Podcasts and Public Speaking

| November 2, 2010

Photo by Renjith Krishnan

This Saturday, I will be giving a short presentation as part of the Student Research Symposium at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Information Studies in Milwaukee. Until now, I have successfully avoided public speaking—from speech classes to professional seminars. Unfortunately, I have reached the end of my rope. It is time to bite the bullet and plunge into the unknown. And I am Scared. To. Death.

Realizing that throwing up and crying myself to sleep every night will not prepare me for my 15 minutes of fame (literally, I only have to talk for 15 minutes), I have turned to podcasts for my training. Podcasts are a wonderful tool for busy people. I have two jobs, and I’m a grad student. I have little time for extracurricular reading, so audio makes for the best option (it’s much easier to fold laundry and listen than to fold laundry and read).

The Public Speaker podcast from Quick and Dirty Tips has been my savior. At around 10 minutes an episode, Lisa B. Marshall gives efficient advice on topics pertaining to public speaking (e.g. “How to Present with Another Speaker” and “How Do You Use a Microphone Properly?”).

The Podcast Voice Training podcast  (How meta!) has covered some useful public speaking topics, such as the art of storytelling.

I would suggest browsing the podcast archive from The Contrary Public Speaker. Not only does she give advice, she also serves as a public speaking and communications pundit.

For those of us (me) with deep-rooted fear, you might also want to peak at the Social Anxiety Resolved podcast. There have been several episodes dedicated to public speaking.

And if you really want to kick it old school, you can download the audio-book of Dale Carnegie’s The Art of Public Speaking.

I plan on giving a full report on my experience next week. If you do not hear from me, just assume I crashed and burned. But at least I will crash and burn holding the microphone properly.