professional speaker

It’s the Audience, Stupid

bored audienceWhy do so many speakers insist on using their audience as a form of group therapy for their own personal issues? I’ve seen speakers (including those that were paid to give their talk) use their presentation (I don’t dare call it training) to enact revenge, guilt the audience into cheering for them and to get things off their chests. Why?

Giving a speech is not about you – it’s about the audience. Someone has invited you to share your knowledge, wisdom or experience to their audience. They’re not interested in hearing about the guy that flipped you off in traffic, the cab driver that ran four lights on your trip from the airport or something idiotic that your Senator did (unless that’s the purpose of your speech).

Public Speaking Success: The 80/20 Rule of Speech Preparation

80 20 ruleYou’re probably familiar with the 80/20 rule– it seems like virtually everything in life can use it in some fashion. Some of the rules invert the two numbers such as 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients, while others slice two or more things into an 80% chunk and a 20% chunk. In public speaking, the latter rule is used – 80% of your time is spent on preparation while 20% is spent on practice and delivery.

Public Speaking Success: Does it Really Make Sense to Take Every Speaking Opportunity You’re Offered?

A common piece of wisdom often bestowed to aspiring professional speakers is to speak whenever you can. This piece of advice when taken literally is actually very bad advice. Although self-help guru Tony Robbins put himself on the map by giving several hundred seminars all over the world within a single year, often speaking more than once per day, it won’t work for everyone. In this article, I’ll go over some of the pros and cons of seizing every speaking opportunity.

The Physical Toll:

Public Speaking Success: Death by Time Limit – Tip for Trainers

public speaking time limitThe time limit: it can be fatal in the case of a Toastmasters Speech contest, but it’s not limited to just Toastmasters. I’ve seen speakers and trainers do a fabulous job with their presentations but have turned the audience’s perception of them negative but talking too much. As speakers, we naturally want to provide our audience with maximum value but less can often be more.