I have plenty of opportunity to see public speakers. For two years, I witnessed how difficult it can be for people by teaching a public speaking class. So I know something about the topic.
It amazes me how bad some business people are at making simple speeches. They rely on notes and read their speech, they speak in monotones, and they rarely make eye contact with their audience. Rick Pitino, on the other hand, is among the best I’ve ever heard. At today’s Tipoff Luncheon at the Marriott, Pitino spent 15 minutes getting the crowd excited not only about his basketball team, but about being a part of the University of Louisville community.
Pitino praised his counterpart, Jeff Walz, coach of the women’s team. He used humor to explain how it’s going to be facing his son Richard in the season’s first game, against Minnesota in Puerto Rico. He connected with every parent in the audience by talking about how hard it is to get his young players to listen. And he got everyone excited by talking about how well his players are doing on the court, how he’s looking forward to playing the toughest schedule in school history. He even predicted the men’s football team will beat Florida State next Thursday, and that he was fired up for that.
I rarely Tweet anything, but when he made the Florida State comment, I put it up on Twitter. I did not expect the reaction. Kentucky Sports Radio re-tweeted it, and dozens of UK fans re-tweeted or commented on it, mostly with derisive words about Pitino. I learned a lot of folks carry hatred toward Rick around with them.