Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Small Thought on Speaking in Public

So my plan for Thursdays is a little hazy.  Ideally I'd love to answer any questions you guys might have on this day.  Questions about writing, acting, and the industries that surround said subjects.  Questions too maybe about movies (since I LOVE movies) and my favourite colour.  I dunno.  But if you have a question, please feel free to ask it in any of the comments sections!  I really love answering questions.  Conversations in general make me a happy bunny.

But since this is our first Thursday with the new blog setup, I don't have any said questions yet.  So I just had to kind of come up with something I thought was kind of interesting but not too long winded (long winded is saved for Mondays ;) ).

And finally lying in bed last night, I came up with a little bit of advice.  It is something about which I'd been discussing with a fellow author Tuesday night at Rob's event (see Wednesday's post below).  It was about being an author and talking in front of people (something Rob did very well).

Now I've already written extensively about speaking in front of a crowd.  You can find the posts on said subject on the sidebar under the heading:


But I figure it never hurts to repeat this one very simple bit of advice.  I know that it has helped me so much, and it's something that when I share it with others they're all like, "Hey! I hadn't thought of it like that."

And that's this:

When you are speaking in front of a crowd of people, it isn't about you, but them.  What I mean is this:  so often we are nervous about what we are going to say and how we are going to say it.  Even more, we feel like we shouldn't be there in the first place, like no one wants to hear us.  But the fact is, people have come out to see you.  Why?  Because they like you.  They want to hear what you have to say.  And if you get all "Gee shucks" or "I'm not worthy" or "This is stupid" in front of them, you are insulting them.  You are saying that their decision in wanting to see you and hear from you is a bad one.  That they have bad taste.  And you don't want to do that.

Respect your audience.  Realise that for whatever reason they made a choice to see you and now you have to honour that choice.  You are not speaking so that you can be the centre of attention, but rather so that you can entertain and educate the people who went out of their way to come see you.  It's all about their experience not yours.

And I find that the second you turn it around and make the presentation about others and not yourself, you relax.  You open up.  You care.

So that's my tiny bit of advice in regards to speaking in public.  Like I said, I have tons more in those articles in the side bar.  But I think if we can all keep in mind, "It's not about me, it's about them", that's a very good place to start.

1 comment:

K. W. Ramsey said...

Great advice! I will definitely use it the next time I have to do any kind of presentation/public speaking (and if I ever end up doing a reading of my own work :) )