Glossophobia! That is is the fear of public speaking. According to Wikipedia, an estimated 75% of all people experience some nervousness or anxiety when speaking in public. Clearly, there is enough anxiety out there without the dumb, pointless, and even back-firing advice on how to get over that anxiety.
I began reading 10 Simple Secrets of the World’s Greatest Business Communicators by Carmine Gallo book and the author out rightly calls a very common practice the “single dumbest piece of advice you’ll ever hear”
“There are plenty of misconceptions on the topic of communication. One current recommendation perpetuates the dumbest piece of public speaking advice–the single piece of advice that can ruin your career and destroy your personal brand in less than a minute–start by telling a joke.” pg. 24
Start your speech or presentation with a joke!?
Who came up with that? I suppose the purpose is to get everyone comfortable. But if your presentation or speech topic is not about comedy or jokes, then you are setting your audience up for a disjointed experience.
What does a baby computer call it’s father?
While some of you may have cracked a smile at that, others of you didn’t get it. That is the problem with starting off with a joke.
In all transparency, Gallo does say it is OK to start your presentation off with a “humorous aside, observation, casual reference…but the moment you kick off your talk with ‘two people walk into a bar…’ you’re dead.”
Gallo’s initial assertion prompted today’s “comment conversation” topic. A comment conversation (formerly known as comment challenge) is where YOU my dear reader, share in the comments your thoughts, experience, expertise, observations etc. on the topic question. There are no right or wrong answers. It gives you a chance to practice your written communication and feedback skills. Plus, it helps you become more engaged with the asmithblog.com community. Be sure to comment and respond to the other comments as well.
Today’s topic question:
What is the dumbest piece of advice you’ve heard about communication or getting along with people?