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Are You a Great Communicator?

Posted by Ilise Benun on

From Marketing Mentor client, Jezra Kaye, who is offering a free session in NYC Thursday, Oct 14, in case you're free.

I’m giving a speech in NYC this Thursday on how to become a great public speaker. (Interested? It’s free; just RSVP with the word KAYE in the subject line.)

So, in preparation, I’ve been pouring through slides and notes and theories and stories about public speaking styles, how adults develop new skills, etc. This is big fun if, like me, you enjoy communications theory. The only problem is, real communications are rarely as neat and tidy as our theories make them sound.

For example: This morning, I received an email from a woman I met at a recent networking event. In it, she said how much she’d enjoyed meeting me, thanked me for offering to introduce her to potential clients, and asked how she could help me promote my own business. The note was lovely (in fact, pitch perfect), and the only problem was that I’d never offered to introduce her to anyone. (I don’t recommend people I haven’t worked with; do you?)

What I’d actually suggested was that, since we seemed to be going after the same clients, we get together for coffee and compare notes. What to do? Here’s how I tried to bring theory and practice together, to decide:

  • I know, from the personality theory I study and teach, that, as a member of the Public Speaking Style I call “Do-Gooders,” I’m inclined to take everything personally (and way too hard!).
  • Knowing this, it was easier to discount my first reaction (that she was playing me for a fool) and my second reaction (to run and hide from a situation that made me uncomfortable).
  • My third reaction was to set the record straight, in the most neutral way possible. So I wrote a note (here comes the practice aspect) that thanked her for being in touch, corrected the misunderstanding, and suggested again that we have coffee.  

I don’t know what will come of this experience, but it was humbling and (eventually) funny. I’ll try to remember, when presenting theory on Thursday, so say “This is how it works — theoretically!”

Jezra Kaye is a speaker coach and speechwriter who helps people build their business or promote their passion through great public speaking skills. Learn more at

  • More in: Mixmasters Elsewhere, Networking

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