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Jordan Peterson's Guide to Speaking

Play and exploration

Your speech should be a process of truthful exploration, almost like a journey you are taking your audience along.

Don't aim for an overprepared speech and leave space for play and exploration: have a point (a theme), a body of knowledge, and actively explore that theme in front of your audience.

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Jordan Peterson's Guide to Speaking

Jordan Peterson's Guide to Speaking

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-I5u5hyoxY

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Key Ideas

The background research part

If you are planning to speak about something in front of an audience, you must know a lot about the topic - on average, 3 times as much as you're going to speak about it.

You need to have a real point (a problem you are trying to solve) and various narratives at hand that you can refer to in order to explain your point.

Organize  your speech

  • Organize what you're talking about around the problem you are trying to address: set up a dozen of stories around your point as a journey that circles the main point.
  • Talk about what you know and use your personal experience. You can also bring external material, but that needs to be tied to the real world through your own experience.

Speak directly to your audience

  • Speak directly to the members in your audience; look at a single person at a time, focus on them, and talk to them like you would have in a normal face to face conversation. This will help you see if they are following along.
  • Listen to your audience. It's best to have a silent audience. If the audience is dead silent, that usually means you are on track.

The essence of meaning

Facts with no meaning are dull.

Tie every fact (or set of facts) you present to a story, to emphasize why knowing these facts will bring value and will influence the perception about the world of the people listening.

Play and exploration

Your speech should be a process of truthful exploration, almost like a journey you are taking your audience along.

Don't aim for an overprepared speech and leave space for play and exploration: have a point (a theme), a body of knowledge, and actively explore that theme in front of your audience.

A learning experience

You too should be able to learn something from your talk. So take this as an opportunity to think on your feet.

This makes your speech exciting and entertaining, even if it also gives it a big probability of failure.

Spectacular means taking risks

You may have to speak with notes when you are a beginner. Notes are a sort of safety net: If you use them, the probability to fail is minimal.

But you'll never do anything spectacular if you always rely on them. Spectacular means being willing to take risks.

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