Controversial and upsetting events are happening around us all the time. What are you doing as a public speaker to address these events and open the conversation? Deciding not to talk about something because you don't know how or don't want to "go there" isn't helping your audience think differently, understand other viewpoints, or change their perceptions. In today's episode, I derailed from the original plan so I could ask my guest, Hari Stephen Kumar, a teacher, scholar, story-crafter, and vision-caster who speaks and teaches about issues of whiteness, gender, religion, politics, and mass media about the events that took place in Charlottesville last Saturday. As I'm still searching for the right way to ask questions about it, I turned today's episode into a chance to practice "going there" from a place of sensitivity, openess, and compassion toward other people's experiences. Hari and I discuss how public speakers can bring up tough subjects, what it's been like for him living as a non-white man in a largely white area, how he addresses the question of where he's from, his thoughts on Charlottesville and the larger subject of race, and much more. I wasn't sure where I was going with this episode, but I knew having a conversation about it was a good place to start. I hope this inspires you to begin talking about more difficult, complex topics so you can be part of breaking down barriers and challenging the viewpoints that keep us divided. The book Hari recommends at the end of the episode is Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right.
I had two frustrating conversations with two female friends last week that stuck with me. Feeling annoyed when I woke up Saturday morning, I decided to write this essay to get my feelings out on paper. Five pages later, I felt better, but also felt I needed to do more. How lucky am I that I have a podcast to share these ideas? In today's episode, I share Saturday's writing session entitled, "Stop Trying to Smash Fear. An Essay." In it, I share my anger towards the way women have to be in the world just to feel normal and fit in. I also share my solution for this and drop several F bombs on the way. If you're offended by cursing, you may not like this episode. This is definitely a big moment for me as I typically set a different tone for my show. I'm noticing a fire in my belly that I can't ignore and wanted to share what's on my mind with you on today's episode. I'd love your feedback if you care to share. Email me at email@example.com
Crafting a great story, persuading your audience to action, and bringing a crowd to tears are all signs of a great speaker. But in order to achieve these feats, the fundamentals of speaking must be mastered. In today's episode, you'll hear five questions that bring us back to basics. These questions were asked during recent presentations I gave and reminded me that before we're great, we must be good. We go into the following:
-How to avoid being a swaying palm tree on stage and having a stronger presence
-How to not be mechanical and boring on stage
-How to control the tendency to speak quickly
-How to ask good questions at the beginning of a speech to engage the audience
-How to determine if you should use slides or not
If you're doing the Tiny Summer Challenge, send me your success stories! I'm going until September and would love to read and/or share your big moments.
Also, Speaking School for Women is back in late September. I have a waiting list started and if you'd like to get the early registration link, email me to get on the list!