://victorleungtw.com.

By Victor Leung

Experience in software development, consulting services and technical product management. Understanding of business and technology with an MBA in Finance and a Master degree in Computer Science. AWS Certified Solution Architect with experience in building products from scratch and serving as a charismatic leader.

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