Learn from the best … speakers already on the stage

by | Oct 21, 2013 | Marketing & Selling, Video

Carma with Julie Austin

Last week, at a meeting of the Long Beach chapter of the Professional Speakers Association, I had the opportunity to record an interview with Julie Austin, the creator of Speaker Sponsor, a site that helps speakers find sponsors and sponsors find speakers to sponsor. I asked her the same four questions I asked the 82 speakers I interviewed for my forthcoming book, Public Speaking Super Powers.

I couldn’t find someone to hold the camera for me, so the video looks a bit guerilla, but has some good information in it.

Julie’s advice was to learn from successful speakers. You can do this by attending workshops, seminars and boot camps, watching YouTube videos of famous speeches or just watching talk TV.

Every time you attend a workshop, seminar or bootcamp, watch how the speaker or speakers ply their craft. You’ll find that you’ll learn a lot about how to organize your own presentations, how to use your voice and body to help communicate your message and sometimes even how to effectively monetize your speaking gigs.

But there are other things you can learn by watching others. A case in point is this very video. It always amazes me how people interpret and answer my question, “If you were a public speaking superhero, what would your super power be?” I intend the answer to be their strength as a speaker, but then I get answers like “invisibility.” Did you notice, however, how I was able to turn that around into something that you could use in your speaking endeavors?

That’s one of the many stills that can help you as a speaker, coach or writer, especially if you find yourself interviewing others. Reacting to an interviewee’s answer in a way that still benefits your audience. I learned this skill through my many years as a science writer, and it serves me to this day. As a coach, a speaker or a writer, you’ll need to use this skill often. You can learn it by watching others, as Julie suggests. Successful interviewers such as Oprah, Ellen Degeneres, Barbara Walters and Maury Povich can be very good role models.

Now its your turn:
How have you learned by observing others? In what ways have you learned by watching someone else ply their craft? What take-aways would you like to share? Please jot down your advice, ideas and wisdom in a comment below.


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