Joel Scwhartzberg is the Michael Jordan of public speaking. Sure, that’s a cliche that gets thrown around a lot these days (“My uncle is pretty much the Michael Jordan of dishwasher repair”), but in this case the comparison is apt. He won the U.S. National Championship in after-dinner speaking. He won the Massachusetts State Championship in persuasive speaking. He was ranked among the top ten public speakers overall in the US. The man is in the National Forensic Association’s Hall of Fame for his public speaking.
Let that sink in for a moment.
We asked Joel to share his thoughts on the upcoming presidential debates (the first of which occurs the night of his Guns Academy class) and what the Guns’ audience can learn from them. Below is the first of several posts on the debates and career management.
The upcoming presidential debates aren’t real debates at all, of course, but a series of well-rehearsed, carefully-worded, tiny speeches written by committee. (So much for candid truths). But while not much new can be learned at this point about Obama and Romney’s policy positions, a lot can be learned from their public speaking styles.
When you watch the debates, ask yourself these questions, based on lessons from my own THG public speaking course taking place October 3:
- Did the candidates end their sentences with questions marks, or with periods?
- Did the candidates constantly gesture, or use gestures sparingly? Where did they put their hands when not gesturing?
- Did the candidates seem afraid to pause, or did they use pausing strategically to mentally prepare strong responses or to emphasize a point
- What did the candidates do non-verbally that conveyed strength and confidence?
- What did the candidates do non-verbally that conveyed weakness and insecurity?
- What made more of an impression on you: what the candidate said or how he said it?
- When the “debate” is over, consider what tactics worked for them, then try them out the next time you give a presentation. Or run for president.