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Behav Anal. 2014 May 20;37(2):109-18. doi: 10.1007/s40614-014-0009-y. eCollection 2014 Oct.

Behavior Analysts to the Front! A 15-Step Tutorial on Public Speaking.

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Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health, 13460 Walsh Drive, Boys Town, NE 68010 USA.


Mainstream prominence was Skinner's vision for behavior analysis. Unfortunately, it remains elusive, even as we approach the 110th anniversary of his birth. It can be achieved, however, and there are many routes. One that seems overlooked in many (most?) behavior analytic training programs is what I call the front of the room. The front of the room is a very powerful locus for influencing people. Mastering it can turn a commoner into a king; a middling man into a mayor; or a group of disorganized, dispirited people into an energized force marching into battle. The most powerful members of our species had their most memorable moments at the front of the room. If so much is available there, why is mastery of it in such short supply, not just in behavior analysts but in the population at large? In this paper, I address why, argue that the primary reason can be overcome, and supply 15 behaviorally based steps to take in pursuit of front of the room mastery.


Anxiety; Avoidance; Escape; Fluency; Public speaking

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