Public Speaking Lesson from My Cheapo Shaver

Sometimes, the best public speaking lessons come from the must unexpected places. Like last week, when I found myself at a Marriott Courtyard in Brentwood, Tn. having forgotten to bring a shaver.

One of the reasons I love Marriott is that they always have extra shavers for you. And they’re free. But when I went to the front desk to get my free shaver, I was disappointed to see that they were giving out one of those one-blade Bic razors. Who shaves with those anymore?  I use those five blade jobs made by Gillette. Sure you have to take out a mortgage to buy them. But what a shave!

I took my one-blade Bic back to my room and proceeded to take it out of the plastic wrapping. I lathered up my face and began to shave.

And I was stunned.

It worked fine. In fact, it did a very nice job.  All the whiskers were gone and I had a very nice smooth shave.

So what does this have to do with public speaking?

So much of public speaking today has evolved around fancy conventions.  We have PowerPoint with all its bells and whistles. We have templates that our corporate employers and convention hosts expect us to use. We have interactive systems that allow our audiences to talk back to us.

But all of that stuff is like the fancy razor. We have evolved toward it. But it really doesn’t help us much.  Ultimately, we don’t really need any of that crap.  All we need is a few ideas, some stories, some passion in our voice, and the understanding that our goal is to connect with our listener’s needs.

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