Public Speaking

Becoming a Great Speaker, by Vivek Wadhwa

How to Go From Being a Disaster to a Great Speaker

by Vivek Wadhwa

These days, I revel in the applause my son Tarun gets when he goes on stage. However, it was not always like this. When I saw him forget his lines and freeze up on the podium at the Economist Ideas Economy Information Summit eight years ago, my heart literally sank. I wanted to rush up and give him a big hug and say “it’s okay son, it wasn’t a big deal, don’t worry about it”. Tarun had worked day and night to be prepared for his first big talk. He memorized every word of a 12-minute long presentation. And then he forgot his lines.

I will never forget the anguish on his face.

Tarun did manage to muddle his way through the talk. The moderator also came to his rescue—knowing that any 23-year old would have difficulty speaking to an audience of 400 business executives and academics at one of the most prestigious conferences in the world. Continue reading