Here is the full transcript of communication professor Matt Abrahams’ TEDx Talk: Think Fast. Talk Smart at TEDxMontaVistaHighSchool conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio: Think Fast. Talk Smart by Matt Abrahams at TEDxMontaVistaHighSchool
People hate me. People fear me. You see, I’m a communication professor. And these people who fear me and hate me are some of the brightest, most creative, most entrepreneurial people I know. I wield a tool. And that tool I wield is what makes them fear and despise me.
As a professor, I have the ability to do what’s called “cold calling.” That’s where I look at a student and say, “What do you think?” “What do you feel about what we just discussed?” “How does this impact you?” And this causes panic, not just for my students but for everybody. That moment when we are called upon to speak articulately: Can we do it?
Now, rest assured, I never cold call on my students. I think it’s rude. And I know it’s hard. But people fear it. 85% of people say they fear speaking in public. And, quite frankly, I think the other 15% are lying. I think we could find a situation that makes them nervous too.
So today, my goal is to share with you some tips and techniques that you can use to help you be more comfortable and confident when you are speaking. In other words, to be able to think fast and talk smart. To do this, we are going to look at four different steps.