How many of you have written pages & pages of essays during your school or college tests? How many of you take time to organize the essay under proper sub headings & underline the important points?
Well, it took a while for me to understand these simple things. I spent hours and hours writing essays during the tests but didn't spend another 5 or 10 minutes to underline the important points. The result is - I didn't get the grade that I deserved. A teacher or professor evaluates 100s of papers a day. Most of the teachers don't have time to read each and every line from the essays. All they look for is perfect presentation. It just takes an additional 5 or 10 minutes to provide a good presentation. When I mastered this art, I became the class topper.
Since then, I started to strongly believe "Small things make perfection but perfection is not a small thing".
Let me give you an example from my work place. I've seen several colleagues spending hours and hours in the office to complete their deliverables. They even work over the weekends. However, they won't spend another 5 - 10 minutes in sending their status reports or giving a status update to their boss. How would the boss know that you had spent extra hours if you hadn't projected it yourself? Sending a status report is a small thing, but it creates a significant effect on your performance.
How many of you have experience preparing soups? You would've added several ingredients to make your soup delicious. What if you miss to add a pinch of salt at the end? The soup won't be tasty.
Look at our contest speakers/winners - they pay attention to the exceptionally small details which differentiate their performance from others. If you want to be a successful speaker - find out the small things that prevent you from climbing the ladder of success. It may be things like repeated use of filler words, staring at the roof, keeping the hands clasped or keeping a hand in the pocket. Seek feedback from fellow toastmasters and mentors, who’ll make your journey to success shorter and faster.
Let us keep this in mind "Small things make perfection but perfection is not a small thing". Let us try to add "the pinch of salt" that brings perfection to everything we do in our life.
Published in SpeakOut November 2010
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