Public speaking is no longer a soft skill

by WF- Enzo Administrator
13 replies
According to Carmine Gallo, public speaking is no longer a soft skill; it's your key to success in any field.

This is particularly critical to us marketers, where we don't just spend time crafting a new blog, or blasting out email newsletters. Ultimately, we will still have to talk to customers, present on stage in front of 50+ people; that's public speaking.

"Let's talk about a soft skill like storytelling," I said.
"Soft?" he shot back. "If an entrepreneur can't tell a convincing story, I'm not investing. You call it soft. I call it fundamental."
Heck, many successful sales executives would agree. Even I agree with this one. Influencers and persuaders are everywhere, and while ubiquitous, they stand out. They have an edge over people who can't talk in front of a crowd for five minutes. Now I understand that there are people who get anxious when talking to a large crowd, but it can be worked on.
#longer #public #skill #soft #speaking
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by WF- Enzo View Post

    According to Carmine Gallo, public speaking is no longer a soft skill; it's your key to success in any field.

    This is particularly critical to us marketers, where we don't just spend time crafting a new blog, or blasting out email newsletters. Ultimately, we will still have to talk to customers, present on stage in front of 50+ people; that's public speaking.



    Heck, many successful sales executives would agree. Even I agree with this one. Influencers and persuaders are everywhere, and while ubiquitous, they stand out. They have an edge over people who can't talk in front of a crowd for five minutes. Now I understand that there are people who get anxious when talking to a large crowd, but it can be worked on.
    Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Charity Water, Business Insider, Ernst & Young, HBO, Columbia University, etc. would concur. Over the last 7 years they have spent tens of thousands of dollars, if not much more, on getting their people trianed and skilled in public speaking, presentations and media emergencies (seems like a lot of those these days). Ted and TedX speakers gain a lot of cred, and they are some of the most watched videos on YouTube.

    Ubiquitous perhaps, but still a minority. And for those in the training, or public speaking business, booming is the biz.

    If one can teach this, you can make some decent bux in your spare time too.

    GordonJ

    PS. One of the fastest growing and most popular classes being taught in this area is the IMPROV class, which makes executives think on their feet. I think many in politics need this, so much foot from mouth extraction these days, and so much walking back what was said. Say it right the first time, or keep thy mouth shut, Mommie used to say.
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  • Profile picture of the author amir5coder
    yeah, that is a good skill, and easy to learn actually. but very high return skill.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    It's pretty easy to do. If you are just relaxed, and talking about a subject you care about...it's pretty easy to get a standing ovation...and sustained applause.

    What is very hard to do..is actually sell something from the stage. I doubt that there are 500 people in the country that can do that consistently.

    Talking is easy. Selling is hard. And selling to a large number of people from a stage....is a monumental task.

    But speaking to people without asking them to actually do anything? As long as you don't belch or swear...you'll be OK.
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    • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      It's pretty easy to do. If you are just relaxed, and talking about a subject you care about...it's pretty easy to get a standing ovation...and sustained applause.

      What is very hard to do..is actually sell something from the stage. I doubt that there are 500 people in the country that can do that consistently.

      Talking is easy. Selling is hard. And selling to a large number of people from a stage....is a monumental task.

      But speaking to people without asking them to actually do anything? As long as you don't belch or swear...you'll be OK.
      Agree. However, I think many who do sell from the stage, have an audience predisposed to take that action, and in marketing, biz-op one can count on the bird dogs, plants and co-conspirators to get to that most valuable 3rd man up, which creates the stampede.

      Disagree that is easy to do, because most CAN'T just relax...that would be a best seller in itself, How to Relax on the Stage and Give a Great Performance (And Make Sales TOO).

      It is easy for YOU to do, but not for the masses, who still quake in their shoes while pooping their pants before they go on.

      And selling to IS HARD, for the masses, which is good for you and your new selling course, cause it if were easy, not much demand.

