If you have been keeping up with my #AskGaryVee Book Club series over on my YouTube channel, you know it's been a journey packed with amazing wisdom and value! This week is no exception. Today we are diving into the world of public speaking, something Gary definitely knows a lot about. We will be talking through some of the questions and quotes from the chapter that I found the most valuable.
How do you prepare for an important keynote?
The answer Gary gave for this question ended up being immensely encouraging to me. I have been performing onstage in front of people for as long as I can remember. Public speaking has always been something that's easy and comfortable for me. I'm not claiming to be great at it, but I feel at ease when I have to do it. The first part of his answer that I want to cover is talking about those last few minutes before he goes onstage.
"I become extremely focused, like a boxer about to hit the ring. But I don't review any notes. I don't frantically start rattling through the speech to make sure I know it by heart. Those last-minute tendencies people have to want to fix something or change something can be really destructive." (pg 295)
I found this encouraging because I have been treating my public speaking engagements like this for years. Now, I do have the nasty tendency to "wing it" without any kind of plan or notes, however I am not racking my brain in those last minutes trying to figure out what I want to say. The second quote I want to cover reinforces the encouragement I felt from his answer.
"...right before I go onstage, I think about punching every audience member directly in the mouth." (pg 295)
I have always had similar thoughts before speaking. I walk up with confidence and with the assumption that I will be the greatest thing those people have ever seen. I assume that every tip or idea I cover is going to smack them across the face. Sound arrogant? Sure does! The thing is, you don't let this idea go to your head. I know I'm not the greatest, but it sure does help my confidence if I think I am before going on stage!
How do you get away with so many f-bombs onstage?
Now, first of all, I don't like the way this question is worded. I don't think Gary is "getting away" with anything when using the language that he does. He is being himself. It's part of his brand. He doesn't necessarily go in that direction with his answer.
"First, I mean it. I'm not just throwing curse words out there to shock you, I'm really feeling each and every one." (pg 296)
He is not doing for the show of it. He is not doing it for shock value. He is doing it when he is particularly fired up about a subject he is covering.
"I just don't fucking care if I catch flak for it." (pg 296)
I'm sure there are several venues that won't work with him because of his language. I'm also sure that he doesn't care in the least. There are obviously plenty of people who are willing to work with him or else we wouldn't all be reading his book on the subject right now.
How do you nurture your public speaking chops?
His direction with this answer was interesting. He didn't share some technique he does every morning in front of the mirror, but I think it can still apply practically.
"Talk about what you know. Don't let people suck you into a debate about a topic in which you're neither interested nor well versed." (pg 297)
This may seem like an obvious bit of advice, but I think we all go against it from time to time. We want to be the "one stop shop" and act like we have all the answers. People can make assumptions about our understanding of a topic and try to question us on areas we have no business talking about. Falling into that trap can only turn out bad. Stick with what you know.
"The only reason my opinion matters about anything is that I am a practitioner and have grounded my execution in strong research and experience." (pg 297)
Be a practitioner. Speak only on what you put into practice. That is the way to nurture your skills in proper public speaking.
This was an excellent chapter, loaded with amazing advice that comes directly from GaryVee's experiences. I would love to see your comments down below on what you found most helpful!