This week’s Faces of Four highlights Matt Abrahams. Matt recently published an article titled, Be Confident When Called On, in the Toastmasters International Magazine. Let’s take a moment to get to know him.
Tell us a little about your Toastmasters career (e.g. How long have you been with the organization, what clubs do you belong to, what made you join, etc.).
I have been a Toastmaster off and on for a number of years. I have most recently been part of Google’s three groups.
How has Toastmasters helped you in your professional career?
Toastmasters has really helped me hone my skills. The opportunities to practice paired with the detailed, helpful feedback has made a tremendous difference in my presenting and teaching.
What is the best public speaking advice you’ve ever received?
Be in service of your audience.
You need to be there for your audience. This fundamentally changes everything you do…from your prework and planning, the stories you tell, the slides you design, and the way you evaluate your success.
What has surprised you the most about yourself since you joined Toastmasters?
How open people are to help and guidance. When I wrote my book Speaking Up without Freaking Out, I only had my students needs in mind, but the Toastmaster community really received it well. The same was true with my site NoFreakingSpeaking.com
What are your interests and hobbies outside of Toastmasters?
Hiking and spending time with my family
How would you describe the perfect meal?
I had it once while in Washington DC… chocolate covered bacon.
What is a fun fact most people don’t know about you?
I have been doing martial arts for many years.
Matt is a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He recently gave a presentation titled, Think Fast. Talk Smart. You can find more of his work at his public website nofreakingspeaking.com.
If you have any questions for Matt, please leave a comment below.