Shaunda Shaw & Shineil Taylor
Brianna Ebony Simpson
Like most people, Rick Lindner hated public speaking. The very thought of it made him tense with anxiety. One day, Lindner decided to address his weakness and eventually turned his fear into a career as a professor at Georgia Perimeter College.
Lindner began his college career studying broadcast journalism at the University of Southern California. There, he fully realized his fear of public speaking and vowed to take action. He joined the local Toastmaster’s Club to combat his speech anxiety. Lindner recalls the club as extremely supportive: “Not only did I survive the speeches, but I was enjoying it!” He brings that same spirit to class when teaching COMM 1201, Public Speaking at GPC.
Lindner first discovered his passion for teaching as a graduate teaching assistant at Georgia State University. His experience there allowed him to hone his speech delivery and evaluation skills to help students determine areas of improvement.
Conversations with an elementary school teacher led Lindner to the realization that speech anxiety begins early in life. He imagines a student’s first book report or show-and-tell in front of a full class: “Kids start heckling or even firing spitballs at us. From then on, we could suffer a lifetime of speech anxiety.” To combat that, Lindner wrote two children’s books in the late 1990s to help elementary school students succeed in public speaking and be supportive of their peers.
Lindner came to GPC as an adjunct professor in 2001. Lindner learned early on about the college’s focus on excellence in the classroom and was drawn in. He has been a full time professor since 2004.
In 2010, Lindner went beyond his own classroom to help a student’s father prepare a wedding speech. Lindner had helped friends craft such speeches for many years. This particular experience led him to launch a website to share his expertise on public speaking. Lindner’s site helps thousands of visitors every month to craft speeches for a variety of occasions. Learn more about Lindner’s philosophy and work in the field of public speaking and pick up some tips for your next speaking engagement at www.weddingspeechdepartment.com.