Passion or Polish? Why Being A Polished Public Speaker Isn’t Nearly As Important Anymore

Hi guys, this is Ryan McLane from  Today I am pretty excited because I’m talking about passion or polished.  Why being a polished public speaker isn’t nearly as important anymore as it used to be.  This has really come out of some of my frustration of watching some of the best public speakers out there and some of the most polished public speakers out there and I think that the internet has changed the game in the way that we interact with media, the way that we interact with speakers is so different now to what it used to be.  It used to be you go to a church you would go to an event and you would sit and you would listen to the speaker and I guess in most cases you would trust what they were saying and you would be excited to learn from them but I think that the internet and the accessibility of information has changed things because we don’t necessarily trust everything that we hear from a pulpit or everything that we hear from a stage anymore and being authentic and being yourself people are looking for that more and more now than they ever have before.  If you get up on stage and you are polished, you know what you are saying, you have rehearsed your speech, you know the inflections that you are going to use, you know how to create an awesome opening, to tell your a story and how to use props and examples and I see speakers doing all these things and they are polished and I can’t critique them at all but something is just not right and it just doesn’t feel authentic and then I watch some speakers who aren’t  polished but who are very passionate about what they’re talking about and I just get so engaged in their presentation, I get so excited to listen in and to hear what they are going to say.  I romp on about this guy but Gary Vaynerchuk,  he’s like the perfect example of it  because he is so non polished he so off the cuff, he is so do it as you may, do what you like,  just talk,  just get the message out there, but he’s authentic and I think the internet has changed things.

People don’t necessarily trust companies anymore. People aren’t interested in press releases any more. People are reading the newspaper less and less.  What are people doing? People are watching YouTube channels; people are reading blogs; people are interacting with the person behind the brand. Some of the blogs are preloaded internet marketing so bear with me here but like Smart Passive Income there’s a guy call Pat Flynn and Pat Flynn  runs a very successful blog and a very successful podcasts and he has thousands probably hundreds of thousands of people that follow his work but he is a guy I don’t want to learn how to do  internet marketing,  how to do podcasting from some company that’s a Smart Passive Income Company, I want to learn how to do it from Pat Flynn the man and on connecting with him and so I’m not emailing the company I’m emailing Pat and you actually get an answer from this guy.  It’s amazing.  We want to connect with people.  We want to be real.  Things are changing so quickly that just to be polished is not enough anymore and it was in an interview I think that I was doing with Tim Page from the Awesome Clarity Podcast and he was saying look I think that you can be polished and you can be authentic as well but I’m not 100% sure just how polish some people are and how good some people are.  I think when it comes to learning public speaking, when it comes to learning the tips and techniques there are little tips and techniques that may have worked thirty years ago but I think what I see and I see this in church and I see this in other areas of business and stuff like that is they find what works in the moment and then what they do is they say oh this worked well, why did this worked well and they start perfecting, I guess the craft and so I see that with some public speakers is that public speaking is the craft, public speaking is an art, public speaking is something you know that you can do and you can become more skilled at. What I see is people pull it apart, we like to pull it apart and learn what makes a good public speech, what makes a bad public speech, how you should open your introduction should you do it with a question, or you should tell stories,   should you follow these certain points and take people along a journey and there are all these things and I think sometimes we analyze a public speech so much and we analyze how to do it so much that we forget about the most important thing when it comes to public speaking and for me I think that is the transference of the message and the transference of the passion and something that you believe wholeheartedly, something that you are so sure about that you want to get up in front as however many people it may be and you want to share that message, you want to communicate with them.

And sometimes I think we focus so much on how to communicate that we forget about what we are communicating and I think we lose authenticity because we have learnt that this is how you should structure a public speech; this is how you should open your speech to your audience; this is how you should engage them. I see the same thing like in church you know, we discovered that it was great if you opened with two fast songs followed with  two slow songs and then you do the offering and then you dot the preaching because of the way that it transitioned people from the fact that you know they came in they weren’t  ready and it gets them in with the fast songs and again into the move with the slow songs and then you do the offering which leads them into the preach and I think we perfected that along the lines and rather than three fast songs it’s two fast songs and rather than one slow  song it’s two and the offering should go for five minutes and not six minutes and all this sort of stuff and the whole time we forgot about the main thing which is the fact that we are speaking to an audience, we want to get a message across to this  audience  and  yet maybe that worked, maybe that worked once, but what about the fact that the time has changed,  what about the fact that the people sitting in this audience have been sitting through the exact same thing for the last five, ten years at their lives.  Do you think that this process and the way that we are going do things are going to be the best way to impact them?  What would happen if we change that? What would happen if we did something different?

