3 Tips for Overcoming Burnout and Insecurity from Kyla Cofer

Do you ever feel paralyzed by a desire for perfection?

It’s a feeling that isn’t uncommon for speakers. Often, in the desire to know everything about your field or create the perfect system, your current circumstances begin to feel inadequate for the task ahead of you. This was Kyla Cofer’s experience when she was first starting out as a speaker. This week, she sat down with Maryalice Goldsmith to share her insight on the topic, along with other tips and advice for public speakers. Here are the top 3 takeaways from their conversation:

Let Yourself Evolve

“Perfection is the enemy of the good,” as the well-known saying goes. This is especially true for public speakers. For Kyla, it was her demo video. It took her months to make until she finally realized that she simply had to do it.

She was reminded of Grant Baldwin’s reminder that even his first demo video was terrible compared to the new version. But the most important thing is to get it out there. Then, once you’re giving amazing talks and have more resources and material to work with, you can improve it.

You have to give your business room to evolve and grow and you learn new things and gain more experience. Kyla emphasizes that you have to be grateful for who and where you are now. Judge yourself by how far you’ve come, not by how far you want to go.

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Be Specific With Your Goals

Another useful piece of advice Kyla has for public speakers is the necessity of specific goals. For her, the goal was 40 public appearances, and the specificity of that goal made her realize that the appearances weren’t just going to come knocking. She had to seek them out.

If you want to be a public speaker, it’s not enough to simply have abstract goals that you plan to accomplish eventually. You need to set firm goals and take steps to reach them. And of course, if things don’t go exactly as planned, it’s okay to cut yourself some slack.

Don’t Give Up

When asked for the one piece of advice she has for speakers who are just starting out, Kyla said that it would be not to quit despite negative feedback. She emphasizes that even though such comments can be hurtful, it’s important to learn what you can from them and not dwell on them too much.

It’s also important to be mindful of how you define success. Even if some people don’t appreciate your talk, if you gave it your all, fulfilled your objectives and left an impact on people, it’s unhelpful to be critical of yourself because of a negative reaction from a small number of people.

Ready to hear more? Check out Episode 455 of The Speaker Lab podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


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