An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis
Be confident in your ability to lead — To be a successful public speaker, confidence is essential. When you’re confident of your ability to inspire a crowd, it shows and it is contagious. This is when your presentation will be the most effective. Remember, everyone gets stage fright. You’re going to be nervous, but don’t let that keep you from doing a good job and presenting yourself as a confident public speaker. Many public speakers experience stage fright, but they don’t let it ruin their presentation. They do their best and the audience still experiences a great presentation. To be confident in your ability to inspire, remember that people want to listen to you. They want to hear your message, so inspire them! Be confident in your ability to inspire!
At some point in our lives, many of us will have to give a talk to a large group of people. What does it take to be a highly effective public speaker? How can you improve your public speaking skills? How can you overcome a fear of speaking in public? What does it take to give a very interesting and engaging public talk? In this interview series called “5 Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Public Speaker” we are talking to successful and effective public speakers to share insights and stories from their experience. As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing James Jason.
James Jason is the Founder and CEO of Notta AI. He built a company around a software that converts audio to text in a matter of seconds. In his day job, James is a SAAS provider enabling businesses to do more with less. He is a full-time entrepreneur that has a passion for language and technology.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I was born in South Dakota in the United States. When I was around 7 years old, my family and I moved to Minnesota. Growing up, I always wanted to help people through my writing and I was always interested in business and marketing. Like any other kid, I started growing up in my teenage years. I was shy and timid and didn’t have many friends. I felt like I was in my shell the whole time. I spent most of my time alone, reading books and watching TV. I had a small group of friends at school, but other than that, I felt alone.
I had a few jobs throughout high school that helped me realize all of the things I wanted to do when I graduated, so I applied to the University of Melbourne and got a degree in Software Development. When I got to college, I started to get more involved with different activities, such as volunteering, playing on a sports team, joining groups on campus and so on. I started making more friends and getting more involved with my community. It was in college that I started feeling like I actually belonged somewhere and that I truly had a home with my friends and my community.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
In my early teens, I was often in front of a crowd. I was a young actor, and a class clown, and often found myself in embarrassing situations due to my lack of social judgement. However, I was also a great speaker and was constantly being asked to do stand-up bits at school and for local community events. Eventually, I gave up on acting and found a job doing voice over work for advertisements. I was an overnight success and was soon flown around the world by large corporations to talk about the benefits of their products. Now I am a public speaking coach and mentor to many people.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
This is the story of the first time I prepared a speech to an audience of a few hundred attendees of a conference. On that day, due to some personal issues, I was so nervous when I got up on stage and did not remember much of my speech despite having prepared all week for it. I suspected in my mind that this would be my worst speeches ever. To my surprise, though, the audience was so engaged and the room was full of positive energy. They seemed to enjoy everything I said when I really thought my speech was boring and unconnected. It was It was such a great experience! I learned how to be more confident and how to handle a stressful situation. The audience gave me a lot of positive feedback, and I found this experience to be very lucrative to my career. I always refer back to it whenever I feel low or demotivated.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
One time I was when I was supposed to give a public speech, I recalled too late that I had left my notes at home! As soon as it was my time to speak, I mumbled a few words then asked the audience if they wanted to hear about my favorite song or about the thing I was supposed to talk about. They were all like “yea, go on!”. I told them I was going to sing it and started to sing the song but I kept on forgetting the lyrics so I just kept on singing the chorus. Double tragedy! I felt super embarrassed but they all thought it was hilarious. I guess they had a good time watching a person sing a song he wasn’t familiar with and forget the lyrics.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I always thank my father for helping me become a public speaker. Without his help, I would never have found out how much I enjoyed talking to large groups of people and sharing my ideas with them. He helped me through my period of shyness and gave me the motivation to tell my story to others.
My father helped me develop a personality that was stronger, more confident, and more outgoing. He made me feel comfortable in the spotlight. He let me do the speaking for him at family functions, so I could get used to being in front of a crowd of people. He also gave me examples of how to get people interested in what you’re saying, so I could find my own style. My father is also a role model, like many fathers are, that I can look up to.
You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging and intimidating. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
People who want to become public speakers but fear failure often lack confidence. They fill their minds with fear of speaking in front of people so that they don’t take the chance and make themselves feel inadequate. My advice for people who want to become public speakers but fear failure is to speak as often as possible, at every opportunity. The only way to get over your fear of public speaking is to practice, practice, practice!
