Energy called by any other name, is still energy.

Many new and inexperienced speakers feel nervousness and fear. Experience speakers feel passion and excitement. The irony is that nervousness and passion are both energy: it is just called differently.

New speakers want to remove their nervousness while experienced speakers want to tap into their passionate energy and actually increase it. Unless you are speaking to a group of insomniacs at two o’clock in the morning, you do not want to have a monotone and passionless speech. A speaker wants to speak with energy and passion. Having this energy allows your audience to feel your stories and message.

A brand new speaker must realize this truth and find ways to change this name of nervousness and fear to that of passion and excitement. Does it mean that you will never be nervous again? No! It means that you will do what it takes to harness your energy and not let it be your detriment to a good and passionate. For a new speaker, learn to practice more and thoroughly plan out your speech.

Remember, fear or passion is still energy, it is just called differently!


The Audience wants you to win!

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Have you ever sat in an audience and hoped the presenter would fail?  Of course you haven’t. As a speaker, most members of an audience want you  to succeed.  They look forward to being inspired, educated or influenced.  A speaker should consider the audience as a friend and not the enemy.

As a professional you have some thing of value to say.  Your being in front of the room is no accident.  The audience is looking forward to what you have to communicate.  It is important that you spend the time needed in preparation so you give the audience what they came for.

Most audiences generally do not noticed when a speaker is nervous.  For many inexperienced speakers the severity of their nervousness is more of an issue that resides in their own mind.  If an audience does notice your nervousness, the value of the content they are receiving is what they are most interested in acquiring.  Keep in mind that sincerity trumps style every time.  As long as you give solid information, much will be overlooked.  Realizing this, there may not be any reason to apologize for your nervousness.  When you apologize you are bringing the audience attention where it need not be.  Practice not to offer an apology when nervous.

The great orator, Winston Churchill, would purposely add a bit of nervousness and mistakes to appear more ordinary.

The audience is your friend. Treat them as such.

Huh…it’s my fault?


There are 3 possible audience reactions to any speech, whether you speaking to 1000 people or just one person. On one end of the speaking spectrum, your audience craves more of you speaking. The other end of the spectrum, people feel that their time was wasted. Between these two ends of the spectrum is the middle ground where everyone considers your speech just average and ordinary.

The hard fact of life is that you are responsible. If your speech is successful or less than successful, it is your fault. This is a difficult concept for many speakers to deal with.

However, once you have accepted this premise, it makes being a better speaker easier. You begin to search out the tools to make you better. You might decide that recording all your speeches is the best way to learn. Seeking mentors or mastermind groups to evaluate you maybe another tool that is used. However if you enlist a mentor and that person suggests changes that you are not comfortable with or you feel is not the best, remember, ultimately your audience’s reaction is on your shoulders.

Remember, concentrate on being the best, not who to blame.


What the Nightly News Programs can Teach Speakers

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How many speakers watch the nightly news programs and applied what they learned to their presentations? The key point that you can take away is how fast the announcers go from one story to the next. Stories are compact, short lived and quickly grab your attention. In a space of 30 minutes, you may have many stories.

The danger of not constantly holding your audience’s attention is that they may mentally use their brain as a remote control and zap you to the next channel. This maybe simply just daydreaming or looking at their smartphone.

Your forty-five minute presentation may be one topic, however think in terms of five to six minute scenes. Each scene is built around your points and sub-points. Also in each scene there is a sentence that you deliberately inserted to direct your audience to what you want them to take away.

Learn from the best, to make your presentation the best.

The Unspoken Agenda Between the Audience and Speaker.

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During most speeches, there is an agenda between the speaker and the audience. Speakers may want to have the audience ‘do something’ or ‘take some sort of action.’ They are going to present facts, figures and anecdotes to convince the audience on why they should. If done correctly, there will be action on the part of the audience.

On the other hand, the audience is making a decision on whether not this is something they want to do. They will take the information given and decide if this is valuable to them and their time will not be wasted. During the final second if the speaker did everything correct, the audience will say; “This speaker is absolutely correct and I need to do this!”

Some presentations have no impact on their audiences because this idea is not taken into consideration. To be successful in a presentation think of your ideas as sharp arrows shot by a bow to the bull’s eye, rather a scatter gun approach.

Your Elevator Speech


You’re waiting for the elevator and someone joins you. You strike up a conversation with light chatter, then the elevator arrives. You both enter and select floors: you’re going to three, your fellow rider is going to two. As the elevator door closes, you get the question, “What do you do?”

Fumbling for words, you start, “Well…I…”, and then the elevator door opens. Your fellow rider gets out, quickly, never to be seen again. Whatever hope you had for revenue generation with that person dies with the door closing. Before the realization of this communication failure sets in, the elevator door opens at your floor. Now, you must pick up the pieces and recover before your next encounter craters before you.

What could have prevented that experience? The answer is: Your Elevator Speech.

The Elevator Speech is a 6-12 word blast that conveys the essence of your mission to potential customers. Its intent is to produce the “Scooby Doo Effect”: where Scooby quickly turns his head and shouts, ”shoink?!” Once you have their attention, you have them on your side, and the ball is rolling.

Sayings like, “I’m a motivational speaker”, or “I build web sites” are not Elevator Speeches, although they do meet the word count criteria. But “I inspire people to climb mountains”, or “My students produce Award Winning Web Experiences” could be.

Examine where you are and why I should choose you over the hoard of people who claim they are who you are. Give me a reason to choose you. Give me that ”shoink?!” Moment. Start working on Your Elevator Speech NOW!



The opposite view!!


One of the best ways to improve as a speaker is to video record your speeches. This recording of you speaking allows the analysis of all aspects of your speaking skills. You can see your hand gestures, body movements and facial expressions. You can listen to the audience and hear your cadence, inflections and tone of voice.

One view that is often times overlooked is to record the audience. The benefit to recording your audience as you speaks allows you to analysis the audience’s reactions to your words and stage presence. If parts of your speech are boring or not understandable, the audience facial expressions will show. If you are walking back and forth across the stage like a ping-pong ball. You will see this in your audience’s head movements.

Another benefit of recording from this angle is that you can use some of the footage in any video that you take for your website or promotional materials.

So remember always record your speech from your perspective and your audience’s perspective.