Making public speaking look easy

Have you read Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun?  Every year, I read a few more books on presentations skills, and his is a good one.  It’s funny, personal and practical.  Well worth the read if you’re interested.

I also enjoy Nancy Duarte’s excellent books on building better presentations, and Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds.  But the real thought that strikes me, is that giving better and better presentations is hard work!  Especially if you want it to look effortless.

I was at a conference recently where someone said “I’m just not good at public speaking.  I wasn’t born that way”.  This is a common thought, but I’m fairly certain that no one is born that way.  People work at it.  Hard.  They practice and study and screw up and get better and evolve.  But you don’t just waltz onto a stage and give an informative, creative, funny, perfectly timed talk by fluke.

It looks easy after you’ve put hours of prep into it.  And repeated practice.  And sought feedback.  And threw a few drafts in the garbage and started over.

And it’s not just me, people.  Everyone else on “the tour” is doing the same damn thing. Working hard at it.  To make it look effortless and polished.  Anyone can get better at it, even good at it.  It just depends whether you choose to expend the necessary effort.

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