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Public Speaking – Part 1

Public Speaking skills are necessary for most professionals or people in any kind of business The first step in getting known and gaining credentials is to join and become active in an organization in your field and to become an officer. As you move up the ranks you we gradually get more ond more public speaking experience. This will serve you well in your profession or business.


Most professionals and leaders in business attend gatherings where their credentials are reveled. As a consulting engineer, I frequently attend interview meetings, where building committees select architects and engineers for their projects. I have watched many of my colleagues talk about their college degree, and then all that they had was a list of past projects. In addition, I could refer to the following:


  • I am a past president of the Rhode Island Society of Professional Engineers, the founding president of the Rhode Island chapter of the Illuminating Engineering Society, past director of the Electrical League of Rhode Island, and chairman of the Electrical Code Sub-Committee of the Rhode Island Building Code Standards Committee.
  • I have written numerous articles for national technical publications and have been a guest speaker at the National Conference on Harmonics and Power Quality in Philadelphia.
  • I was honored by being selected Engineer of the Year by the Rhode Island Society of Professional Engineers and Man of the Year by the Electrical League of Rhode Island.
  • I am particularly proud of being a recipient of the Providence Engineering Society’s Freeman Award. This award was established for the purpose of recognizing major achievements in engineering.

I wasn’t bragging; I was applying for a job.

If you want to be successful, don’t be afraid to build yourself up. Fortunately, your work as an officer of professional organizations will give you many opportunities to hone your skills as a public speaker. In your career, you’ll be required to speak before both small and large groups. At this point, I am reminded of one of my least auspicious experiences as a public speaker.


On my first or second year in practice, I was hired to do a light-emissions study. This was in conjunction with an environmental impact study relating to the proposed expansion of a local airport. I don’t know if I was chosen because my resume included “member of IES” or because I was too new to properly quote a fee for such an unusual project. In any case, I visited the airport at night, under varying weather conditions, and (with a light meter) measured the light produced from the approach lights. My final conclusion was that the amount of light was less than the light emitted by a full moon and, therefore, had no significant impact on the environment. I submitted my report to the environmental firm that had hired me, and it was accepted.

After about six months, the environmental firm called me and asked me to attend a public hearing at the City Hall to answer questions, if any. I reread my report, and with a copy, I sat down in front with the other members of our team. The remaining five hundred seats were occupied by very angry neighbors, with many more standing around the perimeter of the room. The head of the environmental firm was called to the podium and, after a few introductory remarks, said, “And now I would like to call our electrical engineer, Jack Gaskell, to the podium to present the light emissions portion of our report.” I considered running for the door, but I didn’t think I could make it down the center aisle.

I rose with wobbly legs and walked to the podium with my report in hand. When the heckling from the crowd quieted down a bit, I said, “I have to start out by apologizing; it was my understanding that I was here to answer questions (if any) and, therefore, did not prepare a presentation. But I have a copy of my report and will paraphrase it for you.” I opened my report and stumbled through. When I was finished, everyone booed, and I took my seat. Even after all of these years, I still break out in a sweat when I think of that public hearing.


The lesson here is always be prepared to make a presentation.

My Book

I have recently completed a book on Marketing: “The ‘Smart Guide’ to MARKETING”, that is presently on sale at the Kindle Store on Amazon. Both the paperback & hardback (Case Laminated) versions are available from my website:

To see my YouTube video “Job Search” – How to go to:

To see my YouTube video of: “Your Disaster Recovery Plan” go to:

To see my YouTube video of: “Career Choice” go to:

To see my YouTube video of :”Your Interview” – How to prepare – Go to:

To see my YouTube video of: BECOME “Widely Known” go to:


Related topics include:

How to Prepare for a Job Interview –

How to easily and quickly get the interviews that you want.

How to prepare for your interview and be ready for the likely questions.

How to start the job right and make the best first impression.

How to become known, build a reputation and make useful contacts.

How to gain credentials that will distinguish you from your competitors.

How to win awards that will make your resume shine.

Excerpted from ‘The “Smart Guide” to MARKETING’ Copyright © 2020 by Jack Gaskell. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this “Smart Guide” tip, upon condition that this message remains. Visit: My WEBSITE for additional tips.