Lisa Braithwaite is a public speaking coach, trainer and author, mentoring entrepreneurs and professionals to create memorable and engaging presentations in order to build their businesses through speaking. She has a B.A. in Theater from Pomona College and an M.A. in Education from UCSB, and has been interviewed for the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Men’s Health Magazine, the Santa Barbara News-Press, Toastmaster Magazine, and on Inc.com. She guides her clients to ditch perfection and create connection through individual coaching, corporate training, virtual workshops, and her annual Shake Up Your Speaking retreat.
In this conversation, Lisa talks about her new book, Presenting for Humans: Insights for Speakers on Ditching Perfection and Creating Connection.
Geetesh: Lisa, your new book, Presenting for Humans reaches out to presenters and audiences differently. You use plenty of analogies, stories, and fun approaches. Tell us what motivated you to take this approach?
Lisa: This wasn’t originally a conscious approach. It’s really just who I am! Everywhere I went, I would experience situations that would remind me of speaking. Customer service experiences, TV shows, sporting events… I just kept automatically applying the concepts I was seeing to public speaking. So as I said, it wasn’t originally a conscious approach, but once I realized that this was how my mind worked, then I cultivated it and actively started looking for analogies and stories to illustrate my points.
Geetesh: What is the one thing that presenters can do to make their presentations a better experience for their audiences?
Lisa: The one thing presenters can do to make their presentations a better experience is right in the title of my book: Ditch perfection and create connection. The desire for perfection comes from a selfish place. We want to impress the audience. We want them to like us. We want them to think we’re funny and smart and knowledgeable. And we don’t want them to see us as flawed and human, capable of making mistakes. These desires are all about the speaker, not about the audience. When you focus on connecting – that is, creating a relationship with the audience and finding out what they truly need, want and care about – then you’re coming from a place of service and giving. That will always make your presentations a better experience for the audience – and for you!