How To Ace Public Speaking

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This week we’re improving our public speaking skills with the help of expert Carmine Gallo, author of Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds, who tells us about the importance of story and emotion when it comes to presenting. Then hear Lifehacker’s Food Editor, Claire Lower, tell her own story about how she went from being a homeschooler with stage fright to a speech team champion.

Listen to The Upgrade above or find us in all the usual places where podcasts are served, including Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, iHeartRadio and Stitcher.

Highlights from this week’s episode

The Carmine Gallo Interview

On the importance of emotion and storytelling in presentations:

Aristotle said without emotion, people cannot make a decision and they’re not going to be led to your argument. You’re not going to be able to persuade unless you connect with people emotionally. Now, what’s interesting is he wrote that two thousand years ago. What we’re learning today in the lab and through scientific experiments with MRI machines, is that... no one can make a decision without having emotion affect them. So if you cannot connect to people emotionally, you’re losing a big part of persuasion and you’ll be far less influential and effective.

On how to overcome public speaking anxiety:

You have to practice under stress. This is what psychologists, especially people who are in sports psychology, the folks who work with field goal kickers and in football or for golfers staring over a two foot putt putt to win the championship. The reason why they can remain fairly calm in those situations is because they practiced it a thousand times and they practice under mild stress. When it comes to public speaking, you have to get up, record yourself and have a group in front of you. How about one or two people in front of you, maybe friends or peers. In that way you’re practicing under, again, mild stress.

For more of Carmine’s public speaking tips and to hear Claire’s story of overcoming her own stage fright, we recommend listening to the podcast. It’s fun!


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