Monday, June 11, 2012

When It's Your Turn to Speak, DON'T!

When it's your turn to speak, DON'T!

Until you've read the Twenty-Five Essential Rules for Outstanding Public Speaking Even You Can't Screw Up.

Research has consistently shown that there the Number One Fear among most people is speaking in public.  And that's totally understandable:  for sheer terror, being chased by marauding spear-hurling barbarians doesn't hold a candle to mumbling and stumbling your way incoherently through a boring presentation on a subject you know nothing about in front a roomful of hostile strangers fixated solely on how ridiculously low your fly is open. 

Now, finally, there's hope.  Even for you!

In my over 30 years of avoiding public speaking,  I've gleaned the essential rules for giving excellent presentations.   I'm pleased to share them with you now,  provided you take good care of them, feed and brush them regularly,  and don't let them go in any of  my flower beds.

Good Luck!   And it also wouldn't hurt for you to zip up.


1)  Show up. 

2)  Bring own scotch.

3)  Prepare!  Prepare !  Prepare!   To Die! To Die! To Die! 

4)  Dress in tasteful and appropriate business attire you can take back to Sears tomorrow morning claiming it rode you up in the crouch.

5) Avoid having a big meal beforehand.  Have no larger that a two (2) pound whole Maine lobster and soft pedal the drawn butter, especially if you are speaking in the morning.

6) Become familiar with the room where you're presenting.   Arrive early and walk around the podium and get comfortable.   If there's any valuables to be had, this is time to snitch 'em.

7) Get to know the audience by mingling with them before you speak.  You may learn something relevant to incorporate into your presentation, or better still, connect with some undiscriminating hottie.

8) Suck up shamelessly to the meeting host, especially if the host is me.

9) To avoid nervousness, keep in mind that the audience members are on your side and want you to do well. 

10)  And if you believe that,  why not consider co-presenting with the Easter Bunny next time?

11) Exhibit excellent posture.  If audience members begin shouting "Esmeralda!  Esmeralda!" and "Sanctuary!," I'd look into it.

12)  Use note cards, but do not fall into the habit of reading  from them unless you  have a British accent or are Morgan Freeman.

13) Open speech with amusing anecdote about leaden containment structures.

14) Show audience your passion for the topic.  Use the word "throbbing."

15) Don't spit when you speak, but if you do, make sure to hit the fat guy in the second row.

16) Avoid corny cliches.  That way your presentation will be out of this world!

17Pepper your presentation with famous quotations centered around the the word "bugger."

18) Only speak in ancient Sumerian when discussing critical Best Practices points.

19) Avoid addressing B'nai B'rith group decked out in full Nazi Luftwaffe regalia.

20) Don't respond to questions with "Whaddya think I look like – the Wonder Book of Knowledge?"

21) Repeat any questions asked by audience members so everyone can hear them clearly and you can water them down sufficiently to wing a remotely credible bogus answer.

22) Stop eating huge rind of gorgonzola cheese when coming to the conclusion.

23)  Although counter-intuitive, don't wrap up presentation with a pitch for Amway products.

24)  Always leave 'em with the old soft shoe! 

25)  Pick nose with Class!



Jenny Hansen said...

Love it, Perry!

Perry Block said...

Thanks, Jenny, but I think it needs a bit more Cowbell ...

Caroline Gerardo said...

You would be amazed that a poet uses not a cowbell but a whistle and does bird calls. Once two sparrows joined the audience, it was better than any magic trick I could dream ...

Perry Block said...


I'm just hoping those two sparrows weren't too disappointed when they found out.

As for me, lay those funky bird calls on me anytime!

Anna Gustafson said...

Inigo Montoya would LOVE this. 25 notes to self for next gig, thanks.

Perry Block said...

You're right, Anna, it was Inigo Montoya taught me that trick.

But I eliminate the annoying five minutes of swordplay that's supposed to follow because I can never Christopher Guest to show up.

Thanks for commenting. And I do care about your hair. Deeply.