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‹ View all articles 28th September 2016

Becoming a naked speaker

Delivering a Talk

When I say naked speaker, I mean without the whole set of sleek Powerpoint slides, latest projector, remote control, laser pointer, ginormous screen with latest videos and surround sound stereo. Without having memorized every single word of your speech and without copying someone else's style. Without pretence or illusion or false bravado, becoming a naked speaker is about being all the way you on the stage... all the time.

In the end, being a brilliant public speaker isn't about adding things to you as a person, it's not about learning new individual behaviours, or copying someone else. Truth is more important and more powerful than any pretence.

If you really want to be an inspiring public speaker, you need to strip it all away :

  • Where you believe in something so deeply that you'd risk your life for it;
  • Where you give yourself permission to feel exposed and vulnerable;
  • Where you give yourself permission to be messy, to not know the answers, to fail;
  • Where you stop worrying about what your audience thinks and focus all your attention on the big purpose you are serving.

To present "naked" takes honesty, strength and self-­‐awareness. Challenge yourself into this place and your speaking will change beyond belief.

When you are yourself; honest, true and shining, there's not a person in this world you can't inspire.

Your authenticity connects to your audience's humanity and allows them to also be authentic. This is the quality that transforms public speaking from “technically very good” to “WOW”. It's all about sharing YOU… on stage.

Your insight into your topic, your beliefs/opinions/ideals based on facts that YOU have investigated. It might seem very mundane to you because you've experienced it already, but when you tell it to other people they might find it incredibly interesting and valuable.

  • Don't change your personality: find the power that already exists within you (Anything else will make you seem fake)
  • Don't manipulate your audience: serve them.
  • Don't play ‘hard ball': connect with your audience and let your authenticity shine out (People connect with people, not Sales robots)
  • Don't be pushy, but don't flake out on persuading either – confidently show them what you have and let them come get it.
  • Don't use jedi-like mind tricks or the latest 7-step formula: find what you believe in enough to persuade people about and stick to it (copy-cats never influence as much as unique leaders).

When you allow yourself to become a 'naked' speaker, the ‘tool' that is public speaking is no longer about you. It's no longer about your nerves and your doubt. It's about your ability to bring benefit in the world. Get out there and use your power wisely. Get naked!

Do you see how being a brilliant, inspiring 'naked' speaker is closer to your nature than being a terrible one?


Speaking Resources

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Best for Beginners The Foundations of Excellent Public Speaking : Your Leadership Impact

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