The trouble is that these strengths are secrets that newbies don’t know, so I’m taking the lid off and exposing them. (Seasoned speakers can take a few cues from this list, too.) Here are the six secret strengths of the beginning public speaker:
1. No bad habits to unlearn: Any speaker coach will tell you that it takes longer to unlearn bad speaking habits than it does to learn new ones on a clean slate. You’ll advance further and faster as a presenter if you start learning from scratch. The takeaway here: Get training as fast as you can, as early in your career as you can, before you develop a batch of flawed speaking tactics.
2. A healthy respect for the audience: Over time, some speakers take the crowd for granted. Not so the new speaker, who’s more likely to anticipate with care what the audience will find of interest, how long to speak, and how to be generous with question time. I think this stems in part from a more recent recollection of what it’s like to be in the audience, combined with fewer assumptions about speaking in general.