The Perils of Public Speaking 

Preparing to speak publicly

When it comes to public speaking, no one can top Conrad Teitell, the man (icon) highlighted on the cover.  

Being a presenter or speaker is always a challenge. You do not know how the audience is going to respond, and projecting confidence while keeping a good sense of humor is paramount.  

And so is knowing how to tell a good story. 

I have had my share, and some are hilarious. But nothing like this one. 

“I’ve lectured in all 50 states,” he says, “and I’ve never, ever been late, nor missed a lecture. Why? Because I check the weather, and I act accordingly.” 

Some time back, Conrad was due to speak at a conference in Ottumwa, Iowa. There was just one tiny little challenge: A good old-fashioned, Midwest blizzard was in the forecast.  

Not one to let a few snow flurries stop him, “I left from La Guardia airport two days before I had intended,” he says. He arrived at O’Hare Airport in Chicago and spent “18 very comfortable [ahem] hours on the floor” before he could rent a 4×4 Jeep and make the nearly 5-hour jaunt to his destination. 

After what must have been a pleasant ramble over the icy, snow-covered highways and byways of two states, he arrived at his destination literally 5 minutes before the conference was set to begin. Phew! 

Only … there was just one person in the audience. 

Not one to let something as minor as a lack of a packed house stop him, Conrad explained to the gentleman what he’d gone through to get there. “Would you mind staying for my talk?” he asked. The gentleman agreed. 

“He was a champ!” Conrad says. “It was a three-hour talk, and he laughed at my so-called jokes; he asked intelligent questions; and when I finally stepped down from the podium, he gave me a standing ovation! I’ve never had a standing ovation in my life. I went over to him and practically hugged the man. ‘If I can ever reciprocate,’ I said to him, ‘let me know.’”  

“Yes, you can,” he replied, without missing a beat. “Would you mind staying for my talk? I’m the second speaker.”     

I love this business and can’t wait to transition from Zoom to live. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *