Today, January 20, 2016, I read an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Hillary Is in Big Trouble.” The article boldly displayed the line, “Clinton increasingly seems stuck in the past, dogged by wilting poll numbers and heavy baggage.” Conservative author, Fred Barnes, clearly not a fan of Hillary, or the Democratic Party, predictably, offered a laundry list of Hillary’s challenges (Benghazi, her husband’s abuse of women, sending top secret e-mails via her unsecured server, lying, etc.,etc.) as being the reason she is struggling against Bernie Sanders, AKA, “the ‘socialist’ from Vermont.” I disagree with Mr. Barnes. I contend that, it is not so much her perceived flaws, as outlined in the article, that are threating her ability to rally her supporters, but more so (weighted less heavily in the article) her inability to rally audiences; that is, her failure as a public speaker. It is Hillary’s inability to move her audiences that is most compromising her success thus far in her bid for the Whitehouse!
“Harald Krüger made his first major public appearance as BMW’s chief executive officer Tuesday, but he fainted just five minutes into the news conference. Krüger, who is 49-years-old, has been the CEO of the car manufacturer since May, but his presentation at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany was his public debut. Approximately five minutes into his presentation, he began to stumble and then hit the ground.”
Today Health and Wellness, September 15, 2015, offers this,
About 10 years ago I had a very unique student in one of my public speaking classes at Los Angels Valley College, named Erik Sorto. Eric was always early, never late. Eric never questioned the demands of class, or any assignment. Eric never failed to submit his work, all of his work, on time! Eric never failed to excel with any of the classroom assignments or demands. Eric Sorto earned one of the highest point total A grades in class. These qualities alone place Eric into a super elite minority within the student body at Los Angeles Valley College. However, when you add to the fact the Erik Sorto is a quadriplegic who can only move his head and fingers, you truly have a student who is amazing!
I recently read an article addressing the challenges associated with dyslexia. The article inspired me to explore more thoughtfully about how my challenges associated with dyslexia have been negotiated and managed with the help of public speaking.
Speech Anxiety and opportunity, the fear of public speaking and the importance of seizing every opportunity are celebrated in Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself”.
Last summer I was driving somewhere with my family, and Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself,” came on the radio. My wife Fleur, after the song concluded said, “That song describes the experience of delivering a speech (the fear of public speaking), and the speech anxiety a speaker experiences before a presentation; and how every time you get to perform (in our case public speaking), it is an opportunity to be seized!”
On March 26, 2014, the Vatican Insider published the story of Jersey Vargas. The little Mexican girl traveled from Los Angeles California to the Vatican in Rome to attend Pope Francis’ General Audience. At the end of the Audience, she hopped over one of the barriers and rushed to the front row, and met the Pope. Her purpose, was to speak out on behalf of her father Mario Vargas, currently being held in prison in the state of Tennesse for over a year awaiting deportation. Jersey asked the pope for help. This resulted in a wave of press attention across the world — and yes, help for her father! Currently Jersey’s sister, Ledyi Vargas is in my COMM 101, public speaking class at Los Angeles Valley College. The proud big sister, Leydi, brought Jersey to class with her and did a speech about her. I then asked Jersey if she wanted to give a speech. She jumped at the opportunity. And in doing so, inspired the entire class with the power of her words.
After I wrote my first speech in Fall of 1991, my speech coach Marty Tarras, after reading what I wrote — or “trying to read it,” I should say — looked at me, and with the harshest of terminology (see Practical Lessons From “The King’s Speech” I) questioned my mental ability.
My dad (Gene Smith) is one of my biggest fans and helpers. He is always doing things for me, and offering help in all aspects of my life. Specifically for our purpose here, my father is always searching for, and passing to me articles from magazines and newspapers that have to do with public speaking. Recently my dad found a great article in Readers Digest. Discovered in the Work Digest section, dated May 2011 – the article is titled: “Master Your Presentation, Five Lessons from The King’s Speech.”
“Overcome Your Fears and Speak Effectively,” was an article published in The Toronto Sun on June 23, 2010. The article quipped about how Jerry Seinfeld joked, “Most people would prefer to be in the coffin than giving the eulogy.”