Today I’m speaking at my first conference in a few years. As a consultant, I got out of the speaking gig for a bit. I miss it. Here is a picture of me with my new haircut, glasses and a man’s shirt, killing it in front of Apple investors. Ok, not really. I don’t wear jeans to my speaking engagements.
It sounds strange to most, but I’d rather speak to 1,000 people than two (not the two of you reading this blog–two other people). I spent part of yesterday preparing, by which I mean talking to myself silently (mouth moving, no sound) while sitting in Starbucks. C’mon, it’s not the first time a loopy customer sat there for hours moving her mouth without sound coming out, so stop judging.
I prefer interactive speaking, where people shout questions at me. I think that is a result of my “trial by fire” training as a litigator, and I’d like to give a special thanks to the late Judge Robert Cahill Sr. for fortifying my gut to handle such experiences. He once retorted to one of my statements in oral argument, “Well, BOO, HOO, Ms. Leslie.” Complete with the hand movements of rubbing his eyes. It was pleasant. I wonder if he is holding advocacy seminars for the attorneys in heaven. [Fill in the attorney joke here].
I lost the oral argument.
What is it about public speaking that makes people jump at the chance or hide in the attic? You either love it or hate it. It’s not just about skill; believe me, I’ve known many a lawyer who liked public speaking but public speaking didn’t like them. [Fill in lawyer joke here].
Today, I’m speaking to a fully bilingual group where English is likely to be their second language, which is new for me. Here’s hoping their English is excellent. Because my Mandarin isn’t so good.
Do you love it or hate it? Why?