Public Speaking & Loss Prevention?

In response to Saturday’s post about public speaking, I had an email that basically asked, “What does this post have to do with Loss Prevention?”  They could not understand why I had posted an item that seems so off-topic to them.  As I explained to them via private reply, I think it is a critical skill for most in the business world, but especially so for our profession.

 The ability to speak in public has an almost unfair impact upon how others perceive you.  Think about this scenario, you are asked to make a presentation to the Executive Committee of your organization on your results and plans for the upcoming year.  If you do a good job, you are perceived as an “up and comer” who has a great future.  If you have a flop-sweat performance and come across incoherently, you risk jeapordizing your future, maybe even your current position – even if you are a great performer when it comes to actually doing the job!

Is giving that much weight to a person’s ability to present in public fair?  Probably not.  But, it is reality.  For those of us in this profession, it is even more important given the stereotypes that exist for loss prevention and security practitioners.  When others think of the “typical” person in our profession, they are likely to think of the sullen, stand-offish, and oafish personality they have seen in movies or TV shows.

When we have a chance to present to a group, we have the opportunity to reinforce the stereotype or change it.  That is why this is a critical skill for all of us in this profession.

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