Though I rarely perform professionally, I play guitar every day. It's my healthy drug and I've been addicted to it for over forty years.

If you play or ever wanted to learn how it's probably because you heard someone perform a piece of that moved you deeply. My musical journey has introduced me to old jazz guitar masters like Wes Montgomery and Django Reinhardt, to the next generation of players like George Benson, and to current-day artists like Peter Mazza.

I've also listened to rock and roll greats like Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck and Eddie VanHalen, and to players of other styles like Tony Rice and Leo Kottke. I could turn you onto the I love and the musicians who have influenced me all day.

So where am I going with this?

If you wanted to learn to play guitar, you'd get some influences and start listening.

Why not pursue the art of speaking the same way?

No matter what you're trying to do, the people you watch and listen to for inspiration are a critical part of your development.

Make sure you tune into some great speaking influences.

Dig into Winston and Abraham and explore some of the tricks they used.

Watch some presentations by Kelly Swanson, Jason Hewlett, Bruce Turkel, and Bill Stainton—all speakers who have inspired me.

Do you speak on a particular topic or in a particular industry?

Visit the National speakers Association website and use the “find a ” function to locate other speakers in your lane.

Listen to what they're saying and how they're saying it. Some will bore you and others will blow you away.

Figure out why and you'll be well on the road to becoming a better .