Monday, November 8, 2010

Guest Post: Everything I Needed to Know About Public Speaking, I Learned From The Office (UK)

Hey guys and dolls,

Today's guest post comes from my pal Mare Swallow, whom you may remember from her excellent radio guest post last February.  Enjoy, and I'll catch ya next week! 

As a professional development facilitator and speaker, I coach my clients on how to improve their speaking skills. Lots of educational gems can be found all around us -- on TV or on the internet.

One of my favorite shows, The Office (U.K.), illustrates some of the, um, worst practices for public speaking. David Brent is the "entertaining" boss with a "cool vibe," who, sadly, doesn't really know a ton about effective presenting. Fortunately, I do, and I'll share some tips with you.

Below are some lessons I teach in my workshop. David Brent Illustrates the exact oppostite of what you should do to ensure success when you speak.

1. Always rehearse before you present. At a bare minimum, rehearse your opening.

2. Begin with a bang. No one likes to hear a boring opening. You know, "Hi, my name is Marianna and I'm going to talk about blah blah blah." Create a dramatic, interesting, or captivating opening. But not of the David Brent variety:

3. Start Strong; Finish Strong. Creative opening? Use a creative finish. Even if your talk is more subdued, you want to close with conviction. I always tell my students the worst way to end a presentation is with a flat finish like, "Well, that's it." Here's an even worse way:

Do the opposite of David Brent, and you'll be just fine when you give your next speech.

Marianna Swallow is a professional development facilitator, blogger, and writer. She's currently writing her how-to book on public speaking. See her in action at

Wanna get your guest post on?  Email me at maybeimamazed02(at)yahoo(dot)com. 

1 comment: