There is a critical gap between your brain’s capacity to know something and your body’s ability to know how to do it physically. Practice bridges that gap.

What your brain knows and understands, your body must practice to execute well. Suppose, for example, you wish to become an expert downhill skier. You read the best book available on the techniques required. Assume, too, that you’re blessed with a photographic
memory and are able to remember every technique described in the
book. By the time you’ve finished reading the book, your brain knows a great deal about skiing. But such knowing doesn’t mean that your body possesses the know-how to tear down a black diamond run.

You have to practice what you learned in your reading to develop the physical know-how necessary to swoosh down a mountain like the ski patrol at Telluride. Your body’s muscles, controlled by your motor cortex, need to get the feel of the required actions.

Reading books about public speaking and attending training programs will only get you so far. As with any skill, to master your delivery you must practice to develop the requisite know-how.

Practice helps you get the feel of what you’ve learned. To see the results you’re hoping for, you must practice—because it is your brain that has read the book or listened to the presentation, not your body. Your body hasn’t a clue about the meaning of the words and ideas in this text. To get the feel of it, practice is the only answer.