The awkward introductory post!

by Scott | 4/6/2009

The first post of every blog in history is always weird and strange. Here is yet another. Yay!

I’m working on my third book. This book is a fresh take on public speaking.

I’ve read dozens of popular books on public speaking, many of which are quite good, but I’m still left wondering: why are most public speakers so bad?  And what have I learned about people and the world at large from being someone who gets paid to speak in public for a living?

I’ll be using this place to capture interviews, share stories, ask for advice, and do some experiments, all on the way to getting the book out to you by fall of 2009.

There. awkward first post is now out of the way. Whew.


4 Responses to “The awkward introductory post!”

  1. Ben Scofield Says:

    I think the answer to why so many public speakers are bad is pretty simple: they just haven’t invested the time it takes to get better. Speaking is rarely the primary (or secondary, or tertiary) responsibility for people, so they don’t feel the need to improve.

    In addition, there’s relatively little peer pressure to improve, since most of the other speakers at any given event will be poor as well. If more people improved, then there’d be more incentive for everyone else to get better as well.

    Unfortunately, these two factors mean that the people who most need to work on their speaking skills probably won’t find this blog… but we can hope!

  2. Tammy Takahashi Says:

    Unfortunately, I have to agree with Ben.

    There are many reasons why public speakers are boring or hard to follow. But I would argue, that not having the “right” kind of public speaking manual isn’t high on the list.

    That said, I’m really looking forward to your new book because I want to be a spectacular speaker, not just a “good” one. I want to do things differently. I want people to thinkg “Wow, she rocked my world!” when they come to my seminars. I’m also a women, and 99.9% of public speaking books are geared toward men.

    Thanks for starting this blog. I’m going to be paying close attention to it!

  3. Scott Says:

    Ben: this is exactly why I’m interested in the topic. I think we could make similar observations about writing, relationships, philosophy or dozens of other core, perennially important but typically ignored in practice topics.

    Part of the goal of the book is to capture all of the ridiculous things that happen behind the scenes for people that do a lot of public speaking. So my goal is not strictly to write a manual – but to author a fun, interesting book about something we do and listen to all the time.

  4. Steve Arrowood Says:

    Ben, I think that simple answer you wrote about why so many speakers are bad is not the end, but the beginning, one of the core reasons to write this book. What exactly should we work on to get better at public speaking? What skills and talents are possible to improve in our speaking and by how much?

    Through my work I know many teachers who ask for recommendations of student resources to improve public speaking. There just are not a lot of understandable, practical, insightful studies out there.

    People stay scared of doing it and bored of seeing it their entire lives. Hopefully those who are proven effective and can illuminate their effectiveness for others will continue to step up.

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