How To Sell Yourself

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Selling Yourself 17

Dear Arch,

Recently I was on a panel reviewing a program appli-
cation. The speaker gave an oral presentation then sat
and answered questions. It was as if two people were
making the presentation!
The first was stiff, short of breath, pacing the floor...and
had a “closed face.” The second was relaxed, used hand
gestures, had a very “open face,” and cleared up much of
what was missed by the “first person.”
Later, I asked if the speaker was familiar with your
work. The answer was yes, and I could see the light bulb
go on overhead! The lesson worked, and I was pleased I
could share again how much more effective we can be
when we follow your lead.

—John S. Myrland


What’s important is learning to appear natural in the unnatu-
ral speaking situation. When you learn and understand what you
do in animated conversation, you can convert that into the plat-
form delivery. Unfortunately, we have very few really good role
models. Most of the speakers we see and hear today are doing
what they’ve seen other bad presenters do and then they imitate
them. “I have to look professional in order to impress the audi-
ence,” we think. Wrong. Most of the people running for public
office, most of the so-called “experts” and analysts we see on tele-
vision, most teachers, most speakers we watch at meetings, and
certainly most of the people we watch on televised hearings, do a
better job of putting us to sleep than Sominex or Nytol.

You don’t have to be like them.
You shouldn’t try to be like them.
This is about being yourself—you at your best.

Be yourself

You may not like the idea, but you might as well face the fact that
style is, and always has been, at least as importance as substance,

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