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3 Public Speaking Skills From Fantasy Football

Posted on September 27, 2012 by Leslie Dickson

As the NFL® prepares for week 4, I’ve noticed many of my friends rushing to their computers and smart phones at seemingly random intervals.  Why? They are updating their fantasy football rosters. The level of obsession demonstrated by some fantasy football leaguers is astounding.  On an hourly basis they check for injuries, look at the best match-ups and free agents.  Anything that will give them the extra edge.

Fun? Sure. Scary? A little bit.  But after watching the strategy that goes into the game, I began to see some lessons for speakers.

#1 Do Your Research

The amount of research that goes into a fantasy football draft is impressive. What were the players’ statistics last year? What teams are they playing? Are they prone to injury? Did they just get a new contract? Fantasy owners ask themselves all of these questions before picking their team.

Research is also important for public speakers, and sadly is often neglected.  If you’re speaking to an unfamiliar audience, learning as much as possible about them will help guide your presentation. How many people will be there? What are their jobs? What are their potential questions or concerns? The fewer questions you have about your audience before your speech, the better.

#2 Avert Disaster Ahead of Time

During the NFL season, every team gets a bye week, or a week off, to rest before they begin playing again the next week.  This can spell disaster for a lazy fantasy owner.  If you’re not aware of the teams that have the week off, you could end up starting a quarterback who’s not even playing.  Clever fantasy owners usually memorize said dates and have their backups or second backups ready to go in case of emergency.

Too many public speaking mishaps could easily be avoided with proper preparation.  Any technical issues can be sorted the day before just by testing your equipment.  You’re far less likely to trip over yourself if you practice walking up the steps to the platform.  Even a simple microphone adjustment is good to know about before you take the stage.

#3 Be Ready To Adapt

Much like real NFL teams, fantasy football teams need to adjust for unthinkable injuries, unexplained declines in performance, and even suspensions. Your top performer might be a star running back, but if he injures his ankle or ends up suspended for the season for performance enhancing drugs, you’ll have to find a way to make up for the decline in productivity.

Because there’s no such thing as a perfect performance, it’s a safe bet, that something will go wrong during your presentation. You might stumble over your words, an audience member might say or do something that interrupts your concentration, or the time allotted to you could be unexpectedly reduced. Whatever the crisis, don’t panic.  Take a moment to breathe, collect your thoughts, and adjust to the situation with poise and confidence.

Fantasy football owners and speakers have a lot in common.  They’re slightly obsessed over details, they constanty worrry, and some of them are a bit superstitious. They also prepare, know their players/audience, and adapt when disaster strikes.  Though you’re next business presentation may not be in front of thousands of screaming fans or give your bragging rights amongst your fans, you can still prepare like a real, or fantasy champion.

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