Wednesday, August 26, 2009

who said to picture your audience naked?

Bloggers who write about public speaking have been casting around to answer this question, posed by Scott Berkun of the Speaker Confessions blog for a book he's writing. And here, from blog Joyful Public Speaking, comes the answer:
In Dorothy Sarnoff’s book, Speech can change your life, on page 199 it says that: “Winston Churchill overcame his early fear of audiences by imagining that each of them was sitting there naked"....A similar quote (with two additional celebrities) also appears in Dorothy Leeds' book PowerSpeak, on page 33: “Winston Churchill liked to imagine that each member of the audience was naked. Franklin Roosevelt pretended that the members all had holes in their socks. Carol Burnett thinks of them sitting on the commode.”
The real question on my mind: Should you try this storied tactic today? I'm thinking not. It suggests--even creates--a real divide between you and the audience and runs the risk of distraction for you, always fatal for a speaker. But it's great to have the story attributed.

Related posts: Noted speaker coach Dorothy Sarnoff dies at 94

1 comment:

Richard I. Garber said...


You might also look at my two further Churchill posts on August 30 and August 22.

Richard Garber