Answers to 3 Common Questions About Public Speaking

Ilise Benun on your online marketing planThough most creative professionals won’t ever have to stand up in front of 500 people to give a talk, everyone has to present their work, in person or virtually, so more and more we all need presenting skills if we’re going to succeed at self employment (employment also, for that matter) — whether you’re speaking to one person at a lunch counter, 5 people in a meeting or a prospect on the phone.

That’s why I asked Marketing Mentor client, Jezra Kaye, author of “Speak Like Yourself, No Really” –whose core business Speak Up for Success ( is one-on-coaching and custom workshops — to do a session at CFC (the big event is right around the corner, June 22-24) called “Promote and Present: How to Speak Persuasively to Current and Future Clients, In Person and Jezra Kaye Speak Like Yourself...No ReallyVirtually”

In the latest podcast interview for the CFC Speaker Series, Jezra and I dissect her session title and in the process, we answered these 3 common questions about speaking in public:

  1. Why are so many people so afraid of speaking to a group? Jezra says, “It’s a scary proposition based on a misunderstanding. The reality is that audiences can be tremendously supportive (especially at CFC). They want you to succeed. So there’s no reason to be nervous about being judged.”
  2. What’s the difference between promoting and presenting? Promoting is everything up to the moment when you get the project/engagement and presenting is when you show your work formally or informally and update the client on how things are going.
  3. Should we present differently in-person vs. virtually? So much business is done virtually lately so we have to learn how to do that well. (We’re all still adjusting.) The biggest difference, of course, is that when you’re in the physical presence of someone, you get more information. You can see if they’re hassled or relaxed and you can detect nuances in how they speak or sit. When working virtually, you have to be more of a detective, probe more and listen more attentively.

For much more, listen to the podcast. Then join us at CFC (June 22-24 in SF) to learn how to do it! (And you can still get $50 off your registration with promo code “ILISE” — register here.)

And you can find Jezra at, sign up for her monthly newsletter and check out her book. “Speak Like Yourself, No Really.