About David Wise
Wise Words Communications is a solo business run by me, David Wise. You see what I did there, right? However, my business is about more than just a play on words…
My Personal Journey
My interest in communication began with public speaking, or more specifically, the love-hate relationship I’ve had with public speaking for most of my life.
Outwardly, I became good enough at it during my high school years to become the guy that people turned to when there was a speech to be made. I loved the feelings of recognition and accomplishment when I did it well.
Inwardly, I hated the feelings of anxiety and fear. Most of the time I would suffer in silence beforehand and I just took it that that was the price for the good feelings afterwards.
However, as I got older I found that my fear and anxiety around public speaking got worse. Much worse. There were a few occasions when my nerves got the better of me and I came apart during work presentations. It was embarrassing and I felt like I had lost credibility.
In 2003 I decided to work on becoming a consistently good speaker and joined an amateur speaking organisation. While I became really good at speaking within the organisation, I knew that I still needed something else to build my confidence and connect with an audience in ‘real life’ situations. In fact, a couple of those embarrassing moments happened after I had been in the program for several years.
Around 2011, I got serious about finding solutions that would work for me. Through a combination of formal and self-education, learning from mentors, and putting myself in lots of challenging (and sometimes gut-wrenching) situations, I have worked hard to identify the things that I know really make a difference.
Now, yes I still get nervous at times but the difference is that I know exactly how to refocus my mind and calm my body to get things back on the rails so I can present with confidence, clarity and connection.
What inspires me to share what I have learned with others?
Way back when…
In 2011 when I started looking for different solutions for myself, a few people started approaching me to coach them privately. I remember my very first coaching client who had a deadline looming with a recruitment panel. They were already on their second chance having crashed out the first time and they had not gotten the results they needed through other means. There would be no third chance so the stakes were high. I did two sessions to prepare them for the panel interview which they went on to pass with flying colours. Phew!
I have seen many times how improving confidence and developing effective communication skills moves people towards their goals in huge steps.
It never gets old. Ever.
I am working towards a Bachelor of Psychological Sciences to help me gain the knowledge to develop more programs to improve human relations and performance in business.
What I Learned When I Got Beaten by a World Champ
During my years as a member of Toastmasters from 2003 to 2012, I enjoyed the challenge of the International Speech Competition. In my most successful tilt at the competition in 2010-11, I reached the District Final (stage 4) where I was one win away from heading off to the USA to compete in the semi-finals.
Alas, that day I came up against the person who would later go on to become the World Champion of Public Speaking that year. I got ‘schooled’ big time in the art of competitive speaking. His speech was well written, brilliantly delivered, thoroughly entertaining, and deserving of sending him on to the next stage. By comparison, I was nervous and not in the same league in terms of the ‘performance’.
However, in the break afterwards I had a line-up of people coming up to tell me that even though I didn’t win, they enjoyed my speech the most out of the six contenders.
Why was that?
The message of my speech that day was not to let the things that keep us busy crowd out the most important things in our lives. I told a story about how I had been doing exactly that and as a result, I was missing out on my young daughter’s childhood. It apparently resonated with A LOT of people in the audience and a couple of them actually had tears in their eyes afterwards when they thanked me for telling the story.
Thinking about it all the next day, I recognised that creating a performance that meets the judging criteria for a speaking competition is certainly a skill. However…
In ‘real-life’ people care less about how polished your performance is and more about how you make them feel through the resonance of your message and your ability to connect with them in a real, authentic way.
I realised I had forgotten that in my quest to master flawless oratory skills.
Since starting my own training business soon after that, I have been constantly developing and evolving a holistic approach that includes mindset, message, delivery and connecting with your audience.
Keeping All My Cups Full
Some people call it ‘work-life balance’. To me it’s just ‘life’ and it’s different roles – Dad, husband, son, businessperson, student, and a few more. I try to manage my physical and mental health, and my time, so that I can be my best in each one.
Obviously, when you are working with other people, some things just have to be done in ‘normal business hours’ or a time that is mutually agreeable to all. I certainly don’t run on what most would consider a typical work day though. My daily schedule incororates time everything that’s important to me including work, family, study and looking after myself.
Health & Wellbeing
A few decades ago I was a quite a successful athlete competing at state level right through my school years in my pet events the 100m and 200m sprints, long jump and triple jump. I was also a keen footy player.
In adulthood, I have been guilty of letting my health decline over the years to a point where I tipped the scales at 138kg and started to have all sorts of complications.
I am still on my quest to regain my fitness however I am enjoying the process and the changes that I am experiencing.
Sometimes the most important conversations we have are with ourselves. If you’re not really into affirmations and telling yourself how awesome you are, feel free to reach out for some ideas on how to enjoy the benefits of positive self-talk without feeling pretentious or loopy.
P.S If you follow my content you will notice that I don’t just talk about communication all day every day. I also share what I have learned about personal development and balancing my roles in life.
We Choose to Live in Regional Queensland
My wife Kyla and I choose to live and raise our family in a regional area. Not that we don’t like the city. I enjoy the vibe and variety most modern cities offer and my wife and daughter certainly enjoy the shopping.
We just find daily life more enjoyable in the country. It’s a personal choice and one that works for us.
However, please know that I love to work with both regional and metropolitan clients and I keep my fees at a level that makes them competitive even with travel included.