Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 300) – “A Star is Born”

Quote No. 300 for public speakers. Hard to believe.

When I began this series back in 2009 with Quote No. 1, I wasn’t sure that I would find enough quotes to keep it running for long. But time and again, I have come across great quotes, aphorisms, sayings and other pieces of wisdom that have something to offer to public speakers.

I hadn’t thought too much about what I would do for Quote No. 300, but then I came across this trailer for the movie A Star is Born, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, and I knew this was it. Because this is a milestone, you get the quote and a video.

Hope it inspires you to go out and speak. You’ve got something to say.

“Look, talent comes everywhere. But having something to say and the way to say it so people listen to it, that’s a whole other bag. And unless you get out there and you try to do it, you’ll never know. That’s just the truth.

“If there’s one reason we’re supposed to be here, it’s to say something so people want to hear it. So you gotta grab it. And you don’t apologize, you don’t worry about why they’re listening or how long they’re gonna be listening for, you just tell ’em what you wanna say.”

—  Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born

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10 tips for dealing wth dry mouth when you speak

If you give a lot of speeches or presentations, there is a good chance that you have experienced dry mouth (also known as cotton mouth) — that parched, sticky sensation that makes your mouth and throat feel like cracked soil in a drought.

The technical term for dry mouth is xerostomia. It’s a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. There are several causes of xerostomia, some of which are serious. For many people, however, dry mouth is a temporary condition brought on by stress or nerves, something which every public speaker has experienced.

You know the symptoms: a dry, sticky mouth; a sore throat; difficulty swallowing; a heavy pasty tongue. Not fun and, if you are speaking to an audience, not helpful. So what can you do about it?

Here are 10 tips:

1.  Drink plenty of water the night before. Yes, you will be going to the washroom more often than usual, but all that water will hydrate your cells.

2.  Sip water regularly in the hour or so before you speak to stay hydrated. Be sure to go to the washroom before you take the stage.

3.  Chew citrus-flavoured gum or a lozenge before speaking, but don’t forget go spit it out before going on stage!

4.  Have water handy on stage so that you can take a sip if necessary. Two important things to remember about water:

(a) It should be room temperature. Cold water constricts the vocal chords.

(b) It should be flat, not sparkling. Bubble have a way of coming back up!

5.  Avoid alcohol, caffeine and tobacco before you speak as these substances worsen dry mouth.

6.  If you use mouthwash, choose a brand without alcohol.

7.  Try an oral rinse that is designed to counteract dry mouth. Such rinses usually contain xylitol, which helps stimulate saliva. I have used this brand and found it works well.

8.  Avoid antihistamines and decongestants as they tend to exacerbate dry mouth.

9.  Sleep with a humidifier.

10.  Prepare well. This will help you feel more confident, which will help you feel less nervous, which in turn will help minimize dry mouth.

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This year, push yourself beyond your boundaries

My wife Julie and I recently returned home after three days in Zermatt, Switzerland with our friends, Florian Mueck and Rose Chong, and some of their friends. Great people and great skiing!

Besides being a friend, Florian is also a fellow public speaker, my business partner and co-creator of Rhetoric – The Public Speaking Game™. One day, while taking the lift up the mountain, Florian and I shot an impromptu 45-second video. He asked what my biggest wish for speakers in 2019 is. Here’s my answer:

If you need inspiration on how you can push yourself when it comes to your public speaking, you can find lots of concrete ideas in this post.

And if you want to see more of Florian’s quick-tip videos on public speaking, visit him here on Instagram.

Happy New Year!

Florian and me with the Matterhorn in the background

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Five Public Speaking Resolutions for 2019

PG LogoI am one of the co-founders of Presentation Guru, a digital magazine for public speaking professionalsThis post is part of a series designed to share the great content on Presentation Guru with the Manner of Speaking community.

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As 2018 draws to a close, many people reflect on the year gone by and make plans for the year to come. If you are inclined to make New Year’s resolutions, and if you want to improve your public speaking skills, why not make a public speaking resolution or two for 2019?

I have suggested resolutions for public speakers in the past. Here’s a list of 50 that I posted at the end of 2011. They are just as useful today as they were then.

This year, my colleagues at Presentation Guru asked me to come up with another list. I was happy to oblige, but this time, I limited myself to five and went deeper on each. They are as follows:

  1. Arrive at least one hour before you are scheduled to speak.
  2. Seek out speaking situations that make you uncomfortable.
  3. Give a presentation without slides.
  4. Analyze other people’s speeches and presentations.
  5. Tell more stories.

Following through on any one of these resolutions will make a big difference to your public speaking. Doing all five will add rocket fuel to your speeches and presentations!

To learn more about my thinking for each resolution, and to get a bucketload of links to some great articles related to them, head over to my post on Presentation Guru.

I wish you a Happy New Year and all the best for a terrific 2019!

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Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 299) – Adam Duritz

Adam Duritz – American Singer, Songwriter and Frontman for the Counting Crows

“People ask me if I have stage fright. I say, ‘God, no, I’m completely comfortable there. I have rest-of-the-day fright.’

—  Adam Duritz

Photo courtesy of Taylor Spaulding / Flickr
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