I never expected to be a speaker, which is, I guess, the reason I love being unexpected when I speak.
“…let Clipboard Girl guide me.”
But my mother made it up to me when she took me to The Mike Douglas Show when I was 14 years old. As I sat in the studio audience, I spotted a girl on the set with a clipboard. I didn’t know what she did, but she was wearing a headset, she was holding a clipboard and she looked really busy. I knew in that moment that whatever it was she was doing; I would do it one day too. I was determined not to let Mrs. Thompson’s label define me, and let Clipboard Girl guide me.
By the time I had my own career in television with my own clipboard, I was unexpectedly handed a microphone and asked to warm-up The Oprah Winfrey Show audience. It was 1987, I was 25 and The Oprah Winfrey Show was in it’s 2nd season. I had no idea what warming-up the audience really meant. I was prepared to be Clipboard Girl, not Warm-up Girl!
Luckily, my father, who was a doctor, had the gift of connection and was a beautiful speaker. So I channeled my dad, along with Clipboard Girl, and quickly learned that when you speak from your heart you unexpectedly engage your audience.
Thirty years later, I bring my unexpected moves to my first audience. We spoke about leaving the podium, having our own audience engagement moves, mingling with our audience before we speak, using compliments like cash, thanking our audience, speaking in REAL time, sharing a piece of ourselves, using mistakes to our human advantage, welcoming interruptions, letting the room determine the order of our presentation – not our script, including our audience throughout our speech, and learning how to love speaking.