For some people, the idea of public speaking is like having major surgery on your favorite body part without anesthesia.
If you’re a listener of this podcast, I’m willing to bet there’s a pretty good chance you are interested in public speaking. Of course, it’s also possible Dino and I goaded you into listening.
Would You Rather Be Dead Than Speak In Front Of An Audience?
If the idea of speaking in front of a small group of people scares you, imagine speaking in front of a few hundred people for a TED talk? If this is you, I’d like to introduce you to our guest in this episode of The Road To TED podcast; Kristen Kavenaugh.
Kristen was in the US Naval Academy and the Marines. She has a Master in Social Work with an emphasis on Military Social Work from Southern California. She is the co-founder of the Military Acceptance Project; a social justice organization which promotes acceptance of LGBT service members and veterans.
She was thrown into public speaking. As she gained momentum with her project, she ended up there by default. She didn’t look to be a public speaker. Public speaking found her.
Don’t be nervous, be at their service. ~Snoop Dog
John Bates, the friend of the show who had a spontaneous appearance in our inaugural episode, relayed this piece of Snoop Dog wisdom to Kristen Kavanaugh as he helped her prepare for her TEDx talk. Kristen is not a natural-born public speaker. In fact, the idea of even giving the talk terrified her.
As a Marine, Kristen is all about facing her fears. And speaking terrifies her.
Kristen had to learn how to conquer her fear in order to deliver a message that’s greater than she. And that is a great way to get over your fear of speaking in public. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about you, it’s about the message you’re compelled to deliver.
Kristen gave her talk on October 5th in San Diego. When we interviewed her for the podcast, she was preparing for it. Here’s how it turned out:
One of the things Kristen did to prepare (or had to do, depending upon how you look at it), was to give her talk for a professional board of past speakers. These folks really know their stuff. She got some great feedback.
So another big takeaway for those scared of speaking, find your own board who can critique you. You’ll get some great real time feedback like Kristen and in the end be able to practice with a safety net.
There is a number of other takeaways in this episode both Dino and I found incredibly valuable. We hope you will too.
Connect with Kristen
This episode introduces our on air producer Mackenzie Labreqcue.
Mackenzie, or Mac, as Dino affectionately calls, is a social media specialist in the pet industry, a speaker, and one smart cookie.
She’s helped us with the podcast from day one, and starting with this episode, we decided to bring her in as a full-time on-air personality.
We think she ads a much-needed element of balance to the podcast, so please, everyone, make her feel at home.
After we finish up the interview, Dino, Mac, and I sped some time exchanging the lessons and takeaways from the conversation with our guest.
This is a great way to cram a lot of learning in a very short amount of time. We hope you’ll tell us your takeaways in the comments below.
Here is the video of me losing my phone and video camera that I mentioned in this episode.