The REAL Secret of Public Speaking

One of the best ways to keep your Master of Ceremonies skills polished is through public speaking engagements. So I generally accept most invitations to speak.

We all know the clichés about public speaking: how it’s one of our most basic human fears, how you should lead off with a joke or a funny story, and how it helps to imagine the audience in their underwear. Tell them what you’re going to say, say it, and then tell them what you told them.

I was speaking to the Eagle Mountain Yacht Club in Fort Worth. Their meeting was held in the bar area of a popular waterfront restaurant. I spoke to this group on several occasions, so I don’t recall my exact topic that night. But I remember being worried that it may be dry and dull, so I had several jokes, props and visual aids to keep it lively and entertaining.

They all laughed at my opening story, and as the stand-up comics say, I was killing them! Everyone in the room was looking straight at me, their focus was riveted, and they were hanging on my every word.

Or so I thought. Their attentive stares were starting to feel a little creepy. Then I realized they weren’t looking at me at all.

Seems that a female bar patron behind me had just taken off her top.

In public speaking, it's important to limit distracting influences!

In public speaking, it's important to limit distracting influences!

So much for the theory of imagining your audience in their underwear!

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