Better Public Speaking

Better Public Speaking

Ah, public speaking, the universal fear that unites the strongest warriors and the meekest introverts. In today’s episode of “The Be Better Tomorrow” podcast, I decided to tackle the Bermuda Triangle of career progression—presentation skills. Why, you ask? Because somewhere between “Um” and “Ah,” I realized that mastering the art of speaking could actually be your secret weapon to climbing the corporate ladder. And who am I? Just a dude who’s made a pact with the stage, a regular at Toastmasters, which, by the way, you should totally turn into a drinking game every time I mention it. Bottoms up!

Let’s debunk a myth right away. Public speaking isn’t about having an out-of-body experience where you miraculously channel the oratory prowess of Winston Churchill. Nope. It’s about facing those sweaty palms, those “please-don’t-let-me-trip-on-my-way-up” fears, and just talking. Like, to people. Terrifying, I know.

Jerry Seinfeld once joked that at a funeral, most folks would prefer being the one in the casket than the one eulogizing. But here’s the thing: speaking isn’t about dancing with death. It’s about dancing with opportunity. And to dance, my friends, you need to know the steps.

Step one: stop self-sabotaging with the whole “oh, I’m just terrible at this, bear with me” spiel. If you begin your presentation with an apology, you might as well wear a sandwich board that says, “I’m expecting failure, and you should, too!” Be bold. Own your presence.

Speaking of presence, let’s talk PowerPoint, or as I like to call it, the Sleep Inducer 3000. There’s an art to slides, and it doesn’t involve transforming a 20-page report into a visual coma. Slides are your wingman, not your autobiography. Keep it snappy, people.

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room—speed. Most rookie speakers zip through their talk like they’re on a timer set to self-destruct. Slow down. Take a breath. Maybe even two. Remember, if you sound like you’re auctioning cattle when you’re actually presenting quarterly figures, you’re doing it wrong.

And when you’re done with your rollercoaster of words, tie it up with a Q&A bow. But please, for the love of all things audible, don’t ask, “Any questions?” It’s like saying, “I dare you to challenge me.” Instead, try, “What questions do you have?” It’s inviting, less confrontational, and opens the floor for actual engagement.

In conclusion, folks, public speaking doesn’t have to be your Arch Nemesis. Embrace it, practice it, and then, just maybe, you’ll find that it’s not the speaking that’s scary—it’s the silence that terrifies us all. So, fill it. Fill it with your thoughts, your voice, your presence. And who knows? You might just find yourself in a place where people don’t just listen, but they actually hear you. Here’s to not tripping on stage—both metaphorically and literally. Now, go make those butterflies fly in formation!

Jason Fisher Written by:

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