9 quick tips to be a better speaker (via Heroic Public Speaking)

I’ve had a few days to think about #HPSLive, where Michael, Amy, and co dropped a metric-ton of knowledge.

I will say, it opened my eyes up to what great speaking truly is. A few things I’d like to note:

  1. Speaking is a craft, not a talent. I’ve always believed this, but I’ve hit a new level of appreciation. The little details add up quickly.
  2. Public speaking is a performance. When you come in with the mindset that you’re “performing” it helps you change your perspective on what you are precisely offering to your audience.
  3. How important the precision in movement is. Akin to dancing, it’s about smoothness and exactness any time you do move. And if you don’t need to move, don’t. Root yourself.
  4. Contrast is key. And the contrast isn’t just in your voice. It’s in your body movements. It’s in the structure of your talk (eg information vs story vs lists). The high-lows are what keep people riveted.
  5. People’s minds wander. That’s OK; by speaking with pauses that emphasize the key points, you let them catch up and stay with you.
  6. Rehearsal is important. If anything, a little rehearsal is dangerous as you’ll be trying to recall it while performing. Get your reps in so that you know exactly what to hit and when to hit it.
  7. You want people to feel your story. The contrasts, the body language, the text, the tone, and the pauses let people SEE what you’re talking about and help what you’re saying resonate with your audience.
  8. Q&A is non-ideal. The ideal is to have your talk, have a break, and then Q&A. If you do have a Q&A, make it 3/4th of the way through so that *you* control the ending.
  9. Have a superobjective to your talk. It’s like your North Star… without it, your speech will fail.

I fashioned myself as an above average speaker before, but I can now see 100+ things I need to improve to level this skill up.

Posted on October 04, 2018 | Comments | Permalink

There are small wins everywhere

I was talking to a friend yesterday, and he told me how his wife had her purse stolen. He then said that he never worries because he uses a fag bag.

I gently stopped him and said hey – not cool. Don’t call it that, call it a fanny pack.

He agreed, and then we continued to chat.

That’s a little win. A small hurtful word is no longer used. And I’ve learned there are small wins everywhere.

I also think back and I don’t think I would have said anything a few years ago. This is progress to me.

We need to choose to be better.

Little self-improvement comes publicly or at a large-scale. Most of it is tiny, quietly on the side, and done bit-by-bit.

You incrementally improve so you can look back at yourself from a few years ago and think “damn I cannot believe I thought/acted that way.”

And having friends who keep your ass in check makes it a lot easier.

Posted on August 29, 2018 | Comments | Permalink

Make someone feel like Sunny makes me feel

I want to tell you about my buddy Sunny.

Not about his beautiful hair. Nor his bulging biceps. Or even about his biz success (he has ten thousand tutors under him at TutorBright).

No – I want to tell you about how Sunny makes me feel…

I ran into him about a month ago on Queen Street (small world, Alex Ikonn too). And I left feeling awesome.

I saw him at Jayson + Kandis’ BBQ a few weekends ago. Again, felt like a boss afterward.

I had him at my dinner a few nights ago, and again he made me feel terrific.

Hell, after seeing him on Queen Street, I remember coming home and telling my lady “man, Sunny makes me feel so good about myself.”

Because here’s the thing – every time I see Sunny, he’s incredibly complimentary.

On Queen Street, he gave me so much love about my cookie off.

At the BBQ a few weekends ago, he complimented my guns (coming from him!)

And then two days ago he commented on how good my shirt looked.

And Sunny doesn’t just compliment, he does it enthusiastically. It’s not some task he’s doing to check off in his brain; it’s not some glib networking tip he read somewhere and is dutifully doing.

I asked him about it, and he had this to say:

“Critiques are free and everywhere.
Compliments are free but rare.”

So be like Sunny. See something compliment-worthy and note it. After all, rare things are far more memorable.

Posted on August 16, 2018 | Comments | Permalink

Don’t make your brand your business

A while ago Cory Huff asked “if you are well known for one thing, how do you approach telling your audience about another random thing?”

I was tagged in it, and my answer:

  1. Anything can be connected to anything else. It’s almost a story in narration/storytelling to hook the two together.For example, I used my love of food and how you can salt chocolate chip cookies to enhance flavor to how in entrepreneurship but doing something a bit atypical can make you stand out.
  2. At the same time, I’m not trying to build a following around a niche/area of expertise like most people. I’m not trying to become an expert in X nor write a book or anything else around the arena of expertise. I’m chasing what I like, and if you want to join me on that ride, awesome. If not – nbd!

There’s also a separate discussion on what social responsibility one has when you have a bully pulpit and what kind of impact you want to make

So here’s the truth – my businesses and my personal brand are not the same. It’s only when you marry the two that it becomes an issue. Keep them separate, and you can do whatever the hell you want.

Posted on August 13, 2018 | Comments | Permalink