I recently attended an industry conference where we heard from some very good speakers and some that were quite boring. At one of the lunch breaks I asked my colleagues what attributes they thought made someone a good speaker. We bantered for some time and described our ideal speaker as one who motivated us with enthusiastic personal stories that were genuine. The speaker that captivated us the most told us a crazy story about climbing a mountain while he engaged all our senses with a demonstration of the climb (perspiration and all). The point of the story was to eliminate your fears and climb mountains to achieve your goals. The speaker made the point easy to understand because we could see, hear, and feel his struggle to get up the mountain with his story telling.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Nothing could be more true than in the case of public speaking. Most of us would rather cut off our left arm rather than speak in front of others. According to BrandonGaille.com 74% of Americans have Glassophobia (a fear of public speaking), yet we find ourselves daydreaming about being on stage and receiving a standing ovation for the speech we just made.

After my colleagues and I dissected the mountain climber’s speech, we agreed there were several key factors to his success. Our speaker told us his stories from the heart. He had complete confidence in what he was telling us and he clearly had experienced the mountain climbing he was describing. He had earned the right to talk about the subject he knew best. He was enthusiastic and he only told us enough about his mountain climbing to wet our appetite to read his book. He was succinct in his message and never took one look at notes.

I talked to the speaker after the event and asked him how one might learn to use his speaking approach. He told me he too had been afraid to speak in front of others until 10 years earlier when he took Dale Carnegie’s Skills for Success program. Since then he had implemented the approach that he used that day and felt he continued to improve each time he spoke. I couldn’t agree more!

Download the free eBook: The Art of Storytelling: How to Engage Your Audience!

Posted by Mary Kuniski

Mary Kuniski is passionate about the Dale Carnegie principles delivered over 100 years ago and continues to experience success today by employing those ageless ideologies. Ms. Kuniski is a Dale Carnegie graduate of 2010 and since that time has coached four programs. She has over 35 years of management experience and has held an Executive level position for the past 20 years. Currently, Ms. Kuniski is the Director of Master Data Management at Overhead Door Corporation, a position she has assumed in June 2015. She spent the past 19 years employed by Michaels Stores, Inc as a Vice President of Vendor Management, where she managed supply chain optimization and quality assurance for the company. She oversaw a multi-million dollar budget and drove operational excellence for domestic and international vendor community of 800+ vendors resulting in a 99.84% shipment accuracy ratio. Over the course of her career with Michaels, Ms. Kuniski also held the responsibilities for Vendor and Facilities Management, Store Communication and Store Management. Ms. Kuniski received a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising from Penn State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s