Practice Makes Perfect


Whether you want to be successful at public speaking, at cooking, or at building a birdhouse, practice grows your confidence and your knowledge base.  Malcolm Gladwell famously popularized the 10,000 hour rule which says 10,000 hours of practice leads to “expertise” of a particular subject.

Imagine your current level of public speaking practice, for example.  Let’s say you prepare an outline, prepare your slides, and never rehearse.  You aren’t putting in that time and effort to succeed, and you aren’t working toward those 10,000 hours necessary for mastery.  Most of my students need to learn that practice is a good habit to cultivate every single day – it isn’t something you can just pull off the shelf once a month when you need it.  Practice is something I rarely see enough of in my class; most students have a work ethic I would personally be ashamed of if I were them.  In this culture of laziness, practice takes a backseat to Facebook chat and posting Instagram photos.

I loved reading Body of Work by Pamela Slim (book review coming next week!), and she talks about putting in the time, effort, and practice for the things we care about.  She challenges us to increase our efforts.  What if we practiced a speech 100 times instead of 5?  Practice and effort in any area of our life will allow us to grow those skills.

Learn more about the 10,000 hour theory of practice below:



How much time do you spend preparing and practicing for the things you care about most?


6 thoughts on “Practice Makes Perfect

  1. I think it’s simplistic thinking to say that ‘Practice makes perfect”. If you are practicing the wrong things or doing the right things incorrectly then you will clearly not become perfect. It would be truer to say that ‘Practice makes permanent’. Only ‘perfect practice’ could make perfect. Our challenge as Presentation experts is to show and support others in their efforts to produce perfect practice.

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