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From the desk of Steve Lowell, Master Speaker and Mentor to those who speak in public.

Being Sensational

Learn The Rules, Then Break Them. Carefully!

Knowing all the ďrulesĒ that are laid out in this book, as well as in many other great books about public speaking, is critically important. Itís important to know these rules, in order for you to follow them, but also in order for you to break them!

Someone who has no training or knowledge about how to speak in public effectively will likely break every rule there is, and their presentation will be a mess. However, every now and then, we see amazing speakers who seem to break the rules so effectively that they make a huge impression.

At a conference in Atlanta, Georgia, I witnessed a speaker who looked so unpolished, and looked so rough around the edges, that my first impression was, ďWho the heck is this character, and whatís he doing on the stage?Ē His mastery of the stage was quickly apparent when he began to speak, however. This guy was brilliant, but he broke the rules of stage etiquette regularly, and thatís what made him unique and memorable. He was foul-mouthed, and he cracked offensive jokes, but he was able to do it in such a way the audience just loved him for it.

I donít, for one second, recommend that you try to pull that off! This speaker was one of those rare individuals who could just do it. He had everyone in the place laughing hysterically, but when it came time to make his serious points, he was as professional and powerful as any speaker Iíve ever seen.

What worked for this speaker wonít likely work for you, but there may be other rules you can think of breaking. You must be selective, and you must use caution in doing so, but if you do so successfully, it will help make you a little different than other speakers. As you review this book, consider which of the principles donít resonate well with your personality. Then go right ahead and break those principles. Be brave, be creative, and be groundbreaking, but do so with the objective of being a better speaker, not a lazy speaker.

So, whatís the lesson? If youíre going to break the rules, do it selectively and with caution, as long as it improves your performance.

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