Public Speaking: Why do regular citizens need it?

Jimmy brown got quite a bit of airtime on WJET-TV this morning.  Do you know why?

When you watch the news, do you notice that the “guy on the street” usually gets about a 5-second quote in front of the news camera?

“She was such a nice lady.”

“I don’t understand why someone would do that to him.”

“I never saw the truck!”

But Jimmy Brown was different.  Jimmy was one of the victims of a massive power outage, and Jimmy got almost thirty seconds on the TV news.  If you watch the clip above, in which Jimmy only got 7 seconds, you can still see part of the reason.

Jimmy was in good spirits, charismatic, and likable.  He was even smiling.  In fact, at one point he smiled at us and said, “I thought I’d blown a fuse.  Then I went outside and the neighborhood was black.”  Imagine if he had followed that with, “Wow, that was a big fuse!”

Would that have made you laugh?  Would that entertain you and get your attention?  Would the news stations be happy to show someone who entertained and pleased its viewers, and perhaps gave them a reason to keep watching?

That is only one example of how practiced speaking skills can help anyone.  Being at ease, allows you to come across as comfortable in front of a camera.  Looking for and practicing humor can allow you to toss out an amusing line.  And being a good speaker can help others actually want to give you an opportunity to speak.

So, do you want to represent your politician in this time of elections?  Do you want to convince your PTO or school board to fund your cause?  Do you want to convince your local home supply store to donate to your charity or buy an ad for your program?

Any of these can be accomplished if you work on your communication, humor, and persuasion skills.  What could you do just a little bit better if you polished your speaking skills?

If you did that, would it be just a little bit better than your competition?  Would it be just the edge you need?

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