As was true last year at about this time, I’m receiving inquiries about what I’ll be discussing in my course on public speaking at Regent College that had its début last summer and will be offered in a revised form this summer.
I want to cover everything I can between the initial inquiry to the final thank-you notes. Fundamental Christian understandings of speaking and hearing, conceptual models of communication and persuasion, a wide range of skills and techniques, a set of useful checklists, and somber, even terrifying, warnings will all come your way.
More specifically, in our one-week intensive experience (then again, any course with me is an “intensive experience”: you can tell by the headaches), I will reveal the following mysteries to you—and more:
• The 2 elements of your speech that most affect an audience’s recollection of your talk. (One of them is not your “first impression.”)
• How far into your talk the typical audience begins to switch off and on again, and what you can do about that.
• Why you need to bring batteries with you when you speak, and the 3 kinds you need.
• The best thing you can drink while speaking (it’s not what you think).
• How to calculate the true cost of a speaking engagement—to your hosts and to you.
• How to turn an intimidating solid mass of humanity into an affirming bunch of new friends.
• The 7 Key Mistakes of using PowerPoint (including using it when you shouldn’t).
• How to dress so that no one will listen to what you say—and then how to fix that.
• The single best way to reconnect with an audience that is overloaded and drowsy.
• How to discuss money—costs and fees—in a civil, satisfying way. (Yes, there is such a way.)
• Whether you need a personal website, who should design it (not you), and what it ought to include (and avoid).
• How to use timestones, omits, mirroring, guiding stars, razors, and brain breaks.
• The Top 6 Ways to Counter Stage Fright.
• What an agent can, and cannot, do for you—and how to find (a good) one.
• Why you might need to know about VGA, Countryman, W8-BEN, NEXUS, and T-4A.
• Why you and your performance aren’t what counts.
• And the best and worst microphones to use—and how to use them well.
So I hope you’ll attend. I also hope you’ll bring—or send—your pastor, boss, colleague, mentee, thoughtful child, and anyone else who needs to sharpen his or her skills. My previous short seminars have included professors, pastors, executives, physicians, and salespeople in the audience, and I’d love to see you here. We’ll have lots of time for questions, perhaps even a little practice, and if you take the course for credit, you’ll have opportunities to both reflect on some good writing about speaking and have your own speaking evaluated and encouraged.
The course received the most positive evaluations of any course I’ve ever taught. Sadly, that’s not saying as much as it should. Still, how can you not attend now?!