A masterclass in public speaking

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Jim Collins is out promoting his new book. I have no idea whether the book is any good, but his promotion is first rate.

This morning, as I cycled to work, I caught him talking about the book in a BusinessWeek podcast. He’s clearly a phenomenal public speaker and I urge you to download the podcast for a masterclass in public speaking. I almost ran into the back of a bus listening to it.

Listen here

Key things to listen out for

  • The pause - he uses pauses in his speech with great effect. Sometimes long, sometimes short, but always attention grabbing. I particularly liked that he paused at seemingly odd occasions, in the middle of a sentence as well as between points.
  • Stories - his speaking is litered with stories to bring concepts to life; personal stories, real-life and make-believe: “imagine if…” the stories were often illuminating or reinforcing and always engaging
  • Signposting - some excellent signposting of content he’s about to talk about, is talking about or has just been through. There is a lot of content, so signposting is essential
  • Changing speed, tone & volume - there are many changes to the way he speaks that help keep the momentum and interest.

I hope you enjoy it. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts and whether you’ve seen him live.

FYI, his book is called How the Mighty Fall

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