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#008: How to Succeed at Failing in Public Speaking

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On this episode of the UnPodcast, we discuss what I do for a living — speaking. We go over common misconceptions that people have about what it takes to be a speaker and what goes into a good presentation. We also talk about mistakes speakers make and how they can be avoided.

You cannot walk on stage without the confidence that says, “I am the right person to be standing here right now.”

Other topics include:

  • How speaking is a way to position yourself as an authority
  • The difference between speakers and experts who speak
  • How speaking can hurt your brand
  • Why you shouldn’t use the “urinal position” when speaking
  • Why the presentation software you use doesn’t matter
  • Some of the biggest mistakes I see made in presentations
  • How many bullet points are too many
  • How room size makes a difference with the presentation you create
  • What you should never do in a presentation
  • What you should do when something goes wrong in your presentation
  • How to be relaxed when public speaking
  • How to break bad speaking habits
  • Why people hire speakers and how to best promote yourself as a speaker
  • When a standing ovation isn’t really a standing ovation
  • And so much more. . .

    Beware of those who give you feedback when you don’t ask for it. [Tweet this]

    The best thing you can do is be you. [Tweet this]

    Items mentioned in this episode

  • Sevenly
  • Sheridan College
  • Associates Not Pleased with Memo on Presentation Tips for Women
    Video provided by: AtomicSpark
    Audio recorded by: Wayne Cochrane Sound

    • cardiogoop

      When does “Presenting advice for stumbling, mumbling bafoons” come out ? I need your help, Scott.

    • Naima Singletary

      Scott, I really wish you would stop cutting Alison off mid-sentence 90% of the time. It’s incredibly painful to watch and hear.

      • What? These two are working like a clock together. Wish Alison would come here, comment and prove your “painful experience” suspicions are wrong.

      • Alison Kramer

        i have no idea what you’re talking about. Scott and I are just speaking naturally, as we always do, on the podcast. Just happen to be cameras there to catch our awesomeness. Scott would never, ever even think of….

      • Adam

        Scott is the main content of the podcast. Alison says the word “yeah,” a million times during the podcast, which I found distracting. Perhaps switching up the words that let him know she’s listening would help? The times she does interject, however, she does add useful content.

        I can’t believe that government guy speaking on legal usage of intellectual content used stolen iStock photos!

        Great stuff in the podcast, from both!

    • Anna

      Hi, found the podcast quite rambly. Sure, anecdotes are good to engage the audience but it got annoying waiting for the actual podcast topic and I had to stop listening.

    • Pamela Herrmann

      Practice with Mike… lol (no really, I laughed out loud).

    • Yay Sheridan! I graduated in 2002, so I don’t think I had the pleasure of having you as a teacher 🙁 Though I am missing chunks of my memory from that time.

    • JasonPitoniak

      Scott and Alison, I love the podcast and I think the banter between both of you is great. I look forward to each new episode knowing that I’m probably going to end up laughing my ass off over something that one of you will say.

      When I was in school I dreaded having to make presentations in class because I always worried that I wouldn’t know the right answer or I’d say something wrong and I’d get called out–or marked down–for it. Once I became gainfully employed, however, I was asked to run some training sessions and very quickly realized that the people attending my session were there because they considered me an authority on the subject and wanted to learn. When that clicked, the whole dynamic changed…I suddenly realized as long as I knew the content I was covering I’d be fine–and that “I don’t know” is an acceptable answer to questions, provided I knew how to direct the asker to where they might find that answer.

      It’s weird, but now every time I prepare to present, I seem to find myself worried that I’m not nervous enough and that I should be worried about something, but I can’t ever figure out what that should be.

    • I dislike public speaking. It makes my heart feel like its jumping out of my throat. However I am told I present quite well. I have to take peoples’ word for it though as I tend to black out through nerves and so can recall anything that is going on. It is very strange.

      Recently I have been putting a lot of video on my blog over at lukecorden:aspirationalist and this has helped but I do get told that I need to be more enthusiastic. I tend to reject this criticism. I am not an exciteable person so to affect this emotion would appear false. I think.

      Better to just be yourself. What do think?