Thanks David for coming to dinner tonight

David Dalka called me up tonight cause he read that Maryam and I were hanging out in Chicago for the evening. That was a nice surprise. He is excited about giving his first public speech at the eComXpo on October 24-26. It’s a free to attend virtual conference.

I remember the first time I spoke in front of a conference audience. Don Box was there (he’s one of the best speakers I’ve ever seen). I was so nervous! I couldn’t hold my hands steady.

It felt like I had just jumped into a pool of icewater. I couldn’t get my breath.

So, I’m always happy when more people try it out. I still suck at it, though. I’ve been thinking about going to Toastmasters to get better at it.

When I interviewed Woz last week he said when he was a kid he’d never go on stage — had to be prodded to show off his Apple I at the Homebrew Computer Society.

How about you, what keeps you from giving speeches at user groups or conferences?

22 thoughts on “Thanks David for coming to dinner tonight

  1. “Toastmaster is a great thing to do only if you want to cement into your cellular memory every little thing you do that other people do not like… …The last thing a public speaker needs is to be pelted with negativity.”

    Christina, that’s NOT how Toastmasters works. If you had an experience with a Toastmasters club that was like that, that was the exception to most clubs. My experience as a Toastmaster has been a positive one.

    Evaluations in Toastmasters are supposed to emphasise what one is doing well, along with pointing out a place where one can improve.

    Is it that the members of each club are giving evaluations to each other and not learning from a “Professional Trainer” such as yourself, that bothers you? Or was there a negative experience that you’ve had with Toastmasters that soured you on them?

    John, I agree, being on stage is great. The largest crowd I’ve spoken to was when I was in the Toastasters District 45 Humorous Speech Contest. I LOVED hearing the laughter. That’s a kind of feedback that’s immediate, can’t be faked, and is so satisfying.

  2. “Toastmaster is a great thing to do only if you want to cement into your cellular memory every little thing you do that other people do not like… …The last thing a public speaker needs is to be pelted with negativity.”

    Christina, that’s NOT how Toastmasters works. If you had an experience with a Toastmasters club that was like that, that was the exception to most clubs. My experience as a Toastmaster has been a positive one.

    Evaluations in Toastmasters are supposed to emphasise what one is doing well, along with pointing out a place where one can improve.

    Is it that the members of each club are giving evaluations to each other and not learning from a “Professional Trainer” such as yourself, that bothers you? Or was there a negative experience that you’ve had with Toastmasters that soured you on them?

    John, I agree, being on stage is great. The largest crowd I’ve spoken to was when I was in the Toastasters District 45 Humorous Speech Contest. I LOVED hearing the laughter. That’s a kind of feedback that’s immediate, can’t be faked, and is so satisfying.

  3. Wild Horses couldn’t keep me from speaking, it’s such a rush.

    The first time I spoke at Macworld, (July, 1999), I had three sessions. I kept getting asked if I was nervous, and no, I wasn’t, not particularly.

    Then I get on the stage, and part of my brain went…It’s a room full of people and they’re all here to listen to ME. For the next 90 minutes, the center of their world is ME.

    Man, you can’t manufacture drugs that good. It’s impossible.

  4. Wild Horses couldn’t keep me from speaking, it’s such a rush.

    The first time I spoke at Macworld, (July, 1999), I had three sessions. I kept getting asked if I was nervous, and no, I wasn’t, not particularly.

    Then I get on the stage, and part of my brain went…It’s a room full of people and they’re all here to listen to ME. For the next 90 minutes, the center of their world is ME.

    Man, you can’t manufacture drugs that good. It’s impossible.

  5. If you ever get the chance, try taking some improv (/theatre sports) classes. They are wonderful confidence boosters, teach you to think on your feet, and develop your story-telling skills.

    Trust me: being on stage in front of a full house with no script, no props, and one other actor who’s decided he’s playing an amorous sheep makes “speaking gigs” pale in comparison.

    I realize that the odds of you finding the time for an improv class in your busy schedule are next to none. The runner-up option would be to pick up some improv books and play theatre sports game with Patrick and Maryam — they are huge fun, and it means the rest of your family can share in the skills-building, too. I’d recommend Impro by Keith Johnstone and Improvisation for the Theatre by Viola Spolin to get you started.

  6. If you ever get the chance, try taking some improv (/theatre sports) classes. They are wonderful confidence boosters, teach you to think on your feet, and develop your story-telling skills.

    Trust me: being on stage in front of a full house with no script, no props, and one other actor who’s decided he’s playing an amorous sheep makes “speaking gigs” pale in comparison.

    I realize that the odds of you finding the time for an improv class in your busy schedule are next to none. The runner-up option would be to pick up some improv books and play theatre sports game with Patrick and Maryam — they are huge fun, and it means the rest of your family can share in the skills-building, too. I’d recommend Impro by Keith Johnstone and Improvisation for the Theatre by Viola Spolin to get you started.

  7. At the risk of offending half the speaking world: Toastmaster is a great thing to do only if you want to cement into your cellular memory every little thing you do that other people do not like.
    Last time I checked- we are individuals and we have our own style. The last thing a public speaker needs is to be pelted with negativity.

