Speakers are a motley collection of experts, teachers, misfits and crusaders (in the non-12th-century, deracinated version of the term).
We don’t have a union, and we’re mostly on our own while on the road, on stage and in the search for new ideas.
We need a code.
Here’s my offering: Ten Tenets of Public Speaking. Let me know what I’m missing, what you like, what you don’t like and what you’re drinking.
1. I am always learning. Just as every speech is an opportunity to teach or persuade a new audience, so is it a chance to learn from that audience. Speakers are never done learning. Speakers are always open to—and never defensive about—finding someone who knows more than they do.
2. I will always make time for my fellow practitioners. Good karma works for speakers, as for anyone else. We are kind to the beginners, the stars, and the last-speech speakers, because we recognize ourselves every step of the way. Every speaker’s career follows the same basic arc.