Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

We all know that the number one fear in America is not death, heights, going to the dentist or even spending an hour with Joan Rivers. It’s speaking in public. I’ve tried myself to overcome the fear—breathing exercises, yoga, hypnotherapy and even a brief foray into Colonics, which is just a quaint way of saying they give you a lot of enemas.

And, of course, everybody says, “just picture your audience in their underwear,” which might have worked if my 88 year old Aunt Esther hadn’t once dropped her napkin in my presence, her purple thong wistfully peeking its way out of her Juicy Couture sweats…a train wreck made even worse when her husband, Hal, caught me looking and winked.

No, I needed more help than that. So, I enrolled at the Dale Carnegie Institute for Public Speaking, studying under some of the most gifted orators of our generation. It is here I overcame my fear, learning a lesson I’d like to pass on to you now. The most important thing about public speaking is not what you say or how you say it. It’s not eye contact, posture, projection or poise. The key to public speaking success is having a really good pointer in your hand…something that distracts the audience from your stumbling words.

I’m not talking about just any pointer, but the ultimate Presentation Laser Pointer, which is the perfect gift for those executives who have everything…and even those who have nothing, including wit, charisma or passion. Trust me, this thing is cool. You control your Power Point presentations remotely using this compact system. What’s more, its base unit connects to your computer, picking up signals from the wand to switch slides, allowing the laser pointer to direct your audiences’ attention to areas on the screen…and, more importantly, away from you. Now, how’s that for a cure.

Well, I’m off to the Tucson Society of Philographist’s (autograph collectors), where if I’m lucky, I will finally get my coveted Yo Yo Ma signature. Until next time, remember the words of Jerry Seinfeld, who never thought it was right that death would be the number two fear, saying, “That means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”