Welcome to MichaelSpeaks

Have you ever read a post or an article that does nothing but tell you what you already know? I promise you something different.

Old-school advice

I find that nearly every public speaking blog and nearly every communication tips article just rehashes the same old advice that we all learned in sixth grade.

Following cliché advice might actually improve on monotony. It will take you all the way from monotony to mediocrity.

You know what boring sounds like

baby-470069_1920When I was young my parents took me to church every Sunday. Every Sunday begins the same way as hundreds of eyes fixed toward the pulpit. That lasts about 2 minutes. Even into my teenage and adult years, I found a way to perch my head against the pew in front of me and fall asleep. “Why are they soooo boring?” I asked myself as I dozed off.

The preaching was almost always mediocre, at best.

You know what not-boring sounds like

Then, every once in a while, a speaker would come that was different. Every once in a while a new speaker would rise above mediocrity.

What makes some speakers fun to listen to?

Do great speakers sound just like everyone else? No.

Can it ever be inspirational and mediocre at the same time? No.

Can conventional wisdom create anything but a conventional impression? No.

When you do what everyone else does, you will sound exactly like everyone else — mediocre.

I experienced an anxiety attack

The first time I was asked to speak in public, I had a paralyzing anxiety attack. By the standard of conventional wisdom I did just fine. But I didn’t feel fine.

Even when it was over, I had the most incredible churning in the gut and my head started spinning with nausea. Sweating palms, heart beating out of my chest, I could see only 2 options: run out of the room before I passed out, or make a scene.

In my paralysis neither one actually happened, but I second guessed myself for days. Was it good? Are the compliments really sincere? What did they really think?

The experience was so miserable that for weeks, I repeated to myself this internal commitment: “If I’m ever asked to speak again, I’m going to say no!”

That experience transformed my life, because as the weeks wore on I came to understand that refusal to speak would only undermine my progress, and prevent others from seeing what valuable insights I had to offer.

I studied the secrets of professionals

I made a new commitment–learn what those great speakers do that makes them great.

The next time I spoke in public about 3 years later was completely different. I can sum up the gist of the compliments I received with one statement: “How did you do that?”

I didn’t do it with practice, or eye contact, or any of the conventional wisdom.

My favorite quote of all time is from professional speaker Joel Weldon.

Find out what everybody else is doing … and don’t do it. — Joel Weldon

I’ve now been collecting the secrets of those professional communicators for 25 years, and I can tell you with certainty that the secret is not to study public speaking.

The secret of great communication is great science.

What makes people listen?
What makes people remember?
What makes people act?

Try something different

For the complete detail, please check out my one-of-a-kind communication training and software at SpeechDeck.com

Where does this blog come in? I’m sick and tired of reading the bad advice that naive amateurs promulgate all over the web.

That’s why I’ve finally decided to publish MichaelSpeaks. If you want to rise above mediocrity, you need to hear the secrets that amateurs just don’t know.

I promise you something different — truth you’ve never heard before.

Until next week,