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Run Forrest, Run


In April of this year, I should have been running the London Marathon. Then Coronavirus arrived. It was delayed until October. Then it was (understandably) delayed until the autumn of 2021. For the record, I will be running those 26.2 miles next year and I’m still looking for sponsorship!


But that’s not the purpose of this particular piece – and I promise I’ll get to the ‘speaking’ bit shortly.


Let me take you back to September 2019. I was in the pub on a Friday night and two of my friends were discussing how they were going to take part in a Firewalk to raise money for Weldmar Hospicecare. “You’ll never catch me doing that”, I muttered. Seconds later, and probably whilst someone was taking a loo break or ordered more drinks at the bar, I skimmed through Facebook and saw the very same charity looking for people to run the marathon for them.


And like the idiot I am, I chose the London Marathon over a brief stumble on some hot coals.


Training began in earnest – I had a goal to hit. And by February of this year, I was cranking out 18 mile runs without too much pain. However, the world changed suddenly and everything I had worked for was put on hold.


However, after a couple of grumpy weeks, I got back to it; using my government-approved one-hour exercise to keep myself running on a daily basis. After six weeks though, combined with a minor leg injury, I stopped running. Lockdown was getting to me. Work was getting to me. And the lack of an immediate goal was getting to me.


You see, with the rescheduled marathon so many months away now, I lost the focus I previously had.

I’m back on it now. But I’m going to have to find a way of putting goals into my diary for the next year to keep myself going. Perhaps a few half marathons or just a little treat every month for keeping at it.


And that’s the same with practicing your speaking skills. You need a coach, regular training sessions and a goal/s to be aiming for – whether that be the best man’s speech in 6 months, the quarterly presentation at work in 6 weeks or an ambition to be an after-dinner speaker in the next 6 years.

Verbu can help with that – and please do talk to us about everything from one-off courses to a bespoke long-term coaching plan.


But I’d also highly recommend ‘Toastmasters’ who have helped in my development and goal setting for a number of years now. I’m particularly involved with Casterbridge Speakers in Dorset and Taunton Speakers in Somerset and would be glad to make introductions if you’re local to me. But you can find a club near you, pretty much wherever you are in the world, here.


Let me know how you get on.

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