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My listening betrayed me, Toastmasters saved me!

Recently I’ve been studying at VIA Summer School in Denmark (watch a blog). We were asked to create elevator pitch. I’ve created elevator pitch focused on my business. I had precise PowerPoint presentation, big surprise for investors (= classroom) and prepared call to action. Everything was carefully timed to fit 3 minutes.

The time came and I jumped to the stage. Started connecting my laptop to the projector… “Michael, elevator pitch is without computer!” OK, I wasn’t listening the instruction day before and I had to change my presentation dramatically in few seconds. Got an idea and started speaking without presentation based on the ad-hoc structure. As I was observing the audience, everybody seems to be interested. “Michael 10 minutes remain” “What?” Second listening fault: I thought I have 3 minutes not 90 seconds. Not only I was forced to change my presentation to Table Topic (kind of short improvized speech), but I had to finish it in 10 – 20 seconds.

According to audience, it was a good performance. However, for me it was a fault because I forgot that listening is as important as speaking (or even more important). Thank you for this lesson!

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