December 12, 2014 by Speakers' Spotlight
Spotlight On: Pamela Meyer Certified Fraud Examiner and Bestselling Author of LieSpotting
Pamela Meyer’s mission is to help people get to the truth. Extensively trained in the use of visual cues and psychology to detect deception, Myer teaches audiences how to go from lie-spotting to truth-seeking to trust-building. Her riveting TED Talk, “How to Spot a Liar,” has been viewed over 9 million times, making it one of the 20 most popular talks of all time, while her book, Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception, was a bestseller. Combining her unique understanding of deception with her honed business acumen, Myer provides audiences with lessons and takeaways that can be immediately put to use. We’re delighted to put Pamela in our spotlight today:
What inspired you to want to be a speaker?
It can be transformative to get to the truth. It can change how you manage, negotiate, and connect. The science of lie detection and truth elicitation is significant and I love sharing it with people and hearing stories of how it rocked their world.
Any advice for aspiring speakers?
Focus first and foremost on the material. Make it matter, make it deep. Never underestimate your audience. Under-promise and over-deliver.
What do you like to leave audiences with?
I like to leave the audience laughing, and a bit shocked at how different the world can look once they have learned a systematic method for getting to the truth.
How do you prepare before a talk? Any special rituals? A good luck talisman?
I spend a lot of time preparing for each talk. I interview the client and ask a lot of hard questions. How would I know if I did a good job for you? What specific outcomes are you interested in? Tell me about the demographics of the audience members. Who will be speaking before and after me? What drove you to pick me? What is your biggest concern about the program you have planned? Tell me about some of the myths in your organization. Tell me about your mission statement. Tell me about your challenges, long and short term. Tell me which speakers your audience has loved or hated in the past and why.
Once I really feel I understand what the client is looking for, then I tailor the material to the client’s needs, inserting relevant and funny videos, designing fun audience interaction exercises. Then I test the material with a small group to make sure it’s pitch-perfect. I don’t have any special personal rituals other than to remind myself right before I go on stage that connection to the audience is the most important piece.
Do you have an especially memorable event you spoke at that you can tell us about?
I spoke at an event about a year ago and at the end of my talk, one of the participants who was in the second row, stood up, turned around to the audience and said that it was the most important workshops of his life. It opened the door to others standing up and sharing in a similar way–I was so gratified to touch people in that way.
Any funny or embarrassing situations you found yourself in as a speaker?
I once had a sound engineer come up behind me while I was concluding my talk, right at the last line, and try to fiddle with the microphone looped behind my ear while I was speaking. He ended up knocking me down on stage and falling down himself.
If you had to choose a new career, what would it be?
I absolutely love what I do. I have thought and thought about this question, since you asked, but I can’t think of anything I would rather do…except maybe be a spa reviewer going all over the world testing new spa treatments 🙂
Desert island album?
Leo Kottke, 6 & 12 String Guitar.
Best subject in school?
Last book you read?
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Grenblatt.
Who would you love to hear speak?
If only Freud could have given a TED Talk…