004: Erin Walsh - On Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking... to Become a Public Speaker

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Erin Walsh - parenting expert, brainiac, speaker and writer - brings to the conversation today her thoughtful, humble and honest approach to how she overcome her own fear of public speaking - because she’s so passionate about sharing the message. Most importantly, Erin masterfully marries the depth and smarts of the content with the need for narrative and emotion. She herself embodies this idea, and brings herself fully to the process and art of speaking.

She's bright and funny and honest and relatable and just plain GREAT.

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Enjoy!

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On Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking - 
As a teacher, how do you "teach" - give your audience a "reveal" or an "aha" moment of things they could be doing better - without shaming them?  Parenting education is a tricky subject - easy to shut down the conversation.
Marry the evidence with the story:
 - Reveal the complexities and messiness of life by sharing the struggles
 - find stories that help them understand the evidence, but really root that in the real world, in people's experience
 - show the benefit (this will help your days be easier, too!).  This can be a toolkit!
 
Biggest Weakness/Challenge:
Get so fired up about the evidence and the content, that she can pour too much into the presentation.  Squeezing one more study into the presentation doesn't necessarily make it more effective; it can dilute it. So, keeping the content tight, and not smushing too much into a talk.
So, as a content person - do you buy into the Maya Angelou quote - "People will not remember what you say, but they will remember how you made them feel."?
Yes - because it reminds me how to deliver content...
"I think people have the capacity to remember things and information, but they're only going to remember it if it's scaffolded by a rich set of emotional experiences, or stories they can hang it on to. "
 
 
Best Talk:
Professor Bill Kronin at the University of Wisconsin, Madison - the "Last Day Lecture"
"I can't even tell you what he said, but I can tell you that at the end of the lecture, I was crying - and so was the U football player sitting next to me."

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLL9Cugf4i8]

 The lesson: Stories matter!  Emotions matter!  Even in a place of higher education.
TMM Moment:
Sally: RadioLab's 60 Words. A look at how, in the after math of September 11, the AUMF's 60 words have shaped our military approach in some surprising ways. Such a powerful example of the power of words, and how they can have a life of their own.
Erin: A one-woman show at the Bryant Lake Bowl about the foreclosure crisis, by Molly Van Avery. A reminder that what moves us is often something that is totally outside our realm of experience. It got her so much more invested in the emotional reality of the foreclosure crisis than any article she could ever read.  (Molly Van Avery - Poet and Performer.)
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To learn more about Erin's work, check out Mind Positive Parenting, a fabulous organization that focuses on helping parents and teachers understand the role of media and story in young people's development.