Public Speaking Tip from Roger Federer

Roger Federer’s win at the French Open has made me happy in a way that I didn’t expect. And it is a lesson for anyone that wants to build a relationship with an audience.

The lesson is this: if you want to bond with an audience, show your humanity to them.

I still get a little sense of satisfaction just remembering Roger dropping to his knees in tears for his 14th Grand Slam victory and his first on the red clay of Roland Garros. I’m truly happy for him.  And I’ve never met him. I’m just a fan.

I think a lot of people feel the same way. The reason, I believe, is that Roger has has shown himself to us over the last year in a very personal, vulnerable way.  When he lost to Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open earlier this year and then at Wimbledon last year, he cried both times. 

While almost no one can really identify with Roger’s extraordinary skills on the tennis court, we can all relate to his frustration.  By not hiding it, we have grown to love him for more than his skills. We’ve grown to care for him as a person.

The same is true with speaking. If you want to bond with your audiences, show your real self to them.

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