A public speaking epiphany:

My youngest cousin has just entered college, and speaking with her about what she is doing in school is quite a ‘blast from the past’ for me’. I told her one thing I wish I had thought about more than I did was “what do I want to do when I graduate?” I felt fairly underprepared.

What is universally a good thing to know how to do is to convince someone to hire you:  Whether we are selling ourselves into a position at a company, selling our skills for a contract role, or selling  brownie, we need to understand why someone hires us to fill that gap. Yes, people hire brownies to fill a gap – in their stomach and brain  – the same gap that can be filled with broccoli or beer… it all depends on what the desired outcome is.

She said she wanted to get better at public speaking. But how do you teach that in a way that people actually learn it?  I had an epiphany:

  1. make it fun. this is not the epiphany, but it is true. A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down. If you add an element of fun to the job, it becomes a game. Thank you Mary Poppins.
  2. To speak in front of LARGE groups, you must first speak a single person. Then 2 people, and so on. Or, speak to an increasingly larger amount of people.  

I told her to make public speaking fun, do some comedy. I assigned her some fun homework – watch comedy online, and write me a joke. I then told her “it is probably going to SUCK, but don’t let that get you down.” The best way to get better at something is by being crappy at something first. Then, practice.


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