Five Reasons I Like Public Speaking

18 Jun

Some people hate public speaking, some love it and some do it because they have to. I’ve just finished two public speaking events this week and am refueling to get ready for the next. In my process of some internal debriefing, I’ve been thinking about these questions:

What makes presenting an enjoyable experience for me? Why do I want to do more of it?

Here are my top five reasons:

  1. I enjoy the advance process of preparing content, going over every detail and rehearsing. This is what makes the controlling part of me happy. Being compulsive has its benefits. I would not be a very good speaker if I had to give the same speech over and over again. I am too curious for that. I want to always be serving up new content.
  2. I like practicing in front of people who tell me how to improve my delivery. It may sound crazy, but I prefer practicing in front of people who will be hard on me. I need good constructive criticism, not someone who just says, “Yeah, it’s good.”
  3. For me, public speaking is exhilarating in the same way that people like riding roller coasters or doing adventure sports. There’s an element of the unknown once you start presenting. What will people think? How will the information shared affect each audience member’s ongoing perspective?
  4. I feel like I have a connection with the audience when I am speaking. I am lucky enough to present to people who want to hear me, usually for professional growth reasons. In sharing something that I know with the audience, I feel like I am passing on something that will make their lives better. I feel like a better person when I am presenting, because I feel like I am sharing something of myself that will (however indirectly) make an improvement on someone else’ experience. Most presentations are actually fairly humble sorts of affairs, but even in these cases the presenter is shaping the audience’s future in some small way. This is inspiring to me. I am not talking entertainment value. I mean the value of the content for the audience, and how it will change their world. The delivery of the information is all a device to get people to pay attention to what is being shared.
  5. Part of successful presenting for me is ALWAYS making it better. I want feedback from people afterwards, including people I know and those I don’t know, to help me know what went well and what didn’t.

Different people would answer this question in any number of ways. What about you? Why do you love it, hate it or feel so-so about it?

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