Public Speaking Is…

by | Feb 2, 2012 | Ramblings/Off-Topic | 4 comments

…said to be the #1 thing people fear most.  (It’s actually looking like a fool they fear, but Public Speaking tends to make you look foolish).

It never ceases to amaze me that people think I’d be a good public speaker because I’m a TV news anchor.  If they thought about it, they’d realize I spend 99.99% of my time in a mostly empty studio, looking at a camera, and there’s maybe 3-4 other people around.

DJ’s are subject to this same misconception, and so are voice-actors.  If you’re good at speaking, you must be good at public speaking. Right?

Ha!  I might be good at speaking, but I’m not at all used to seeing my audience stare back at me…only a camera lens or a microphone.

I’m not a joiner, so Toast Masters never appealed to me. They just seem too gung-ho to me.

Over time, I’ve learned to be good at public speaking, and since my audience usually knows and likes me, I have an advantage.  Confidence is key, but that’s a chicken-or-the-egg thing.  What I’ve come ’round to is that any audience is really expecting a show….and YOU are the entertainment.  So you have to come out of yourself and be a showman.

That’s the goal.  GETTING there takes attention to the details, preparation…maybe a slide show.

Or does it?

Take the time to read this delightful article by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jason Freedman that I found on LifeHacker.

Without giving it away, two of his main points that I love:

— Don’t Memorize

— Embrace your Ums

OK, now go out and get ’em Tiger!


VO Pro Peter O’Connell actually wrote eloquently about this back in 2008. Worth checking out!



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  1. Miné Bilgé

    If people love you, public speaking becomes a conversation in your own family.
    I’m one of those who believe that you are a good public speaker, managing your “Ums” and -maaaaybe- a tiny reminder note which has the Topics of your speech. As far as people see your positive personality and energy you put on your work, your Voice would beat every difficulties of speaking publicly; which you have that positive energy that makes others ready to listen to you, Dave!

    May Wonderful Productivities Be With YOU…

    • CourVO

      Thanks, Miné, for taking the time to add to the conversation, here. Which by the way, is not a bad way to approach public speaking — as a conversation with your audience…only…you’re the only one speaking most of the time.

      I appreciate your kind words!

      Dave C

    • CourVO


      I LIKE the way you think, Simon… Your blog article makes a lot of sense. Like I said, there are reasons why I’ve chosen not to join Toastmasters, but a lot of people SWEAR by them for getting over the jitters. Whatever floats your boat.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Dave Courvoisier


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