The business of public speaking.

public speaking,author,writer, screenwriterAs anyone who knows me well will know, I am by nature, quite shy.

Yes, it’s true. Behind this gruff exterior beats the heart of someone who abhors networking and dreads having to indulge in small talk. Especially if it means having to talk about myself or my work.

This is actually one of the reasons why I write for a living because being tied to a computer means that I spend most of my time in my own company. Although given that I’m possibly the most interesting person I know, this isn’t exactly a trial.

Having told you that, it may surprise you to know that I have never had a problem speaking in public. Indeed, although they arrive infrequently, I don’t think I’ve ever turned down an invitation to speak at an event no matter how large or small the potential audience.

However, whilst I’ve always tried to entertain, inform and motivate, it has always bugged me a little that I’ve been cheating people in the sense that I’ve never really treated public speaking seriously and certainly not professionally.

So with that in mind, last week I attended a course run by an amazing bloke called Brad Burton, the UK’s #1 motivational business speaker and to say that ‘Be A Better Speaker’ was an eye opener would be an understatement. It’s safe to say that there wasn’t a single element of my speaking performance that didn’t warrant either comment or attention. In the majority of cases, both.

Brad1I certainly ended the day a better and more confident speaker and if standing up in front of people is a part and parcel of your job or indeed, if you want to earn money from telling your story, then I cannot recommend this course highly enough. It genuinely will help you.

Oh, and if you ever need a speaker, give me a shout.


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Just in case you didn’t know already, all of my books and DVD’s are available from both Amazon and iTunes

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7 thoughts on “The business of public speaking.”

  1. Nice article Dougie. Very. It was a fabulous day. And as you know I teach this too – and both Brad’s methods and mine complement each other perfectly.
    Completely different – and both excellent!

  2. Dougie and I attended the same course run by Brad Burton and with guest speaker Ian Dickson. I was entertained, enthralled and wanted to know more about each person’s “story” the best bit was getting involved and having to think and learn on your feet…I also learnt never assume and judge Dougie by his book covers! You need to hear his story event bookers.

  3. I’m the opposite, I thrive up there! I was recently asked to talk on Ground Contamination at a construction contractors awards ceremony. A lot of grey hair in the room with longer pockets than me.

    Ground contamination. Pretty boring topic, eh? I started by telling them they were going to find my presentation dead interesting, and my director said everyone immediately perked up. I talked about New York being built on bedrock and Chicago being built on a swamp, and then I talked about the carcinogenic coal-gas tar that we brought out of the ground on a recent project.

    I go into prisons and hold workshops for inmates on careers in the construction industry (I’ve got my NOMS card), and I can talk to 600 construction workers on a cold winter morning and just blag it. I’m also just at home talking to a class of school kids.

    The prisons are interesting because you’re locked in with them until a guard comes 2½ hours later to escort you out. I just get myself a cup of tea and wander around talking to people. I’m met some interesting (and infamous) inmates.

    The point here is that I’ve never ever sat a workshop or seminar on public speaking. I’ve never been trained in it. And maybe I should, because there’s obviously elements of my public speaking that can be improved on, but I can’t imagine what they teach you.

    1. I’ve done loads in the past but I learnt an awful lot about presentation, nerves, content and the like. Plus, it teaches you about the business side of things, finding opportunities, etc.

      Indeed, getting booked is the tough bit for me!

  4. An author got in touch with me about a literary festival in Brixton or somewhere like that. She was suggesting I read, and I was all up for it.

    But then the penny dropped. She was hoping I’d read HER writing! Not my own, but hers. She felt it would add a different ‘flex’ to her writing and thought it would be much appreciated.

    Needless to say I backed out

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