People often ask me for advice about public speaking, since I do a lot of it. Of course, it’s often reported that people are more afraid of public speaking than death (which is not exactly empirically accurate, but it is close). In my experience, becoming a good public speaker is not a natural skill for anyone. While I now speak professionally about once a week, for sums I could never have imagined just a few years ago, I have had to learn through many difficult and painful experiences and a great deal of feedback how to basically just be myself on stage.
When I started writing my book, I knew that authors generally make more money from speaking than they do from royalties, so I wanted my talks on the Information Diet to be great. Before I first started my speaking tour for the Information Diet, I watched a lot of great speakers give great talks and asked them how they gave such great talks. The universal answer is always: “I lock myself in my hotel room the night before and rehearse.”
Received wisdom suggests that deeper voices are seen as authoritative and trustworthy. A recent scientific experiment confirms that perception, suggesting that men and women with deeper voices are more likely to succeed in leadership positions.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jason Freedman has done his share of public speaking, and despite the racing heartbeat and anxiety we all have, knows how to deliver a relaxed, natural presentation. Here’s how he does it.
Lots of people dislike public speaking because the entire audience is focused on you and seemingly critical of any flaw or mistake. But you know what? The audience often just wants you to finish so they can get on with their life.