Fired for Poor Public Speaking?

Donald Trump is my new wingman. Alright, I’ll be his wingman since he’s a lot richer than I am. Let me explain.

While channel surfing last night, I came upon The Apprentice on NBC. I was intrigued because just as I tuned in, one of the contestants was mangling a public speaking opportunity. (And you know that gets my attention as an executive communication coach.)

As a result of the awful presentation skills, the speaker blew the challenge for his entire team. They were left in the boardroom to face the axe.

Trump was livid. In a rare double firing, he canned not only the speaker with poor presentation skills, but the guy’s project manager, too. Why? Because the project manager didn’t require a rehearsal.

The entire team was caught off guard – and horrified – at how nervous and totally ineffective the guy was communicating in front of an audience. Especially because the guy volunteered to present, saying he was experienced and naturally good at it. Unfortunately, he didn’t bring his “A” game with him that night. Or even his “D” game, for that matter. He was unprepared and flustered. The more he buried his head in his laptop to read his notes word-for-word, (even mispronouncing words left and right) he more he tanked everything his teammates worked so hard for.

My point? Rehearsing presentations is critical. Poor public speaking reflects not only on you, but on everyone else whose hard work and reputations are on the line when you’re at the front of the room. You owe it to everyone to connect, convey, and convince your audience.

Thank you, Donald Trump, for the televised example of why bosses should require rehearsals when money and reputations are on the line. I owe you one.

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