Public Speaking – What You Can Learn From Reality TV

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I have to admit I’m not a fan of reality shows. I don’t really understand the infatuation of watching people eat bugs for money or washed up celebrities fighting just for a chance back in the spotlight. After all the few times I get to watch television is to get away from the real world for a while, even if it’s in 30 minute blocks. I prefer comedies myself. But I have to admit I recently got hooked on one reality show. It’s called The Biggest Loser and I understand it has been on for a few years now but I have just recently discovered it.

Why do I like this show? Because it is different from the other reality shows. How is it different? First let me tell you how it’s like all the others. All of these shows have one thing in common, there is a huge cash prize awaiting the winner. This one is no different. The cash incentive usually means people will lie and cheat and steal by any means possible to be the last one standing. The Biggest Loser also awards the winner with a $250,000 prize, but that is the last thing on the contestants’ minds. These people were overweight to a point where they knew it was affecting their lives through self-esteem issues, setting an example and even shortening their lives and wanted to do something about it and were willing to make the sacrifices through hard work, a change in diet and eating habits, and taking times away from their loved ones, which was probably the hardest of all.

I watched the season finale one night and witnessed one winner arise out of 30 people. But guess what. They were all ecstatic because they had lost a combined 2000 pounds! They had followed their trainer’s regimen and made a positive change in their lives that will impact their families for generations to come.

I really liked this show because with all of the gloom that’s in society and TV today it was inspiring to watch these people do something that would literally save their lives and be so happy in the process, and not take the shortcuts that have become so common today.

They followed their dreams. I’m sure it wasn’t easy. To follow them they had to step outside their comfort zones and make themselves vulnerable in front of a crowd. Pursuing this allowed them to improve themselves physically and almost by accident improve their whole outlook on lives. They created a new mindset that will stay with them forever. They also took the necessary steps to seek out the professionals that could help them. They then stayed coachable and followed their teachings word for word and applied them.

Is there something holding you back? When I was a kid my coach told me that we should all stop and analyze ourselves every 3 months. Ask yourself, “Am I improving? What’s holding me back?”. I asked myself these same questions and realized I needed to work on my communication skills. I had always dreamed of being able to speak comfortably in front of a crowd. I decided to pursue my own dreams. Like the participants on The Biggest Loser, I had to shift my mindset and step out of my comfort zone. I had to make myself vulnerable in front of a crowd. It wasn’t easy because I had always had self esteem issues when it came to my voice, appearance and my message. Most people who knew me couldn’t understand why I would do such a thing to myself. I was often seen as a masochist for doing so. After all, it was my biggest fear and I knew if I could conquer it everything else in life just may seem to get a little easier. With the exception of being a father and husband, conquering my public speaking fears has been the most rewarding experience of my life. It has opened up possibilities for me that I didn’t know would ever exist and it is all through self confidence.

If there is a fear holding you back from your true potential I challenge you to acquire the knowledge to learn to defeat it. Like my coach one told me stop and ask yourself, “Am I improving? What’s holding me back?”.

Mike T Smith is an award winning public speaker. He has helped others with their communication skills. He is the author of Public Speaking For The Faint Of Heart, the no nonsense guide that is changing the world’s view of public speaking. For more information or to contact Mike visit

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