If you want to become a public speaker you need to make sure that you’ve got the right skills for this type of work. Public speaking is all about communication and you can learn many techniques to communicate efficiently and effectively. It’s important to practice your speech even before the event and make sure to give a varied speech. You need to have different stories and examples to keep people on their toes and to hold their interest. You have to have passion when it comes to public speaking and if you don’t then it’s better if you find something else.
What drives you to get up everyday and give your talks? What is the main empowering message that you aim to share with the world?
What drives me to wake up every morning and give speeches is to help others. So many people in the world are lost and it’s up to us to take action as much as we can to help them. One of the best ways to provide aid is through encouraging words and sharing our experiences. I’ve found that even the most cynical person can be brought out of their shell if you share your enthusiasm and show them it’s possible! You never know when you might inspire someone to take action!
I have a simple message, but it is one that has changed my life: talk to someone. That includes the stranger you pass on the street and the coworkers in the office. Your words might be the ones they need to hear to make a change in their lives. They might help them through a hard time or guide them on the right path. You never know how much your words might mean to someone else. So go out and help someone, talk to them and make their lives better as my words have done for me.
You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?
Since I was young, I’ve always been interested in technology. As I grew older, I was fascinated by the idea of converting speech to text. It’s something that I’ve worked on for many years and have finally decided to share my project with the world! The app is called Notta and I believe it is one of the first apps that does what it does. After I had the idea and began creating a prototype, I was able to build it into an app that quickly and easily converts speech to text. I fell in love with this project. This app is truly revolutionary and I know that it is going to do well.
In the future, I want to create an application that will help public speakers to prepare great speeches. The point of this application is to enable speech writers to make sure their speeches are not only accurate and grammatically sound but also that they are interesting for their audience and easy to read. Their speech will be parsed by intelligent AI and will get a score. This score will indicate to the speech writer if the speech is in need of revision or if it is excellent and ready to be used in a real-life speech.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” That’s one of my favorite quotes and is important to me because it reminds me to always plan ahead. For example, if you have a speech coming up, plan out what you’re going to say, how you’re going to say it, and what props or aids you’ll have on hand to help the audience understand the topic and take action!
Ok, thank you for all that. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Public Speaker?” Please share a story or example for each.
Tip #1 Be confident in your ability to lead
To be a successful public speaker, confidence is essential. When you’re confident of your ability to inspire a crowd, it shows and it is contagious. This is when your presentation will be the most effective. Remember, everyone gets stage fright. You’re going to be nervous, but don’t let that keep you from doing a good job and presenting yourself as a confident public speaker. Many public speakers experience stage fright, but they don’t let it ruin their presentation. They do their best and the audience still experiences a great presentation. To be confident in your ability to inspire, remember that people want to listen to you. They want to hear your message, so inspire them! Be confident in your ability to inspire!
I show confidence as a public speaker by speaking loudly and moving my hands and body. I used to be afraid of public speaking, but now I can talk to a crowd of people as if they were all friends. I have even built public speaking skill enough to give a speech. I used to be afraid of public speaking, but now I can talk to a crowd of people as if they were all friends. I have even built public speaking skill enough to give a speech.
Tip #2 Always write down your thoughts
If you want to be a successful public speaker, make sure that you write down your thoughts and memorize them. This will allow you to go over your speech while you’re practicing it. It also helps you to avoid going blank or getting nervous while you’re in front of the audience.
The next step is to practice with a trusted friend or a small group. Once you’re comfortable with it, you can practice in front of a mirror. This is a great way to find out anything that you may have missed so you can go over it and polish it. You can also practice on your own time and when you feel comfortable with your speech, you can deliver it in front of an audience.
I write down my thoughts as a public speaker by two means, either by creating diagrams or dictating my thoughts into a recorder. My preferred method is creating diagrams, as they allow me to build a structure of my thoughts and process it in an orderly fashion. This method also allows me to spend more time focusing on my thoughts and process it more fluidly rather than trying to write it all down as I go.
Tip #3 Involve other people in your speech creation
When it comes to public speaking, the best way to improve is to practice. As you practice a speech, make sure to involve others in your speech’s creation. If you find yourself struggling with a part of your speech, ask someone else for feedback. They may be able to give you the motivation you need to get it done! One of the best ways to do this is to involve a friend or family member in the process. The more people you get to read through your speech, the better. Their input will make all the difference as to how well your speech will be delivered and received.
