The One Thing Every New Presenter Should Do

Posted by Kristin Arnold on April 5, 2011

The “Gold Group” – Michael Staver, Steve Siebold, Clint Swindall, Jeff Thredgold, Connie Dieken, Joe Calhoon, Leann Thieman, Brian Tracy, Gayle Carson, Barbara Tracy, Kevin O’Connor, Frank Keck, Barry Banther, Michael Bayer and Kristin Arnold

I spent the weekend in Dallas at the National Speakers Association‘s CSP/CPAE Summit. Over 60 Certified Speaking Professionals gathered together to learn about trends in the business, share best practices and get advice from each other.  What a whirlwind of a weekend!

I was part of the “Gold Group” of 13 amazing speakers who shared selflessly throughout the weekend.  Each of us had about 15 minutes where we could draw upon the wisdom of the group, and my friend, Brian Tracy, CPAE asked an interesting question: “What is the one piece of advice you would give a public speaker, be it a corporate or budding professional speaker?”  Thought you might be interested in the responses:

  • Give the audience something of substance to chew on immediately.
  • Begin with a strong opening that gets their attention.
  • Use your GPS.  Know where you are going with the speech and start there.
  • Read yourself silly.
  • The best programs are a dialogue using the Socratic Method.  Never tell them what you can ask.
  • Make your host look good.  Be clear about their expectations.
  • Finish on time.
  • Start with why and deliver material as an analyst and not linear.  Play by play.  More than what it is.
  • Contrast what is and what could be.
  • Entertainment fo rthe masses and data for the economic buyer.  It’s two speeches at one time.
  • Anchor your point with a story.
  • Use a pre-program questionnaire
  • Talk to three people prior to the event: 1) The insightful insider, 2) the outspoken cynic, and 3) Top producer.
  • Never make a point without telling a story on the wings of humor (Cavett Robert)
  • Tell relevant, current stories balanced with your stories.
  • Take a survey based on pre-session calls.  Integrate their data into the speech.
  • Ask shocking questions to grab them.
  • Work on your credibility between speeches
  • Have an audience plant – friends in the audience who give you confidence to stay and get back on track.
  • Invite a colleague to view you in the back.  Invite them to give real feedback.
  • Be authentic and natural.  Pretend it’s your living room.  Just tell us a story, compared to “giving” a presentation.

What is your one piece of advice?


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