I used to include a book review each month in my e-zine, but I stopped doing it. The main reason for this was that I found myself rushing to read a lot of books because they had a catchy title or there was a lot of buzz surrounding them. But unfortunately, their advice wasn’t helpful to me — and in some cases, the advice was just plain useless. After two months of reading several books before finding one worth reviewing, I decided to drop the feature. But this wasn’t a complete waste of my time, I actually learned quite a bit.
I normally try to keep my posts in the form of articles related to personal development and communication, but today I came across a couple scams that I wanted to share with my readers. These days people are desperate will stop at nothing to take your hard earned money away from you so I want you to ensure that you don’t fall for their deceit.
So you’re the richest man in the world (or number 2 depending on the stock market) and you’re giving a talk on malaria at the TED conference. How do you get the audience’s attention and keep it? Unleash a swarm of mosquitoes on the crowd and say “there’s no reason only poor people should be infected.” Has Bill gone crazy since his retirement from Microsoft?
Of course the mosquitoes weren’t carrying malaria, but I’m sure quite a few audience members were a bit antsy as the swarm of flying bugs was unleashed. Was this a good idea? In my honest opinion, yes and no.
I’ve recently started participating in a few social networks, one of which is geared towards professional speakers and other people that make part of their living through speaking. One of the things that jumped out at me as I started receiving notifications and messages from other folks on this network is that many of them had nicknames or gimmicks. Now I’m not talking about someone named William going by “Bill” but instead people having names like “Mr. Make the World a Better Place Through Small Talk” or “The Make Things Happen Right Now Guru.” For a moment I thought I was checking out the roster for the WWE.
So you’re about to take the stage to give a speech and you start feeling a little strange. Your stomach feels like it’s tied up in knots. Your heart is racing and you have a warm and tightening feeling in your upper body. This is a normal feeling that even experienced speakers feel from time to time. So how do you deal with it? Just try imagining your audience in their underwear.
Throughout the last six years, I’ve heard at least a dozen folks who are good speakers tell other people that they should never open their speech with “Thanks, it’s nice to be here” or some other cordial greeting. I’ve asked many of these folks why they feel so strongly about it and have yet to receive what I consider a satisfactory answer — a giveaway that I might have a myth on my hands.
Here are some of the answers I’ve received when asking why this is so bad:
- It weakens your speech.
- It bores the audience.