This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.

In the interview, Eddie shares with us the difference between TedX like speeches and impromptu speaking, and how to prepare for both. He highlights the importance of storytelling and the power of practice when it comes to becoming good at public speaking, among other lessons he has learned from writing speeches for CEOs. He also talks about the importance of having a team in accomplishing anything worthwhile.

You can find Eddie at the below links

In the interview, Eddie shares

  • There’s no straight line to success. I think if you ask anyone, it’s very much a very squiggly line with lots of lefts and rights, turns and circles, and trying to find out where it is that you want to be.
  • And too often, we don’t see the amount of practice that goes into a really good keynote speech or really good TEDx talk. We only see the finished product.
  • if I could tell anyone out there to get over your fear of public speaking, you have to seek out opportunities to practice your public speaking skills rather than waiting until an opportunity comes up.
  • I think a lot of people think that impromptu speeches are really, truly off the top of someone’s head and what’s actually going on. Is that someone is reaching into past material that they’ve prepared and they’re just recalling it and they’re ready to go. 
  • So it’s very similar to stand up comedians. It looks like it’s all impromptu, but they’ve been rehearsing that material over and over again to get it down. And it’s just a matter of recall when they’re on the stage.
  • You’re trying to tell a story, not to boast, but to be instructive, to be a teacher. 
  • I get to really work with very smart, intelligent people that have great stories to tell. And I’m always learning something new with every speech that I get to write for somebody it’s always a new industry. It’s always a new area that I get to learn and grow in.
  • I have a front-row seat to what these CEOs are telling their companies, and what these keynote speakers are telling their audiences. So I almost get it for free. It’s given me a mini MBA almost in how business works, especially in the areas of leadership and community.
  • I’ve really developed my conversation skills and ability to ask questions. And that’s really, truly impacted me in terms of being able to talk with almost anyone that I come across.
  • You need a team behind you in any endeavour to help you succeed in any goal, you do what you are really good at and then let everyone else help you out in the areas where you need the help. 
  • I like to change my environment. And that really helps me think in new ways when I can be around different people and do the work that needs to get done.
  • You want to seek out people who have already done it and asked them how they accomplished it. So in any type of like large endeavour, you don’t want to go it alone. Find the people that have already done it, find the coaches that are out there, try them out and see who resonates with you.