The Difference Between Talent and Skill

Trainers and presenters can be grouped into three distinct categories: Learners, Yearners and Earners.

Dave Yoho

August 10, 2021

2 Min Read
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Prevailing wisdom says it takes a combination of talents to become a successful trainer or presenter. 

Immerse yourself in specific sessions at an industry convention or a seminar and you will observe many talented people. 

Some have gifts of voice, platform presence, a great sense of humor, or retention of information. 

The ability to perform in front of an audience (large or small) is unquestionably a talent.

So, what about skill? Unlike talent, skill sets take discipline and sometimes years to cultivate. 

Long ago, we concluded that trainers and presenters can be grouped into three distinct categories based on their desire to improve their skill level: Learners, Yearners, and Earners.

Learners do more than listen to messages. 

They observe techniques. 

They deal in self-evaluation to define what methodology is needed to learn a skill set. 

They calculate the time and effort it will take to practice techniques with which they are not yet highly skilled. 

They assess voice qualities, enunciation, projection, body language, stance, and timing.

The Yearner is usually an emotionally stimulated participant.

They often conclude that there is much going on that they do not fully understand and moreover, much that they do not know.

When this happens, the Yearner has an opportunity to become a Learner.

However, one should not presuppose that their voice coupled with a message will evoke an immediate response without dedication, discipline, and practice.

Earners frequently operate with an ego drive which tells them they are equal (or more advanced than) others which they hear and observe.

The Earner’s eagerness to achieve often obviates a long-range potential that would be enhanced and sustained with greater skill development.

Our skills are produced and increased with conscientious practice. Learners do not assume that they are at the peak of their development simply because they mastered a new skill. Instead, they realize that preparation must constantly be worked on because the marketplace is changing, thus the habits and beliefs of your prospect are also changing.  

Learners understand that until they have developed the science of starting every presentation with statements that are virtually devoid of first-person references, they need to practice repeatedly.

Try to deliver a presentation primarily with second-person statements.

See how difficult it is to execute.

Communication driven by second-person references asks you to reject the very premise by which you learned English (“I-first person”, “You-second person” “They or them-third person”). 

The science of human behavior tells us that when you speak in second-person, the listener receives it as first-person communication.

For the most part, Yearners and Earners do not have time for the basics of sales communication and that is why many will, unfortunately, languish in mediocrity and miss the opportunity for rapid development on the path to greatness.

About the Author(s)

Dave Yoho

Dave Yoho Associates

Dave Yoho Associates is one of North America’s largest, oldest, and most successful small business consulting companies. Dave Yoho has appeared in over 100 training videos. He is the author of the best-selling book: Have a Great Year Every Year (Oakhill Press). His company developed the sales methods which are used by the most successful people in the in home sales industry.

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