      GordonJ
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

        Agree. However, I think many who do sell from the stage, have an audience predisposed to take that action, and in marketing, biz-op one can count on the bird dogs, plants and co-conspirators to get to that most valuable 3rd man up, which creates the stampede.
        I've spoken at a few events where every speaker was pitching, and the audience was used to it, and was almost expecting to buy from the speaker...or at least one of them

        But the vast majority of my speeches were at trade shows or company events...where nobody knew who I was...and they had never been pitched from the stage before. I promise you, no plants, stooges, or co-conspirators. And yes, a stampede to the back of the room afterward. That skill takes years to learn, and most people couldn't do it, no matter what they learned. Highly scripted (no matter what it sounds like), highly timed, and takes nerves that most people don't have.

        And I've never been involved with any other speaker that used plants or stooges to start the stampede. I'm assuming that it does happen, and I know it used to happen on "Get Rich In Real Estate" infomercials in front of a live audience.



        Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

        Disagree that is easy to do, because most CAN'T just relax...that would be a best seller in itself, How to Relax on the Stage and Give a Great Performance (And Make Sales TOO).
        You are completely correct. I should have said it was simple, but for the vast majority, it isn't easy. I have been told, however, from people that were scared to death to get on stage, that once they were up there talking, the nerves mostly went away. It's the anticipation that usually creates the fear, not the actual speaking.

        i was extremely lucky in my life that I never had a fear of rejection, or fear of speaking in public. I also thought that applause would affect me....but in my experience, selling from the stage, a standing ovation is what they give you in place of buying from you. The pats on the back always come from the non-buyers. But to me, buying is applause.

        And I've heard lots of great speakers, far better than I am...who absolutely cannot sell a damn thing. It's horrifying for me to watch, when it's a friend doing it.


        Added later; I should mention that what I'm talking about here, is just a small subset of "Speakers" Most people who get on stage to deliver a speech are either working for a company (as the CEO or rep), or are making a statement to their employees. And there is a whole industry of people who get paid to just give talks, who never sell anything. These tend to be experts, celebrities, or entertainers. These are the people that belong to speaker organizations. They almost universally love to talk about their travels speaking abroad, and the awards they have won. A former president, or other high end celebrity can get a fee of $250,000 or more for the day...just to talk for an hour...and spend the next 8 hours posing for photos with attendees. But there are few of these people.
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  • Video, talks & presentations demand key dialog skills -- yet still plenty people clam up, speak way too fast, don't fully engage their audience an' stuffs.

    But there is whole bunch people can do to tip stuff in their favor, easy to learn & apply.

    First, havin' a surefire script really helps.

    Don't take much to memorize the key points so you can sound natchrl an' spontaneous, an' it is easy to practice on your fave teddy bear.

    130, 140 words per minute gonna sound real easy & laid back, but that depends on your regulah voice.

    Any more & hey sorry, you a Disney charactah on speed.

    Drop below 110 or 100, you gonna sound drugged or drunk.

    Most phones, tabs & laptops got simple record features, so you can experiment real easy.

    Start with a finite word count, an' a subject don't mattah too much, with nuthin' ridin' on it, jus' so you can play with sum words, see how your voice feels & sounds.

    Gotta watch for PLOSIVE B & P sounds blowin' the mic away.

    This is important bcs unless all your vowel sounds are clear, you gonna sound like you slurrin' & your audience gotta work real hard to understand your message.

    Read cardboard, stuff don't mattah, jus' to get a feel for your voice & watch for speed & clarity.

    You got a pal, try readin' stuff out from 20 feet away. First, you'll wana 'project' or shout or do too much, but jus' see how much you can pull back on the effort so your intention does the work.

    Soon as you start on your own material -- all the stuff you got passion for -- you gonna exagerrate all your vocal faults. You WILL speed up, you WILL P-P-P-P & B-B-B the mic away.

    Same gonna happen when you got an IRL audience or you recordin' your first vid or podcast.