    Think of it this way: I assume most folks reading this blog have, at one time or another, attempted to learn how to ride a bicycle. It is a hot sunny day and there is a grape Kool-Aid ring around your mouth. You cool of the purple glitter banana seat bicycle (showing my age) and straddle the Huffy Rocket. A voice behind you says, “Well, your feet are a little small for this, you aren’t hold the handlebars right, those shorts are an embarassment, the humidity is a little high to be riding today and I just am not happy with your performance. But hey- give it a go.”
    Critical Mass ( http://www.critical-mass.org/~
    would have a few less participants if this is the way we taught bicycling.

  8. At the risk of offending half the speaking world: Toastmaster is a great thing to do only if you want to cement into your cellular memory every little thing you do that other people do not like.
    Last time I checked- we are individuals and we have our own style. The last thing a public speaker needs is to be pelted with negativity.

    Think of it this way: I assume most folks reading this blog have, at one time or another, attempted to learn how to ride a bicycle. It is a hot sunny day and there is a grape Kool-Aid ring around your mouth. You cool of the purple glitter banana seat bicycle (showing my age) and straddle the Huffy Rocket. A voice behind you says, “Well, your feet are a little small for this, you aren’t hold the handlebars right, those shorts are an embarassment, the humidity is a little high to be riding today and I just am not happy with your performance. But hey- give it a go.”
    Critical Mass ( http://www.critical-mass.org/~
    would have a few less participants if this is the way we taught bicycling.

  9. Toastmasters is great if you wanna ramble on about any subject without er, the ums and ahs and pregnant pauses. They use a very systematic approach which unfortunately annoys the hell out of a lot of people – especially when people tell you what they are going to tell you, tell you and then tell you what they told you. Zzz

  10. Toastmasters is great if you wanna ramble on about any subject without er, the ums and ahs and pregnant pauses. They use a very systematic approach which unfortunately annoys the hell out of a lot of people – especially when people tell you what they are going to tell you, tell you and then tell you what they told you. Zzz

  11. It’s always great to see someone you know when it’s completely unexpected, for some reason the vibe is always better than if you planned it!

    It was nice to finally meet Maryam and your two new stranded Amsterdam friends as well. Our conversation about interesting world cultural issues will not soon be forgotten.

    Ian – Nice to meet you!

    Thanks for mentioning eComXpo, I will be speaking on the topic of “Mobile Search Marketing – The Coming Evolution of Chief Marketing Officer to Chief Customer Officer” – I talk about the interesting emerging world of mobile search and the talk about the high level vision of what is possible when disparate LBS data sets, RFID/Inventory and Mobile Search – which requires a different, smaller data set!!! One of the examples in my speech illustrates an experience of our friend Jeremiah Owyang.

    I hope to eventually join one of the many disruptive startups in Mobile Search space or an existing company that is playing a role in making this happen – we are at the dawn of a long, customer focused transformational journey – it’s about the data and the customer experience…

    See you again soon I’m sure the way things are going! I may relocate at any time now…

  12. It’s always great to see someone you know when it’s completely unexpected, for some reason the vibe is always better than if you planned it!

    It was nice to finally meet Maryam and your two new stranded Amsterdam friends as well. Our conversation about interesting world cultural issues will not soon be forgotten.

    Ian – Nice to meet you!

    Thanks for mentioning eComXpo, I will be speaking on the topic of “Mobile Search Marketing – The Coming Evolution of Chief Marketing Officer to Chief Customer Officer” – I talk about the interesting emerging world of mobile search and the talk about the high level vision of what is possible when disparate LBS data sets, RFID/Inventory and Mobile Search – which requires a different, smaller data set!!! One of the examples in my speech illustrates an experience of our friend Jeremiah Owyang.

    I hope to eventually join one of the many disruptive startups in Mobile Search space or an existing company that is playing a role in making this happen – we are at the dawn of a long, customer focused transformational journey – it’s about the data and the customer experience…

    See you again soon I’m sure the way things are going! I may relocate at any time now…

  13. I really recommend Toastmasters. It certainly was a big help back in the 80′s when I was a conference speaker on industrial use of bar codes.

    Back then too, I got a promotion and Toastmasters instrumental in that. I’d convinced my boss that he should go to Toastmasters and one day he gave a speech on “Our Promotion Board”. I sighed and thought, “This is going to be boring.” Then he says, “This is an actual promotion package” as he put a slide on the viewgraph. Hey, that’s MY name on the package! He thought it would be cool to let our Toastmaster members share my joy of learning of my promotion.

    BTW, the only speech I never completed happened in your area. I was actually speaking to 125 people at Scan Tech ’89 at the San Jose Convention Center when the World Series earthquake hit!

    dc

  14. I really recommend Toastmasters. It certainly was a big help back in the 80′s when I was a conference speaker on industrial use of bar codes.

    Back then too, I got a promotion and Toastmasters instrumental in that. I’d convinced my boss that he should go to Toastmasters and one day he gave a speech on “Our Promotion Board”. I sighed and thought, “This is going to be boring.” Then he says, “This is an actual promotion package” as he put a slide on the viewgraph. Hey, that’s MY name on the package! He thought it would be cool to let our Toastmaster members share my joy of learning of my promotion.

    BTW, the only speech I never completed happened in your area. I was actually speaking to 125 people at Scan Tech ’89 at the San Jose Convention Center when the World Series earthquake hit!

    dc

  15. Are we going to get the Robert Scoble tips for public speaking?

    Guy’s were a great addition to the long list of other information on the topic, it would be great to get your perspective.

  16. Are we going to get the Robert Scoble tips for public speaking?

    Guy’s were a great addition to the long list of other information on the topic, it would be great to get your perspective.

Comments are closed.