I have been an instructor and professor, teaching academic and non-academic classes since 1981 -- but more than that, I've been a professional public speaker/lecturer since the early 80s, experience which includes guest lecturing at colleges around the US. I have been a corporate trainer/presenter between 1984 and 2006. I have lectured and presented to audiences as large as 2500 (though the average has been much smaller). I am an author with 8 published books, so I'm often asked to speak.
Since the late 1980s, I have also worked as a public speaking/presentation skills and media coach for authors and businesspeople since the late 1980s, also conducting occasional seminars for groups. I taught a course at John F. Kennedy University that included a segment on Public Speaking between 1989 and 2006, and continue to teach a version of that course that includes Media Skills (the art of being a good interview subject). I was featured as an “expert” in Public Speaking for Dummies by Malcolm Kushner (IDG Books, 1999; John Wiley & Sons 2004), and was Technical Editor for the last two editions of that book.
I also have a performing background, first as a professional magician (1980s-1990) and subsequently/currently as a mentalist/psychic entertainer. I have sometimes included the use of magic tricks in my presentations training, on request of the clients.
I have extensive experience with the media: hundreds of TV appearances (local and national) and my other media appearances (radio, internet podcasts, and print) number in the thousands.
My methods of training/tutoring for public speaking is total interaction, practice and critique -- I first teach students how to do self-critique from video, and more importantly how to actually listen to themselves while speaking to self-correct. Any critique I do is totally based on positive reinforcement of good skills to overcome any bad habits. I try to make any and all exercises fun for students (because when they have fun, they speak with greater confidence) and use more than a little humor (but not comedy).
Part of the training/tutoring is also directed at helping them create good presentations, when students ask for this of course.
Finally, I work with students to overcome any fears they might have about speaking in public. This is definitely an issue for many people -- most surveys show "Fear of Public Speaking" is ahead of even the "Fear of Death."
All in all, my method is to get the students most comfortable with being themselves when speaking in public, enhancing their own personalities to get their points across in communication.
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