I have been on a life-long journey to be a good speaker, performing on stage or in class, since I was four years old, and on camera and other sound media since I was 26. I have had the odd unhappy response over the years but over all, I have loved it. Someone once asked Jean-François Gravelet (‘The Great Blondin‘) the renown tight-rope walker of the 19th Century what his life was like and he is reputed to have replied, “Life is on the high wire. The rest is waiting around.” I feel like that about speaking.
Life is in front of the camera, at the microphone or on stage. The rest is waiting around.
Why do I like the idea of being a good speaker?
Simple! It’s a great way to influence people and change the world for good in my own lifetime. It’s also great fun. Sometimes when I am right in my groove, I enter another state and feel like I am watching myself from 5mtrs above and behind, saying, ‘If I were in the audience, I’d be loving this.’ I am sure you feel the same about a successful sale, a smooth board meeting, a completed staff survey, a piece of art you’ve crafted, or a backyard shed you put together yourself. It’s that immensely satisfying feeling when you know that you know, that you know. (I must confess that if I am in a dark mood I have been known to answer, ‘I’m a professional speaker because it beats the living daylights out of sitting in the audience listening to other people,’ but you didn’t hear that from me.)
Why would you want to be a good speaker?
There is a heap of reasons why you’d want to be a good speaker and here are just a few;
- you gain 25 IQ points, (you don’t really but people perceive you as being smarter),
people who are frightened of speaking think you’re a marvel,
people ask your advice and may be willing to pay for it,
people pay you to travel to exotic locations to speak,
you meet exotic people and share in exotic functions,
you spread your message and influence,
you attract interest and engagement for your project or business,
you get gifts, and if you are good enough you get paid,
if you are really good, you make a great living, having fun.
A good speaker always has a good presentation coach.
From the time I was 4 I’ve had many people coach, cajole, critique, (sometimes cripple) and cheer my speaking, platform skills and AV presentations. Today I’m pretty much the sum total of everything they’ve all contributed. Apart from the thrill of holding an audience in the palm of my own hand, my second-biggest buzz comes from bringing on other speakers and storytellers. I’ve worked on story-telling with thousands of elementary school teachers in the US and Australia. I’ve taught story-telling and platform presentation at tertiary level. I’ve helped preachers not put their congregations to sleep, I’ve worked with MLM leaders, CEOs, special occasion speakers, bridegrooms, dads, my children, MCs and salespeople all put less drivel and more dazzle in their dialogue. It’s a hoot seeing the new confidence on their faces and in their voices as they become more aware that they know, that they know, that they know.
Want to know more about being a good speaker yourself?
As I always say, with me, anything is possible but nothing is free. I work with lots of speakers on SKYPE, so distance and country are not a problem, and if you are local — in SA — we meet face to face. Send me this email to initiate discussion about a speech coaching inquiry.