3 Muppet-tastic Public Speaking Lessons

It’s time to play the music.

It’s time to light the lights.

It’s time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet show tonight!

More importantly it’s time to learn some great public speaking lessons from these fantastic creatures.

As a kid, I was addicted to The Muppet Show. The pageantry, the guests and especially the grumpy old men in the balcony.

This show is designed to be entertaining and help children learn.

Little did I know as an adult, the Muppets hold 3 very important lessons for becoming a better speaker and presenter.

muppets show public speaking

photo credit: Express Monorail via photopin cc

1. Less Miss Piggy. More Kermit.

Although I loved the Muppet Show more than anything, there was always one character that annoyed me to no end.

Miss Piggy. She’s selfish. She’s egotistical. She’s somewhat violent when she doesn’t get her way.

For her the Muppet Show is just a vehicle to showcase how awesome she is. The fact that it’s all about her all the time makes her downright unlikable.

On the other hand, Kermit is a gracious host. He cares about one thing – putting on a great show for his audience. He’s a giver and marks success by how much he entertains and helps. (How did these 2 ever hook up? Seriously!)

For speakers, being less Piggy and more Kermit means thinking less about what you can GET out of a presentation and focus more on creating value and a great experience for your audience.

When you create value or give some of your best ideas away for free, the opportunities just naturally follow.

2. Show your Animal side

You know what Animal LOVES?

Playing drums.

He’s beyond enthusiastic when he gets to play his drum for audience. His best playing happens when he looses control and trades the conventional drumming for passionate playing.

Now, I’m not advocating completely losing it behind the podium and running around like Animal, but it’s time for unbridled enthusiasm about your topic and let your passion shine through.

Too often professionals think they always need to act very “professional” and this means stripping their passion, energy, and excitement for a topic. Keep it as buttoned-up as possible.

Audience respond well to your passion. It engages them and when they see how much you deeply care about your subject they’ll care too.

For your next presentation, ask yourself how you can show a bit of your Animal side?

3. Experiment like Dr. Bunsen Honeydew & Beaker

Dr. Bunsen Honeydew loves to experiment. He’s creative. He’s an innovator.  He’s not afraid to fail (however Beaker is typically at the receiving ends of his botched ideas…poor Beaker).

How can you experiment more in your own presentations?

Part of growing as a speaker is trying new things.

If your presentations are heavy on statistics and facts, how can you add a story?

If you’re a natural-born storyteller, how can you add a few facts and figures to support the story?

If you’re not one for Q&A and audience interaction, how can you challenge yourself to add more in your next presentation?

It’s all about taking small risks (not the kind that can cause your presentation to blow-up in Beaker’s face). Play and experiment to keep your presentations fresh for you and your audience.

So Muppet fans, that is our show. In 2014, may your presentations be more Kermit than Miss Piggy, show off your Animal side, and never explode in your face like poor Beaker.

Tell me – what show did you learn some public speaking tidbit from? Share it in the comments below!

*This is a guest post by Michelle Mazur. The author’s posts are entirely her own views (excluding the event of being possessed by an alien parasite that controls her mind) and may not always reflect the views of InNetwork.*

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1 Comment
  • Michelle,
    I thoroughly enjoyed this! I was curious at first when I read the title (which is great BTW). My first thought was Muppets? Who is this written for? :)

    Although I started my career in IT as a shy introverted woman who couldn't make eye contact, through trial and error I did develop public speaking skills. My strategy was to always scan the room to find a friendly face and then speak directly to them. Had I read this first, I would have embraced the idea of being a gracious host like Kermit!

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