I've been teaching public speaking and presentations skills since the 1980s, but haven't really written anything on the subject. I was the Technical Editor for two editions of Malcolm Kushner's excellent book PUBLIC SPEAKING FOR DUMMIES (and am quoted in all editions), but haven't put my name on any articles on this topic. I am the author of seven books and co-author of two others, none of which have been on public speaking or presentations or media skills, other than writing materials for classes and seminars.
But at this point in my life, I want to share more and positively affect many more than the clients I've had so far.
The intention of this blog is to provide tips and answer questions generally about public speaking, creating presentations, and achieving great skills as the subject of interviews by the media/press. More specifically, I'll be addressing the titular topic of this website and my personal thrust for coaching/training: How to Speak as Yourself.
There are many training programs for speakers out there, and many of them are absolutely good (and some excellent and some poor).
There are also organizations such as Toastmasters who offer both regular opportunities to speak and some structure for speakers.
However, one thing I've noted is how little emphasis is often placed on bringing out the personality of the potential speaker as one way to clearly differentiate that speaker from others. In fact, if one watches speakers who represent an organizational training--which you can do on YouTube these days--you might get the feeling that, subject matter aside, you're watching cookie cutter speakers.
In other words, while there are certain rules for public speaking (which I really see as "guidelines" rather than rules), from voice to movement, audiences need to get a sense of who YOU are as a person, not just your subject matter. People need to connect with the speaker, with YOU, and they do that by considering how you present yourself when speaking. If you remind them too much of other speakers they've seen, especially speakers on other topics, they get no sense of YOU.
My perspective is to learn to speak as yourself even when speaking to huge audiences. In other words, I want to help you bring out what it is about you that makes you interesting to talk with about your topic, how you bring your personality out in general conversation with others and apply it to more formal speaking situations.
In coming blog posts, I'll provide general speaking tips and suggest ways to practice to help you bring your own personality into your presentations. Someone (actually several sources) once told me that when speaking to an audience, especially a large one, you must be yourself--only more so! I'll discuss what this means and how to get there, at least basic tips (got to save the good stuff for my coaching).
"What if I don't have a personality, Loyd?" you may ask (okay, most people wouldn't ask, but we've all met people with little or no personality).
I'll help you find one (and help you find a sense of humor, too, in case you're missing that).
In the meantime, start thinking about the conversations you have with others about the topics you might want to speak about (or already are speaking about). Think about how you behave and speak in the best of these conversations, the ones that really engage the people you're conversing with.
We'll start there, very soon.
In the meantime, please do feel free to send questions and comments to me, either through the contact form here on the site, or directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org