Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Marshall Goldsmith

At the National Speakers Convention in August, I had the good fortune to hear leadership guru Marshall Goldsmith give a keynote speech. He's the best speaker bar none I've ever seen in action. "I'm a Buddhist," he told the crowd. "I'm gonna die anyway. I might as well do some good here." What makes Goldsmith so great? He exudes what a dear friend of mine once described as The Four H's of Public Speaking: humanity, humility, honesty and humor. Goldsmith encouraged us to freely share his materials. Taking him at his word, I offer you some notes I scribbled down as he was talking:

Annoying Habits That Hold Us Back
  • Winning too much: There's no need to one-up people to demonstrate your worth.
  • Adding too much value: Just listen to others' thoughts and say, "Great idea!" Don't detract from their moment in the sun by adding, "But did you think of...."
  • Saying "I already knew that."
  • Passing judgment. Help more; judge less. Don't be a critic. Shut up and enjoy.

Note: I found Goldsmith's photo on his website.


  1. Prill, I enjoyed hearing from you--and Marshall. As a speaker myself, the one that surprised me is the one on content. I am all about loads of content, specific content. In my books. When I teach, and when I speak. But he has a point. Making one additional suggestion isn't worth it if it will take a moment from someone else's time in the sun. And one more suggestion won't make that much difference if your talk is already loaded with practical ideas and lots of inspiration, too.

    BTW, for other speakers check out the speakers bureau at www.authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com.

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Carolyn Howard-Johnson

  2. Thank you for sharing Marshall's 4 H's for public speaking. All of which we can apply to our every day life too. It actually reminds me of the teachings of Dr. Wayne Dyer and his newest book about the teachings of the tao. Such simple things to do, yet so powerful and what an impact it can have on the world.

  3. You're right, Barbara, that Goldsmith's ideas can be applied to our everyday lives. He said that to us as well. And, Carolyn, I couldn't agree more that a great speech is not simply a rhetorical tour de force but ultimately hinges on the value of its content. I've been trying to add value to my speeches--to leave my audience not only inspired to take another step in their lives but with some practical advice based on my own experience and the experiences of the 100s of late bloomers I've interviewed on how to go about this. Goldsmith would agree with us...and his speeches are incredibly value-laden. The notes I shared in this posting weren't about how to become a better speaker, though. They were about how to become a better leader, a better father, a better friend, a better human being. Goldsmith is basically saying, "Let the other person have a chance to shine. Celebrate their ideas and achievements. Don't upstage the other stars."

  4. Anonymous6:24 PM

    Thanks for sharing Marshall Goldsmith with us.