Why you shouldn’t mix martial arts with public speaking and why you must always rehearse

I’ve never spoken in front of an audience of 6000 people, so reading this article on the necessity of rehearsing your speech before giving it was going to be full of good advice. I think it achieves more than that as it presents you with the horrors of being over confident in public speaking to the extent of believing you do not have to rehearse if you (a) really know your subject and (b) have spoken in public before and (you believe) it holds no problems for you.

The story involves the CEO of a large, successful company who wanted to tell the story of his success to the world – and charge people to listen. To maximise the return he wanted a large audience and, although advised to start small, wanted an audience of 6000, all of whom had paid for their tickets. To quote the article “The stakes were high and the speaker inexperienced.”

The speech was professionally written and was a classic and interesting ‘rags to riches’ story that people would want to hear. However, the speaker refused to rehearse as he worked well under pressure and could easily contain any nervousness.

Read the article for a description of the episode that followed which, in brief, involved the speaker not only incoherently delivering his speech but also interrupting it with demonstrations of martial art manoeuvres which he used for effect. This he achieved as the audience was riveted and relieved when he terminated his speech halfway through. He asked for questions and, not surprisingly, didn’t get any.

This is an extreme example of over-confidence and lack of preparation. But bringing it down to ground level, have you ever heard a rambling after-dinner speaker, speaking without notes and believing that the audience can’t get enough of his wisdom or recollections? Public speaking professionals always rehearse; this is the link to the full article    http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/06/why_you_must_rehearse_to_avoid.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

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