Four Lessons from the Mountain for Public Speakers

PG LogoI am one of the co-founders of Presentation Guru, a digital magazine for public speaking professionalsThis post is part of a series designed to share the great content on Presentation Guru with the Manner of Speaking community.


A few weeks ago, my friend Timo Sorri came to Geneva for a visit. Timo is an expert in presentation design. You can learn more about what he does on his website. One day during his visit, Timo and I went for a long hike in the French Jura Mountains, just across the border from Switzerland and overlooking Lake Geneva.

We spent several hours in the mountains and covered lots of ground. The hike was physically challenging and eminently enjoyable. Different incidents along the way got me thinking about the parallels between our hike and public speaking. Specifically, it got me thinking about:

  • preparation;
  • dealing with the unexpected;
  • the impossibility of perfection; and
  • the importance of action.

You can read all about our experience in this post on Presentation Guru.

Timo and me. This photo was not taken on our hike; rather, it was taken the day before during a trip to the mountain village of Gruyères in the Swiss Canton of Fribourg.


About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
This entry was posted in Presentation Guru and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Four Lessons from the Mountain for Public Speakers

  1. Riold says:

    Hi John,
    Interesting points. Preparation is very important, and yet being adaptable and action oriented is equally crucial. Gen. Eisenhower expressed a similar concept with different words, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
    Thanks for the post,

    • John Zimmer says:

      Hi Riold. Thanks for the comment and thanks for the great quote by Eisenhower. I had heard it before but had not thought about it in a while. I will be sure to add it to the list of “Quotes for Public Speakers” in the near future. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.