October 10, 2006

About Speak Schmeak



My philosophy of public speaking is that it's fun, it's a perfect way to express yourself creatively, and that authenticity and passion are worth more than a thousand techniques.

I believe that the audience comes first, and I practice what I preach. I find many speakers to be insulting in their disrespect of the audience. They are not audience-focused, they are information-focused. They think that more is better, and as long as all that information is on the PowerPoint, they've done their job.

Public speaking is a complex job, and speakers have to be willing to learn the principles behind not just what makes a good speaker (those "techniques" we've all heard about), but what are the motivators and barriers to learning that your audience faces.

Why are they there? What do they need and want to learn? How best do they learn it? How best do they retain it? What is getting in the way of their learning?

My job as a coach is to help you come to a place where it's not about you any more. When you focus on the audience and give them everything you've got, you find that much of your anxiety melts away. The anxiety that remains fires you up and pushes you to succeed.

Sure, knowing proper speaking techniques is helpful. In fact, it's so helpful, that once you know the "rules," you are free to break them! As long as the needs of your audience come first, that is.

I learned the "rules" and how to break them through my many years as an advocate and educator in nonprofit organizations, mostly serving women and girls in the areas of domestic violence and gender equity with some media literacy, healthy relationships and communication skills development thrown in. My undergraduate degree is in theater and my graduate degree is in education. Every day I get to practice what I've learned and I keep working to improve my own skills as a speaker and communicator.

This blog is about speaking, speakers, techniques, philosophy, attitude, beliefs, communication, and more. I hope you find what I have to say worthwhile and relevant to the challenges you face as a speaker.

(You can read all about my long road to my perfect career here and all about my services here.)

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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

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