Okay, I’m about to brag. I just wanted to warn you.
As a long time public speaker and public figure, I’ve been honored to receive a lot of standing ovations. There is nothing like the first couple of times when people suddenly jump to their feet, hands clapping or waving over their heads, and shouts and hoots filling the room. It’s stunning. Overwhelming. And can either crush a fragile ego or boost it up. Either way, it is an honor and a joy when it happens.
But it doesn’t happen to everyone. And it doesn’t happen every time. I’ve also presented programs and walked out wondering why the clapping was fairly luke warm. Instead of quitting, I just suck it up and examine what happened and how to make it better, working constantly to improve my overall performance.
In a simple and clear explanation, Guy Kawasaki offers tips on how to get a standing ovation to help others learn what it takes to make that standing ovation thrill be theirs. Here is one highlight:
Practice and speak all the time. This is a â€œduhism,â€ but nonetheless relevant. My theory is that it takes giving a speech at least twenty times to get decent at it. You can give it nineteen times to your dog if you like, but it takes practice and repetition. There is no shortcut to Carnegie Hall. As Jascha Heifitz said, â€œIf I don’t practice one day, I know it. If I don’t practice two days, my critics know it. If I don’t practice three days, everyone knows it.â€ Read this article to learn what Steve Jobs does.
It’s taken me twenty years to get to this point. I hope it takes you less. Part of the reason why it took me so long is that no one explained the art of giving a speech to me, and I was too dumb to do the research. And now, twenty years later, I love speaking. My goal, every time I get up to the podium, is to get a standing ovation. I don’t succeed very often, but sometimes I do. More importantly, I hope that I’m standing and clapping in the audience of your speech soon.
If you are teaching or doing any public speaking, whether on your travel adventures, photography, or whatever, this should be required reading. If you are selling your writing or photography, or blogging about these subjects, I would also include this in a required reading list, if you seriously want to impress your audience, even virtually.