My comments to an article on Forbes about Public Speaking Classes
Kristi, thank you for the direct and veteran approach to sharing your experiences.
While I credit much of my success to Speech, Drama, Choir and other performing arts classes in High School and Toastmasters and Dale Carnegie as an adult, many “off the wall” opportunities have shaped my presentation style whether serving as MC, coach, speaker, trainer or dad.
The value of being clear in your communication can by no means be underestimated. Nor can the effort one dedicates to be certain that they are clear when they communicate. In my humble opinion, that is much more about the “who that you are” than the “what that you say” or the “how that you say it.” How long does it take to get ketchup from a pineapple?
Jack Welch is famous as an incredibly powerful and impactful speaker and leader. Yet his persona often turns people off before the first word is said. Public speaking in that instance is much like alcohol in that it tends to magnify your personality. A jerk back stage can perform well on the stage, but the “vibe” they present with is still jerk and that hinders, hides or prevents the transfer of intentional influence.
When I coach speakers and presenters, whether new to speaking or veterans, I encourage them to better develop the “messenger” in order that the message they have to deliver will carry more weight even if they stumble, stutter and stammer.
I agree that presence is more than mechanics. I agree that coaches who believe there is only “one right way to present” can do more harm than good. I agree that everyone has the basic skills and abilities needed to be a public speaker.
I also believe that we as coaches and trainers have a grand responsibility to serve our clients by preparing them to SERVE their audiences and not themselves. The “platform” these clients possess wields a great amount of influence and that is like a loaded weapon in the hands of a “slick presenter” who is wealthy in talent and limited in character.
I encourage us all, to remember the opportunity we share when we take the mic, the pointer or the lectern in hand. We have a chance to shape the minds, hearts and plans of the future. We carry the information, motivation and inspiration that will crush or compel greatness, destroy or build tomorrows, wreck or save people, companies and families.”
“Tell It Like It Is, because nothing has the power to change your life like a word that rings forever in your heart.”