The Power of Y

I recently got an eNewsletter from Darren LaCroix, the 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking, where he said the following…

What’s the fastest way from good to great? Who is more important, the student or the teacher?

When fellow speakers gave me feedback on my contest speech, they all told me to “get up from your fall quicker.” Had I listened to that advice, I would never have won the World Championship. My mentor and coach, Mark Brown said, “When you fall, stay down longer.” He gave me the exact
opposite advice of everyone else. He was a crucial part of my journey.

The wrong advice will make your journey from good to great longer. (Good news: You can still get there!). The right mentors will save you time and effort.

Darren’s comments on which advice to listen to got me thinking… what if you don’t know which advice is good and which is bad? In Darren’s example, Mark Brown had already won a World Championship of Public Speaking, so it was easy to give his advice more credence.

What about advice from unknown sources?
I would suggest using the ” Power of Y “… which is another way of saying, “Whenever you get advice, ask them why they think it would help.” This little bit of added information will help you decide 1) if the advice is right for you and 2) compare it to you own experience to see if it makes sense.

What Darren left out is the fact that I’m sure Mark Brown had a good reason for suggesting he “stay down longer” in his International Speech. If I had to guess the reason why was probably to create additional tension in the audience… which could be released for great effect later in the speech … or simply because it was different from the other competitors and would make Darren stand out. Maybe it was something completely different … I’m not a World Champion of Public Speaking … yet.

Like any good 2-3 year old child knows, you have to ask “Why?” if you want to learn !

d.Mark “Dave” Wheeler

“If you have a big enough Why, you can figure out the How”
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One Response to The Power of Y

  1. Croix Sather says:

    I have started to ask what is the best thing that you like about "X"? And then after I get an answer, I ask why? You get true and great insights to what the other person is thinking and how to improve your performance. If the person can not articulate why, I assume it is a visceral feeling within the person. If I get the same response from many people, I know it is something that needs to be reconsidered.

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