As a public speaker, I enjoy it when I get to incorporate the audience into my speeches. It helps build a more interactive environment. I know that I’m more engaging when I incorporate my audience’s thoughts and feelings. When I’m working on a speech, I’ll often have an idea or topic in mind and then share that idea with my audience. I’ll ask them what they think or what they would add to the topic. Sometimes they’ll give me an idea that inspires a whole new speech!
Tip #4 Perceive the crowd as your best friend or closest person
Public speaking can be a nerve-racking experience. Even experienced speakers can feel jittery from time to time, before or during a presentation. The best way to deal with this feeling is by speaking to a friend or family member as if you were having a conversation with them. Imagine that you are talking to someone you’re comfortable with and keep in mind that you are speaking to a large group of people, not just the person you are speaking to. By using this technique, you will be able to relax and speak more confidently. When you talk with family and friends, you don’t hold back any of your feelings or emotions. You talk to them as if they’re right there in front of you, looking into their eyes. It’s this kind of tone that you should take to being a public speaker. It’s essential to maintain eye contact with the audience while you’re talking and make sure you’re putting the same effort into speech as you would if someone was right there in front of you.
I treat the audience as if they were my best friends. It’s a lot easier to speak to your friends because then you’ll feel a lot more comfortable and have an easy time being yourself and thinking of things to say. If you’re giving a speech and don’t feel happy or excited to talk to the audience, then it’s because of a lack of connection with the audience member.
Tip #5 Practice daily
To become a good public speaker, it takes lots of practice. I started by taking public speaking classes, but I soon realized that I still wasn’t ready. I started improving my skills by joining a debate club. I then took a class at the local library on public speaking. I noticed that I was a much better speaker being in front of a class than just speaking to a stranger. It was because of the class that improved my speaking ability and I can now speak to anyone. I have perfected my skills so well that I am able to make a speech at any public place. When public speaking, it is a good idea to memorize the speech and practice it over and over. Practice as much as you can. I practice every single day before every event I speak at.
Practicing in front of a mirror is always a great way of preparing for my speeches. First, I need to know what I’m going to say and practice the proper way to say each sentence; Then, I practice with your pacing. While some people may have a better way that works for them, the most important part is to speak at a comfortable pace and not have a script that is too long, so you don’t lose the attention of your audience.
As you know, many people are terrified of speaking in public. Can you give some of your advice about how to overcome this fear?
I once had stage fright and it’s not easy, but it’s something that can be overcome with time and practice. Whenever I was called on to speak in class, I’d go out of my way to make excuses to get out of it. I’d try to find any reason to avoid speaking to the class, because I was afraid that I’d fumble over my words and look like an idiot in front of everyone. It was especially hard if I wasn’t prepared for the presentation. In fact, I would much rather stare at a presentation someone else had made than make one of my own. I know that might sound strange, but the expectations I put on myself were just too much to handle. I felt like I had to put on a performance and I was always worried that I wouldn’t be able to deliver. In short, if anyone really wants to overcome this fear, practice and time are the surest hacks.
You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
If I could inspire a movement, it would be inspiring people to be kinder to one another in an already tough world. It’s amazing how many people are quick to judge others, rather than build each other up. Kindness is truly infectious, so it’s never too late to change the world! You can start small, by being extra kind towards those you come in contact with on a day-to-day basis. If you see someone struggling with a heavy object, offer to help! The person will be so thankful and you will feel good about helping them out. For example, If you have time, you can even volunteer your time at a local shelter. Volunteering is always a rewarding experience, and I’m sure you will leave inspired to continue to spread kindness!
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I admire Esther for her standup comedy, her acting and her TV personality. But my main admiration for her is that she always seems to be herself, cracking jokes and seemly oblivious to what’s considered “normal.” She’s really just an icon of a strong woman. I admire how funny, kind and generally nice people think she is. She seems like a person who would make you feel comfortable and safe, regardless of who you are. I think what she’s achieved in the entertainment industry is remarkable, especially considering it’s a man’s world. she’s a great actress who’s had a very interesting life, and i think she would be a great person to talk to.
Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?
People can reach me on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-jason-2a2494239/
They can also find me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am also available via my website which showcases my auto-transcription application here: https://www.notta.ai/en/home
This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
James Jason of Notta AI On The 5 Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Public Speaker was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.