Secrets to Being a Good Speaker

One of my favourite speakers, Mel Robbins (she has one of the best, and best-known, Ted talks ever: you can see it here), sends out a quick weekly newsletter, which I subscribe to. I'm a big believer in learning from people I admire. I don't want to simply copy them, but I do want to emulate the things they do well. 

So, in today's newsletter, Mel shared a link to this very quick video in which she asks an event producer what makes someone a good speaker to work with. Here's what Chris has to say:

It sounds simple doesn't it, but sometimes the simple things are the things we can easily forget.  For me, numbers two and three are pretty easy. I've done so much speaking in schools that I have learned that I MUST be flexible. Timetables change. Weather isn't kind. Technology fails.  I once gave a writing workshop where 80 children (rather than the agreed 20) turned up, and none of them had anything to write with or on. What did I do?  Did the whole workshop as a very interactive, team-writing exercise where I scribed on the whiteboard.

And as for being friendly and easy to get along with: I love people. I love to talk to people, to hear their stories. So generally that's easy, too. Of course, it isn't always easy to be so personable when stuff is going wrong - but it still is easier to be nice about it than it is to be rude and demanding. Often when there IS a mistake, the person you are dealing with is not the person whose mistake it is. They're just the front person. And, besides, who hasn't made a mistake (Or twenty)? 

Number one is probably the one I feel I can work on. I am a stickler for punctuality, and don't want to be a bother, so sometimes forget that it isn't over planning or intrusive to send a message letting the organiser of an event know when and how I will be coming. It means they don't have to, at the last moment, worry about whether I will be there - even though I know I will be. And hearing it from Chris is a good reminder to me to perhaps make that email part of my pre-event routine.

If you are reading this and you are NOT a speaker, you might have tuned out by now, but I reckon this advice is helpful in pretty much any walk of life.  Be communciative, be flexible, be nice.