#1 Skill for Public Speaking

I’ve been public speaking since my HS graduation day, and because I often receive positive recognition as a result, I fell into a major trap early on.

I didn’t research my topic. Although I have usually stuck to what I know (yet there were those times I didn’t – disaster), the message could have been enhanced for greater understanding with more up-to-date, relevant information.

It was my ego that got in the way. The “I am an expert on this topic” perspective allowed me to stand in my own way. It is actually a form of procrastination that keeps us out of integrity of speaking with expertise.

Fortunately, of late my speaking and writing is all based on things I’ve reflected on from others – their experiences, the books I’ve read, the productions I’ve observed, the websites and blogs I’ve visited. What a wealth of information there is that I don’t have to come up with – simply enjoy exploring.

Research is the substance of quality thinking. It allows me to gain new perspective, yet it also encourages me to credit others. This in itself speaks to our professionalism and credibility. Thankfully, I am an my best when I reference the value of others over my own thinking. With one side note – thinking it’s important to give credit to others is powerful – yeah me! This blog post came directly out of Andrew Dlugan’s #1 focus on the 25 skills every public speaker should use.

Got a presentation you’re preparing for? Make sure your efforts include researching your topic, even if you already know what you’re talking about.

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On August 13th, 2010, posted in: asking for help, Message by
One Response to #1 Skill for Public Speaking
  1. I'm glad I was able to play a very small part in inspiring this post, Merri.

    This is a significant self-critique: 'The "I am an expert on this topic" perspective allowed me to stand in my own way.' I wish more people were able to see this.

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