“Appear Strong” from the Beginning – Your Presentation Skills Tip of the Day from Comedian Jim Gaffigan


Comedian Jim Gaffigan
Comedian Jim Gaffigan

…the Northeast whether it’s New York, Philly or Boston, from my experience, you don’t go out there and appear weak. You go out and you appear strong.
Jim Gaffigan, from his interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross

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Jim Gaffigan is performing for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia this weekend, which likely will include Pope Francis in the audience. Yesterday, Terry Gross interviewed him for her Fresh Air broadcast. It was a terrific interview.

Here’s the communication/presentation skills tip of the day. Start strong: “appear strong.”

I think this means this: don’t be tentative, don’t be reserved, don’t leave the impression that you are not up to the task of filling the audience’s time with a decent routine. (In his case, he is a comedian).

So many speakers practically start their presentations/speeches with this attitude: “Is it ok if I speak to you now. I’m not sure I’m up to the task, but I’ll give it a try. Is that ok?”

It’s tentative; unsure; and makes everyone in the audience uneasy. If it lingers, the audience tunes out in a hurry.

I’m a fan of humility – but humility is different from tentativeness. Speakers need to start this way; (again, these are not the exact words, but the approach, the tone): “I’m ready for this. I’m prepared. This will be worth your time. So let’s go!”

So – start strong; appear strong. Never appear weak. There’s your communication tip of the day.

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