Thursday, July 31, 2008

Solitude of Presentation

In attempting to perfect my presentation skills, I've realized that the lines between public and private speaking are nonexistent.

The difference is that a public speech has the opportunity to be a more polished version of your private speech, allowing you to craft and refine the truisms you communicate every day with your normal social network.

I saw Comedian after being referred to it by this great presentation zen blog post, and watching Jerry Seinfeld try to grow a new act from the ground up helped me see how communication is more than the distinction between public and private. Jerry knows how to build a comedy routine from years of working in the business, how to gauge reactions and adapt jokes, and the parallels to entrepreneurship are very useful.

Stand up comedians are entrepreneurs; they can gain a certain repute with one or two jokes, but in order to build a reputation worth paying for (in the eyes of their investors, the audience and the ticket sellers) they need to trial and error their way into a show.

Everyone has or can make a good joke. How many people take the time to build a system of jokes worth performing over and over again, and polish it until it looks professional and worth watching?

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