Books, videos, courses, events… yes, even blogs [laugh track].
Since I started to deep dive in the public speaking ocean, I realized that the opportunities to learn about this topic are endless. Which means, difficult to navigate. Sometimes I feel lost in front of the huge quantity of materials available online and in bookstores: where should you start?
Even if I don’t have the final answer, I have decided to collect some of my favorite resources in a series of posts: each of them will give you “my 2 cents” about one of these materials. If you know them already and want to share your opinion, I will be happy to read it in the comments.
For the first post of this series, I will mention the soundtrack that accompanies almost all my walks these days: The Speaker Lab podcast, by Grant Baldwin.
Grant Baldwin is a professional speaker living in the United States, precisely in Nashville, TN. He started the podcast in 2016 and since then has recorded more than 200 episodes, often featuring other speakers as guests. The declared aim of the podcast is to help other speakers start, build and grow their business – but even if you are not interested to become a professional speaker, you will still enjoy it. Grant Baldwin is a charming host, able to conduct interviews that mix entertainment and information. Also, his guests not only tell their personal stories as public speakers, but give practical tips related to speechwriting, performance preparation and audience engagement.
Even if I haven’t listened to all the episodes yet, I already have a couple of favorites. To avoid spoilers, I will only list one interesting point for each episode, then I leave to you the pleasure to discover the rest of the content.
Episode 027: Why Speakers Need to Be Good Copywriters (And How to Become Better), with Ray Edwards
Will your speech work? The final test can only be the delivery in front of an audience. Before that, there is a question you should always ask yourself when you are preparing the talk: does your content pass the “so what” test? Or will your audience wonder why they should care? Whatever is your topic, you should always make sure that you are telling them something useful, relevant and compelling.
Episode 153: How to Share Your Story to Connect with Your Audience, with Nick Morgan
Do you have a favorite story you always mention in your speeches, because you are sure it works well? Does it work well? If you like something, you may get used to it and lose the distance needed to evaluate its real value. Sometimes you have to “kill your babies” to become a better speaker – and you can do it only if you receive feedback from someone else, who looks at your material from a different angle.
Episode 179: How to Craft an Experience for Your Audience, with Stephen Shapiro
Should you use a deck of cards or a brick during your next speech? Well, probably you shouldn’t – as Stephen Shapiro is doing it already. But the practical examples he tells during this episode will help you to start brainstorming: which tools can you use in your talk? Props are not mandatory, but sometimes they can help to create a unique experience for the audience, reach your goal and make your speech memorable.
So far, these have been the episodes I appreciated the most. The Speaker Lab podcast is updated on a weekly basis and I have no doubt it will provide other great content in the future, so I will keep following it. Do you listen to any podcast related to public speaking? If you want to leave your suggestion, please do it in the comments!
(Photo by Michael Mroczek on Unsplash)