My approach to public speaking

My approach to public speaking

During the last weeks, I got some questions about public speaking, session preparation, and my approach.

Today I’m again preparing a session, and I thought it might be a good time to write down what I’m doing and why quickly.

I’m cheating

Yes, you read that correctly. I’m cheating. I’m watching countless hours of other people talking in public on YouTube. One of my favourite books is called “Steal like an artist”, and that’s what I’m doing. I’m trying to read/watch/retrieve as much information about speaking in public as possible.

I got training

Not only online, but I attended courses focusing on my voice, speed of talking, stage performance and pronunciation. Remember, I need to speak in public in my own and in a foreign language regularly. I can only recommend getting a good base in your tongue before adding a second one.

I use tools

The picture shows parts of a current project where the tools of Sefirot Independent Publisher help me a lot. I’m using their “Cicero” framework for public speaking at almost all crucial presentations. It is not always full-fledged, but its basics and parts are like a mental checklist.

I ask for feedback

A couple of friends get asked for feedback, and I highly value their opinion. I’m very picky about whom I ask for feedback. It should bring me forward, so no shoulder clapping. I like the in your face feedback, what was bad or wrong.

I reflect

After every session or talk, I try to reflect on what was good, bad and what I should change. Most of the time, that’s part of my Friday afternoon routine of coding for fun and closing the week with reflecting on its outcome.

I repeat

Writing this post made me realise how often I’m in a situation that one could categorise as public speaking, and it’s not only the time you are on stage but also customer meetings and internal meetings. So for me, all over in a year, we are talking about 100+ occasions.

I like it

As you can see, there is quite some time commitment involved. I’m not special. Everyone can level up his or her game of public speaking. But there is no such thing as a free lunch. It would be best if you had some dedication and sometimes the guts to apply for a gig. But if you are prepared, and you put in the hours, for sure you will be successful!