Tips for Facing the One Thing Worse than Death

Posted on July 2, 2014

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Jerry Seinfeld once said, “According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” Rafael Baptista starts his new column with hopes calming your fears whether you’re speaking at a council meeting or a wedding reception. Good luck Rafael!

About the Author

Rafael Baptista is currently pursuing his MPA at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. He serves on the ELGL Advisory Board and is a contributing author to Careers in Government and the UNC MPA Blog. He holds a Bachelor’s of Art Degree in Politics and Spanish from Willamette University where he was a member of the debate team. He has advanced to the elimination rounds of two collegiate national debate championships.

Tell Them, Tell Them, Tell Them

By: Rafael Baptista

Connect: LinkedIn and Twitter

July 2, 2104

download (1)At this point in my life, I have lost track of the countless presentations and speeches that I have endured where by the end I had forgotten what the speaker was presenting about. We have all been through speeches that quickly go off-track or are so poorly structured that they cause the audience to be lost. One of the easiest ways to avoid being that speaker is to use the simple “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you told them” technique, otherwise known as the “tell them” approach. In this month’s feature, I will be talking about how to use this effective technique.

The goal of the “tell them” approach is to make sure that the audience knows what the speaker is talking about at all times. The first step is to tell them what you plan on talking about. For example, in this blog, I am talking about the “tell them” approach and clearly stated that in the introductory paragraph. This allows the listener to know what to expect, freeing up bandwidth that would have otherwise have been spent trying to determine the main point of the presentation.

Once you have told the audience what you plan on telling them, you actually have to tell them. As you tell the audience, make sure that you stay on track and organized. Part of this is ensuring the audience knows where you are going. When I started this paragraph, I explained to the reader that we were going to talk about the “tell them” part of the strategy in this paragraph.

public_speaking-77069Lastly, you have to tell the audience what you told them at the end. All you need to do is to state the three main points that you discussed. This is especially important in longer speeches or speeches during a conference where due to the duration of speaking, the audience may not have given their full attention during the entire speech.

In summary, today we talked about the use of the “tell them” approach in public speaking. We talked about how you tell the audience what you are going to tell them, then you tell them, and lastly you tell them what you told them. Hopefully this simple technique can help improve your public speaking skills and confidence.

Supplemental Reading


Passion for Public Service Archives

Knope of the Week: Rafael Baptista, UNC MPA Student

Public Speaking Tips: How to Not Be Nervous

Public Speaking Secrets From the Top Stars of TED

Another Humorous View on the Fear of Public Speaking

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