Speaking tips: The Power of Kryptonite

Krypton is probably the most famous planet that never really existed (with respect to fans of Vulcan). The concept of that piece of Superman’s home world taking away his power is an analogy that rarely needs to be explained, and works on multiple levels.

I’m not sure if I’m a super <S> speaker, but I found a piece of my Kryptonite last fall when I was at the Toastmasters District 22 Fall Conference in Topeka Kansas. This was shaping up to be a fantastic day, and other than my coming Kryptonite moment, it lived up to all expectations.

If you would have been sitting in one of those audience chairs at the conference, after the parade of banners you would have heard me called up to provide the introduction for our Keynote speaker, Ed Tate.

And if you were there…you wouldn’t need me to tell you I fell flat on my face.

Worst.
Introduction.
Ever.

What happened? Right before I wen on stage with my single page of notes, prepared to set them on the lectern and never use them, two outstanding young men moved the lectern off of the stage.

Should it have mattered that I had practiced on that stage, with that lectern? No. I should have not cared a bit. But for some reason…I did.

Lessons:

Verify the logistics – I should have known they were going to remove the lectern
Be ready for the unexpected – have plans to deal with the unknown
Push through! – Who needs a stupid lectern, or stupid notes?

As you speak, you’ll figure out what your Kryptonite is (turns out mine is unexpected stage modifications). Once you know, you can develop your lead shield and be a super speaker once again.

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