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Adam Grant, an Organizational Psychologist and Professor at the Wharton School delivered a TED talk in 2016. It’s particularly relevant now as many professionals feel they’ve lost precious time in their careers and wish to regain their momentum. Grant’s talk, “The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers” reveals the attributes of those who struggled with great challenges and overcame them. We’ve applied these attributes to public speaking.

Procrastination: Most people see procrastination as a detriment. When preparing a presentation, they carefully write it out, often word-for-word and memorize it.

Originals do the opposite. They realize the value of procrastination—especially when it’s used to enhance their presentations. They rely on structure, first deciding on what they want to achieve. Then they sketch out an opening, three buckets or talking points, and close-- always leaving room to shape their talk as they rehearse. They use their outline as a springboard for new and better ideas.

Doubt: Like the rest of us, Originals question themselves and their work. But doubt can be positive. Treat your material as a scientist would—doing your best to poke holes in your premise and construct. If your ideas hold up, you can be confident in your presentation.

Fear: Many professional actors throw up before they go on stage or film. But the fear of not performing outweighs their fear of failure. Originals come to terms with their fear as part of the enterprise.

Volume: Originals fail the most because they attempt the most. We recommend you give toasts at weddings, sit on panels, introduce colleagues at a conference-- anywhere that puts you in front of an audience. The more you speak, the less anxiety you’ll have and the better you’ll do.

It's not about eliminating your fears or perceived shortcomings. Leverage your unique personality and observations to become an Original.

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