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Public Speaking Skills: 

Vulnerability

While standing around talking shop in the hotel lobby at the recent National Speakers Association convention, I learned some great public speaking skills.

John Meluso spent some time with me and noted that I was not showing any vulnerability at all near the beginning of my program.

I would roll along and then tell a signature story at the END of my talk that bared all.

John, pointed out to me that being the hard charging kind of public speaker that I am, that I probably have been alienating many of the more sensitive audience members. Once alienated, the audience member does not hear you.

It is likely that right from the start my style ran over them and caused them to retreat for cover, thus making them very distant from me emotionally.

Because of John's astute observation, when I'm speaking I will change the order of some of my material to better connect with more subdued audience members.

Having grown up not far from Pittsburgh in Washington, Pennsylvania, and having my brains battered playing lineman in football at school at West Virginia U, I can still recall how an old boy coal miner friend of mine once told me, 'The schoolhouse door is always open.'

The vulnerability is to admit that not always can we say "Our minds be always open".

John, I want to thank you for reminding me that as we master our public speaking skills, always and in all ways, we all can get better.


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