Public Speaking vs. ‘talking while standing up’

Here are two pivotal thoughts that helped me drill thru the rock of my own {fear driven} inertia …

There is a huge difference between being a professional ‘Public Speaker’ and just, well, talking while stood up!

‘Public Speaking’ is a chosen career, an actual profession, a self contained vocation in and of itself

Public Speakers seek to be be ‘booked’ (they get paid for speaking) they are pros, and are trained (by the likes of Toastmasters) to talk about … anything!

Topics are GIVEN to you at toast masters, so people who want to persue that career path learn to think on their feet & ‘wax eloquent’ about anything at the drop of a hat

Professional Public Speaking is all about presentation, practice, cadence, pacing, stage prescence, hand gestures, projection etc etc

Then there are people (like me) who just ‘talk while stood up’

We know we have valuable specialised info to pass on, expertise, authority & chops in a narrow lane about a specific topic or product

I get my edumificational content ‘out there’ in different ways (writing, videos etc) … and another just happens to occasionally be …


Talking to more people than can sit around a single table, sooo I have to stand up

Different from ‘Public Speakers’, I don’t care about presentation, cadence, pacing, hand gestures, stage presence, where my bloody feet are & all that shnizzle

I care more about getting my ideas across to people who specifically want to know what I know about ‘something’ …

… and on occasion, I find talking the best way to get that info out from my brain & into the brain of the folks still sat down

I essentially don’t care about being judged because I understand that …


People who simply ‘talk to a group who know them’ understand at a gut level that It’s Not About Them, it’s about how well the people they are helping to understand something ‘get it’

Worrying about being judged, about how you’ll come across, about if people will laugh if (when) you make a mistake (or not laugh when you tell a joke) or even if they’ll like you is pointless, because … it’s not about you

Also, worrying about where your arms & feet are, your cadence, your phrasing, your stage craft & ‘pauses’ is ultimately quite selfish because …

it’s not about you!

(Have you got that yet?)

It’s not about your ‘performance’ – it’s ALL about getting those neat, elegant, new ideas out of your noggin, out of your gob, through the air, into the lug-oils & into the noggins of those ‘still sat down’ who are probably mighty interested

Tip #1: Just because you are ‘up front & centre’ doesn’t mean you can’t sit down. Sitting down helps a lot.

Tip #2: Only politicians truly speak in PUBLIC. Folks like us are almost always just yakking with a warm audience of friends, collegues or clients / customers … or at minimum have a common interest in sharing ideas

Here are my take aways …


I’m just the vessel, the ‘conduit’ by which some interesting shit gets into other peoples brains. I could have written the content, or made a video of it, but as it happens, I’m just talking about it this time around

2) The ONLY reason I’m stood up front is to be seen & heard better

I’m not getting paid to ‘perform’ so I don’t give a shit about making mistakes, I only care about ‘do they get it, my point, the idea, what I’m on about?’

3) In truth, people are not listening to your words. No one is hanging on your every word – not even the most attentive person in the group. Cognitively speaking, people dont listen at word level. We listen at THOUGHT level, more specifically, at personal thought level.

If (as is desireable) a few people have ideas while listening to you, those ideas will be about THEM … that “something you said” triggered. The idea string they had, about them, is more consuming & important to them than whatever it was you said that triggered their idea

In case you didn’t notice, it’s 2019 (at time of writing)

Look at the explosion of unshaven, scruffy goofball experts in snapback baseball caps & sports shirts making off-the-cuff selfie-stick videos about their knowledge & passions (while wandering around a field, or their kitchen)

The days when someone who knows more than their tribe had to be polished & eloquent & perfect & mistake-free are GONE my friends

These are the days of ‘Facebook Live’ where audiences expect to see humanity in their leaders, not perfection

People these days do not trust thought leaders who are slick, polished, practiced & fault-free

They now WANT that just like me vibe, even from luminaries

One ‘secret’ to writing copy is ‘write like you talk’ ~ and I think a secret to ‘talking while you’re stood up’ is just …

….. talk like you talk sat down but a bit louder

(Please comment below if this has helped you and/or made you think)

Could You Be Wrong?

How long does it take to change your mind?

Many believe that, as their world view is set & their belief systems are in place, it would take a well pondered, well articulated persuasively reasoned argument to make them even consider another point of view.

This isn’t always the case. It’s entirely possible to change your stance 180 degrees in a few seconds …

The Four Blind Men & The Elephant

Is it possible for people to hold different (even opposing) viewpoints and all of them be right? The answer is YES, & today, I’m going to prove it …

Let me tell you the story about the Four Blind Men & The Elephant

Many years ago, in a land far far away (!) there were four blind men who all live in a monastary

The Transparent Train

I got some great feedback after writing about the four blind men & the elephant. The story proved you can experience something first hand & STILL be wrong not right, due to limited or skewed perspectives

I want to give you my second story about that same lesson about perspective. While I can’t claim to have come up with the blind men & the elephant story, this next one is 100% my own creation!

How much is enough?

An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village …

… when a small boat with just one fisherman docked with his catch of several large yellow fin tuna. The America complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a little while

Being ‘Professional’

What does that mean, being ‘professional’?

Are brain surgeons professional? You bet!

So, would you want the brain Surgeon operating on you to …

  • take a call whenever it came through?
  • be distracted by someone that wanted to waste his time?
  • not finish what had been started?
  • leave it to another day?

No?  Then don’t do these things yourself

You will say ‘Wow’

Here is a famous quote from Calvin Coolidge …

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Poverty of Attention

Almost 40 years ago, in 1971, at the dawn of the Information age, the social scientist Herbert Simon wrote:

“In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of it’s recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention”

100% spot on for what we see around us everyday, non?