Why do I need to say this: Don’t chew gum when speaking in public. Really?
I just wrapped up a 10 day business/speaking trip in three cities: Boston, Chicago and Toronto. And if you have to be away from home for 10 days, those are great cities to visit!
I gave three presentations during the trip – two at ACLEA (the American Continuing Legal Education Association) in Boston and one at the ABA’s National Convention in Toronto. And I mean it Australia… I’ll waive my speaking fee if you pay my travel – you’re on my bucket list to visit!
Anyway, I had a blast!
Speaking in public is what I love to do and this particular trip was especially fun. I met a ton of great folks and had some wonderful, interesting conversations. A judge from Toronto stayed after my program to chat for almost an hour about speaking skills and teaching younger students at law schools. And there were at least five or six international attendees, including Spain, France, Poland, Australia, Italy and I can’t remember where else.
International bar associations take note: For the next year or so, I”ll waive my speaking fees just for the fun of getting to travel internationally again, if my travel is picked up for at least 4 days.
But back to the point of this blog…
I received a follow up email earlier this week from the Managing Editor of a large legal publication, who will remain anonymous. He was very sweet in his compliments about my program and then he went on to write something hilarious and a bit surprising.
You offered a terrific program. It’s very interesting how the structure of a good oral presentation is the same as a good written article: short statement to start; a cogent intro; the main body in which one makes specific points followed by examples; and then a strong conclusion.
Unfortunately, after attending your program, I was attuned to spotting only the flaws in the other presentations, and it became very, very painful.
Please inform future classes that they must never chew gum or use the word “like.” It is impossibly irritating.
Ok, I’ll admit, I added the bold.
Yes, someone at the ABA National Convention was actually chewing gum while speaking to an audience and someone else was saying “like” enough during their presentation to irritate my new colleague.
I could go on and on about why you shouldn’t do either of these things, but that would be kind of silly. Frankly this is one of those times when it is obvious and and while I strive not to be snarky on my blog, all I can think to say is…
chewing gum while speaking…. really? seriously?