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CBS Radio Interviews Speaker/Author Fred Miller

NewsRadio KMOX 1120 The Voice of St. Louis! Host Mark Reardon interviews speaker/author Fred Miller (me!) about my book, No Sweat Public Speaking!” Mp3

With their famous 50,000 watt signal, KMOX is one of the top stations in the country. Mark Reardon, 30 year radio veteran, interviewed me about Public Speaking and my book.

Following is the transcript.

MR: Fred Miller’s here. He’s a local guy from St. Louis. He’s also the author of a new book called “No Sweat Public Speaking.” I’m going to try to get you some tips this afternoon on your public speaking. Fred, how are you?

FM: I’m great, Mark. Glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

MR: You know what’s amazing about this topic is — and I do go out in public and give speeches every once in a while. I’m always talking on a microphone to thousands people on a 50,000 watt radio station. I’m not as comfortable when I go out in public. I will tell you that, a little secret. I used to be terrible years and years ago. I’ve gotten better, you know, because you get used to it. So this is something that a lot of people have trouble with, isn’t it? Public speaking.

FM: Seventy-five percent of the population has this fear. It’s called glossophobia. It’s from the Greek “glosso,” tongue, “phobia” is fear. And it’s a word, not a disease, and it can be, we don’t want to say cured; it can certainly be lessened.

But there’s reasons that do that. Speaking opportunities are business opportunities. Speaking opportunities are career and leadership opportunities. So the folks who take and make those opportunities, they grow the perception that they’re an expert. They grow their careers. They grow their leadership opportunities. And it holds so many people back who don’t do that.

MR: Yeah, you know, and a lot of it is just  — because I think some people are naturals. But there are ways to get better, and I’m guessing that’s what the book is about.

FM: Oh yeah, yeah. If you’re good, you can get better. No doubt about it. Always.

MR: What are the biggest mistakes people make? First of all, you’ve got to just overcome the fear and you have to try to do it and to get better.

FM: The learning is in the doing. You’re absolutely right. You can do all the practicing. You can do all the intellectualizing you want, but the learning is in the doing. And one of the biggest fears is, most of our conversation is one-to-one, a lot of times on the phone, eyeball-to-eyeball, but when you get up in front of say 50 people, that’s 100 eyes looking at you, well naturally you’re out of your comfort zone.

MR: Yeah, that’s the part that freaks people. I don’t like it. You know, everybody’s looking at you, right? You kind of — it does. It freaks you out a little bit.

FM: It does. But then there’s always those “What if’s?” Those “What if I mess up?” “What if they don’t like me?” “What if they know more than I do?” “What if they ask me a question and I don’t know the answer?” And probably the biggest fear a lot of people think, “Well what if I got nothing to say?” I mean, I wrote this book about public speaking. Well people been speaking since Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve, you know. So there’s always something.

MR: So the book is an attempt to instruct people how to become better speakers. You know, it’s funny. You say, “What if I have nothing to say?” There are some people who technically might be good speakers, but they’re boring. Their speeches put you to sleep.

FM: You’re right. That’s a good point. There’s two parts of a presentation: Content and delivery. Delivery trumps content every single time. So you could be the world authority on something, Mark. But if you can’t present it in a manner that entertains, explains and educates…

MR: Massive fail.

FM: Yeah. Going terrible. Now on the other side, delivery, there’s verbal and nonverbal. Now it probably isn’t good talking about this on the radio, but nonverbal trumps verbal.

MR: In other words, so if you’re speaking — now I talk with my hands even here on the radio. But if you’re speaking in front of people you want to be — don’t just stand there, right?

FM: In sync.

MR: Yeah.

FM: Yeah. You want the total package to be in synch, because if I’m talking and my eyes are wandering, I’m looking at my watch, and I’m saying I’m really enjoying being here while my nonverbal signals say otherwise, that’s what you’re going to believe.

MR: So, Fred Miller is here. His book is “No Sweat Public Speaking.” You’re convinced that some — because I know — you know, my wife’s a good example of this and she’s doing more and more public presentations, and I think she’s probably getting better, but she, you know, she thinks in her mind — First of all, it’s just sort of the fear of the fear, right?

FM: Oh yeah.

MR: You’ve got to overcome the fear.

FM: Yeah.

MR: But as you polish your delivery and you get better, you get a little confidence. Confidence is a big part of this.

FM: Oh absolutely. Yeah. And the only way to get better is to practice and then to do it. Again, you know, the learning is in the doing. Every time I speak I get better. You learn from every occasion. You can’t avoid it.

MR: What’s your tip for people? Let’s say you’re in the middle of a presentation or a speech. You feel like you’re losing the audience. That’s a terrible feeling.

FM: Well you’re probably not. The fact is that the audience is cheering for you. They want you to succeed. Nobody’s sitting there thinking, “Oh I can’t wait until Mark blows it,” you know.

MR: “I hope this guy is boring,” right?

FM: Yeah. Nobody’s doing that.

MR: Nobody says that.

FM: They’re all there to learn something, they hope you’re going to make it, and the fact is, they are so glad that it is you up there and not them that, you know, it will be a good presentation. Now here’s one thing you never do. You never want to get up and say, “I’m nervous.” “I don’t do this very well.” You’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

MR: Yeah, I think you’re right about that. All right, “No Sweat Public Speaking.” What’s the website for this?

FM: That’s my site.

MR: Easy enough, easy enough.

FM: Yeah.

MR: And Fred, you’re — there’s something called the Smile Train which you’re part of.

FM: Here’s the analogy I make. Smile Train is a nonprofit. They teach doctors to fix cleft palates. Cleft palates are not just an ugly smile. Cleft palates, you can’t eat, you can’t breathe. In some countries you’re ostracized to the back room. So my analogy, one of the nonverbal communication elements that we have is a smile. A smile is contagious. A smile is universal. The smile, I say, is a nonphysical hug. When you give one, you get one right back. So that’s my connection with Smile Train. So I give some of each sale to Smile Train.

MR: Awesome. Thanks for coming in today. Good luck with the book.

FM: Thanks very much, Mark.

MR:Fred Miller on KMOX.

For reading, and/or listening, this far I’d like to give you a FREE Gift. Go to: to receive it!

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, a coach, and author of the book, “No Sweat Public Speaking!” Businesses and individuals hire him because they want to improve their Public Speaking and Presentation Skills. They do this because we perceive really great speakers to be Experts. Perception is reality and we rather deal with Experts. They also know: Speaking Opportunities are Business Opportunities. Speaking Opportunities are Career Opportunities. He shows them how to Develop, Practice and Deliver Knock Your Socks Off Presentations! with – No Sweat!

Fred E. Miller

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