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Have you always been good at public speaking?
Unfortunately no. I to had to go through a long journey of battling cold feet, sweaty hands and the inability to speak coherently in front of an audience. I must say, my first performances were far from perfect. But I am living proof that by learning the basics of the art of oratorical skill, perseverance, and a lot of practice, public speaking can become a source of pleasure for one’s self as well as the audience.
What is your most memorable performance and why?
The most memorable performance that I had was when I allowed myself to improvise. It felt like I let go of the prepared text, floated up off the ground and flew. This was when I was a sergeant in the army and had to represent my division at a big army convention. I can still remember the astonished looks on my friends’ and commander’s faces.
Do you ever get nervous before giving a presentation, and what’s the best way to overcome nerves?
I react to stress the way anybody else would. In my book The Kama Sutra of Public Speaking I present a couple of methods for coping with stress and lowering anxiety levels. But the best way to feel more confident in front of an audience, in my opinion, is thorough preparation beforehand.
What’s the link between public speaking and the Kama Sutra?
I’m convinced that anything that a person does, he/she should do with pleasure, and this pleasure comes with skill – the better you get at something the more pleasure you get from doing it. Kama Sutra teaches men and women to get mutual pleasure during intimacy. My book teaches the reader how to achieve ultimate pleasure for themselves and their audience during a public performance.
Which public speakers inspire you?
I have been doing this for quite some time now and have grown to be a very strict judge of people in my field. It’s difficult to impress me. But there are speakers and public figures out there that I admire very much, although my readers might not know some of them: Brian Tracy, Allan Pease, Steve Ballmer, Sir Richard Branson.
What is your #1 top tip for public speaking?
I will be “boring” and say that the quintessential key to a successful performance is meticulous preparation. Only the very skilled and experienced speakers can allow themselves to improvise. My book will teach you how to speak in front of an audience well; the experience is something that you will need to obtain on your own.