    You will OVERDO stuff, an' compromise on sound, diction & easy vocalisation.

    Key always is to think 'bout Simon Cowell on X Factor when he got gals screechin' their asses off to no good effect.

    "Think about the words," he says. "Think about the people you're singing to, and intend for them to hear the message."


    That stops all the shoutin', gowin' OTT etc & keeps focus on delivery essentials.

    Thing is, the sound wants to come out, it is jus' an extension of the out breath.

    When we figure speakin' is 'hard' -- bcs we real concerned about our super important message, or we worried our audience won't get it, or we think we ain't so good speakin' in public -- we clam up evrythin' the larynx gotta do.

    So factor in the demands step by step.

    Read cardboard, jus' to practice timin', clarity.

    Read to your teddy bear or pal, jus' to see how this small demand changes what you do.

    See what changes when you swap out readin' stuff you don't care about to readin' YOUR ALL-IMPORTANT BIG STORY.

    A few weeks observin' & practisin' gonna be invaluable when you record or speak out loud for real.

    Here is when you start to relax, feel more confident 'bout your material & can watch for vocal tricks that get in the way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Having strong public speaking skills is certainly a major asset for corporate executives, would-be influencers and aspiring entrepreneurs (in spite of Richard Branson's lack in that area), but one of the advantages of internet marketing is that you don't need to speak in public if you don't want to. It's not a critical skill in affiliate marketing, email marketing, product creation or most freelancing, to use just a few examples.

    Sure, looking good in your own sales video takes practice, but it's not so intimidating when you can correct your mistakes before going live.
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    • Profile picture of the author palmtreelife
      I agree public speaking is not a critical skill for affiliate marketing, email marketing etc like you said, but if you were good at public speaking, I believe those skills would carry over into your online marketing business.

      Speaking is different than writing. In public speaking, there is body language, tonality, pauses, engagement etc. to consider. However, the specific words used, their timing and placement are important online to make sales.

      Maybe I'm stretching here, but I believe there are parallels that can be drawn and there's an overlap in skill set. Sales is sales...online, on stage, one on one. The fundamentals are the same.
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  • Profile picture of the author ajaysatpute
    So DAN PENA recommends everyone join Toastmasters Club in their area
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    Claude those big six figure speeker fees.

    That for headliners and people who will get more people in the venue .

    Or in the case of the political connected . To get access to those connections.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Odahh View Post

      Claude those big six figure speeker fees.

      That for headliners and people who will get more people in the venue .

      Or in the case of the political connected . To get access to those connections.
      The $250,000 range is reserved for ex-presidents and movie/sports stars. I guess you could call it access, because the celebrity will stay all day for photos. But there isn't any real access for political favors. These speeches are mostly standard stories the celebrity tells everyone.

      And yup, these people are used almost solely as a drawing card to get attendees in the room.

      There is a second tier of speakers that get about $100,000 an appearance...

      I've been to events where George Foreman, William Shatner, Joan Rivers were paid that much for a meandering talk, and to take questions from the audience...and the obligatory day of photos. They are there just to sell tickets.

      Most fee paid speakers are in the $3,000-$5,000 range, plus expenses. And they aren't usually allowed to sell from the stage.

      Me? I usually spoke for free, and paid my own expenses, although I have been paid $3,000 from trade associations multiple times. But I make the vast majority from selling from the stage.

      In fact, a great platform salesperson will pay $50 to $100 per person to get them in seats...plus pay for the room...plus pay all their own expenses..for a chance to sell to a room of 50-100 prospects. But it takes a singular skill in selling. I only know of maybe 50 speakers who can do this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    If you are creating content or YouTube videos , anything that can build an audience overtime . Public speaking skills can be the main way you monetize that audience .or the size of the audience .

    Many authors don't make as much off their books as they make of speaches about the subject they write the books on. The books just put them on the contact lists when people want a speaker.

    Claude probable can explain it better. He explained most of it
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