And look I have rant about church but I think you draw back to public speaking and you draw back to the way that we want to learn, the way that we want to learn is changing guys, the way that we want to learn is we don’t want to sit down and read a text book, we want to get on YouTube, we want to listen to podcasts in the car while we drive. We don’t want to learn the same way that we learnt when we were in high school or the same way that we learnt when we were in primary school.  We don’t want to write learnt things, we want to connect with people that are passionate about what we are passionate about.  We want to look up to them, we want to learn from them, we want to glean from them, we want to get advice from them.  I know that I am talking fast for  people who listen to this on two-time speed.  I apologize but I’m just so passionate that learning is changing something fierce and I just want to say be careful when you are taking advice on how to become a better public speaker. I need to be careful myself of the information that I present. Don’t always believe it.  Don’t always believe everything out of my mouth. I don’t claim to be an expert.  I am massively learning along this journey and I have really no idea what I’m doing I’m just winging it and as I said in yesterday’s podcast anything is better than zero so  I’m just getting it out there. But don’t necessarily believe everything that you read.  Just because you paid $2000 to do a public speaking course doesn’t mean that everything they teach you is right and just because it sounds good doesn’t mean that’s right either and just because it’s been proven over time doesn’t mean that it’s right either.

There is a difference between like a clinical study proving that a pharmaceutical drug works in someone’s body, that’s scientific proof with doing full analysis comparing to say well this is the way you impact in audience because audiences change, culture changes, the way that people speak changes.  If you try and read a Shakespeare play, man I had to do this every year in high school we go through a Shakespeare play, man it was hard, I had no idea what was going on.  Why? Because they spoke different back then – thee, thou, how are thou, all this sort of  stuff.  The amount of words that we have now are so much greater than Shakespeare had back then and the way that they speak has changed. Imagine if  you’re saying….. okay well Shakespeare he is the greatest playwright of all time so let’s break it down,  let’s analyze exactly what he did in his plays and what made them great.  Well, he uses this sort of English so we are going to use that sort of English in 2013 for the play or for the movie or for the podcast that we’re going do.  That will be crazy. You guys will be crazy except for the few crazy people that are crazy with you, that loves Shakespeare, no one is going to understand you.  You are not going to be effective getting your message across. If you analyze Shakespeare and you said he was the greatest playwright I am going to take things that he did well and copy them, no, you take the principles of things not the exact way of doing it, and I think you constantly, you constantly need to be analyzing things, you constantly need to be saying does it still work.  Just because we’ve always done it this way and just because it’s been effective this way that doesn’t mean we still have to do it that way.

So coming back to passion or polished, I think it’s pretty clear that I believe that being a polished public speaker is less important now than what it was before. You still need to be confident okay, I’m not saying you don’t need to be confident.  You still need to have a basic structure to your speech. You still need to take people on a journey. You still need to have a great introduction, but the definition of a great introduction is changing.  The definition of why people tell stories is changing.  The way you want to take people on a journey is changing and the way whether you want to be polished even what you wear is changing and so when it comes to being polished I think we need to replace the word polish with the word authentic and I think yes we need to have structure but  we need to question, question question question why we do what we do and we need to question whether we can do it better and whether we can do it more authentically. I think being authentic is the number one key to being a great public speaker in this day and age.  Why do you listen to this podcast when there are so many other things on iTunes, when there are so many other things on YouTube but there are so many better public speakers than me?  Firstly is the fact that well maybe there’s nothing out there for you and you want more content and I’m doing a daily podcast and  I don’t see anyone else doing that in this arena, but secondly is that I’m trying to be myself and I’m  trying to be real and I try and say look I’m on a journey.  I don’t know everything there is to know about public speaking but come on that journey with me and I think that is kind of  the best place to be because if I’m always coming to you and saying, look I am an awesome public speaker; I’m amazing; I make ten million dollars a year in my speaking career you are not going to be able to relate with me and I might be so polished that I won’t be authentic, but the fact that we’re on this journey together, the fact that I’m learning and you’re learning and we’re learning together at the same time, the fact that I am admitting to you that I’m not a great public speaker, the fact that I go on a rant about whatever.  That’s all part of being authentic, that’s all part of me being me,  and that’s all part of learning together because I don’t think we want text books. I don’t think we can read a text book about public speaking and overnight become a great public speaker but I think if we take the essence of what works, but question whether it works today. Just because people say you should open a speech with a question does not mean you should open every speech with a question, but what if things have changed.  So anyway, man I can rant, can’t I?

So passion or polish?  Again I think passion is way more powerful than polish and the whole reason that we are getting up and we are speaking in the first place is that we want to transfer a message across to the audience and I think the best way to do that is to be passionate about that message because when you transfer passion into someone the message automatically comes with that but  if you’re just polish and giving a message, firstly the polish might be outdated and might seem inauthentic and  you don’t connect with the crowd and then secondly you may give a great message but if you’re not transferring passion, if  you’re not transferring emotion into those people they probably not going to remember what you say, they’re probably not going to walk away with anything, their lives won’t be improved, their lives won’t be changed  and you will be another speaker that they saw.

I hope that this hasn’t been too controversial for you guys but it is something that I feel really passionate about challenging the status quo, doing something different and I was really excited to share this podcast with you as you can tell by how fast I spoke,  how lag  I got and how much of a rant I went on.  So anyway if you want to learn more about me, if you want to get connected to the public speaking power tribe then head over to or if you want to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes if you can leave us a review really helps go to and you will have links to all of that stuff.

So once again guys thank you so much for sticking with me. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast and I’ll see you tomorrow.  Until tomorrow what I want you to do, what I want you to take away is I want you to start to question everything that you’ve learned about public speaking, everything I’ve taught you,  everything anyone has taught you about the structure and the polish of public speaking. Ask yourself,  should I be polished or should I be authentic?

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