Public speaking and mentoring

Steve Pavlina wanted to become a professional speaker. He didn't know much about the business side of speaking, but he found a mentor who helped him get the hang of things.


I love sharing ideas with people. I love bringing my enthusiasm and my passion to a hall and infecting as many people as I can. I love learning about presentation techniques and fascinating ideas. I love getting people to think. Besides, speaking is a great way to get to meet other fascinating people. I've made friends and learned about opportunities at post-conference dinners.

I love attending workshops and conferences, even for things that I don't immediately need. My conference notes focus more on speakers' delivery styles than actual technical content. My books aren't about programming in Java or writing HTML, but business and public speaking.

I love the challenge of providing value to a whole hall of people. As a wet-behind-the-ears teacher, I've presented alternative teaching techniques in front of veteran educators. I've talked about technology in front of students and professionals. I've survived the scrutiny of a college classroom.

I've had my bad days. Unresponsive audiences. Technical problems. Lackluster content. All of those things just keep pushing me to learn more, practice more, be better.

I've been giving presentations for four years. I've turned talks into articles and blog posts into presentations. I want to learn more. I want to entertain people the way Dean Alfar made hundreds of people laugh during the summit. I want to teach and inspire people the way Zig Ziglar and other business speakers do.

I want to share what other people and I have learned. I want to talk about education. Productivity. Technology. I want to raise questions. I want to provoke thought and action.

I can learn by watching people at conferences. I can learn by listening to audiobooks. I can learn by reading transcripts, artciles and books. But if I could find someone to mentor me, who knows how much faster I'll learn and how much more value I can give right away?

Who are the best speakers you know? Would they be willing to mentor a geek more than willing to swap technical knowhow for presentation mentoring?

そのコンピュータは大変役にたった。 The computer was very useful.

Renan says:

there's always the toastmaster's club. there should be one in the philippines; since you're moving to canada, there should be one too. find one that suites your needs. some are topical; for example, some talk of nothing but politics, others are free-form and tackle whatever topic the member brings in. i attended a couple of these, and it did help. bucause of schedule conflict, though, i had to quit.

it toastmaster's international ( is not for you, there's always the speech class. i have a friend who was a communications major in college and he told me they had a class on public speaking where each one of them give a speech on different topics—-impromptu, extemporaneous, a eulogy, acceptance speech, etc.

of course, as you said, you can learn a lot by listening to people, especially charismatic speakers, and learn about the psychology of it.

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