With incredibly easy access to information and the wealth of knowledge available from books and other media, it is possible for anyone to become an expert in any chosen field. When the year 2013 started I personally made the decision to become an expert in public speaking.
Gladson Maxwell made the 10,000 hour rule very popular through his book “The Outliers” which is a great read. That rule can be bypassed by a host of shortcuts, for example, surrounding oneself with mentors and experienced professionals. A full list of 7 steps to cheat the rule is available on this infographic: http://blog.zintro.com.
For becoming an excellent public speaker, one of the most practical ways is to speak as often as possible. In other words constantly creating opportunities to address groups of people. That is a huge commitment and once that commitment to speaking as much as possible is made, you will have to make lots of changes to your daily and weekly schedules to have time slots for preparation and delivery of speeches.
It might not be public speaking for you, but whatever it is realize that it will take conscious efforts and your full commitment to make it come true. Whatever activity you are engaged in at any time of your day, always ask yourself if that is a stretching opportunity or a stressing opportunity.
Stretching activities help you get a little bit closer to your goals, and stressing activities distract you from your goals. Are you stressing or are you stretching?