Public Speaking... and Mary Poppins

by Gilda Bonanno LLC

Today is the 45th anniversary of the movie musical, Mary Poppins, which starred Julie Andrews and Dick VanDyke. Not only is it a wonderful movie, but it also has some lessons for public speaking.

One of my favorite songs from the movie is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! As a child, I delighted in learning to say this word (all 34 letters of it) because it was so big and complicated. In order to learn it, I had to break the word into sections and practice each section separately. Then we put all the sections together and I practiced saying them. Eventually, I could say the whole word!

What does this have to do with public speaking?

Well, giving a presentation can be a lot like learning to say Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious - it can be overwhelming and seem impossible. But if you break the presentation down into smaller pieces -your opening, your key examples, your supporting stories and data, your closing - and spend time preparing and practicing each section and then putting all the sections together, you can be successful.

In honor of the anniversary of the movie, watch it again - or for the first time... and use the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious method the next time you have to give a presentation.

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