Secret to World-Class Speaking

It was downright devious, definitely bordered on preposterous, and decidedly over the top. Maybe even a little cheesy. Yet the audience gobbled it up.

The speaker gave a brilliant performance. He courted his audience’s emotions. He pushed and pulled on their hot buttons. He pandered to the whimsical fancies of the crowd.


Yes… if you’re looking for a temporary high.


No, not at all. I remembered what he did-but I didn’t get anything meaningful from his talk. In short, it seemed like he was just blowing motivational smoke down into our collective consciousness.

With his deep, thundering preacher’s voice he rhythmically concluded his speech in a poetic cadence. Then he ripped open the front of his shirt ala Hulk Hogan. The buttons danced all over the stage injecting spontaneous combustion to his ending.

And the crowd roared with abundant enthusiasm…

They chanted. They cheered. They fed off his energy. They wanted more. They rose off their seats applauding His Highness.

I discreetly shook my head in disbelief…

He gave the crowd a buzz and milked it for what its worth. He sold them their fix by shooting them in the arm with a rush of “feel good” adrenaline. I thought the days of rah-rah hype ended in the 80’s. Guess not.

You see, His Highness didn’t engage his audience at all. He pumped them up with motivational “feel good” bullet points. This type of oratory works well if you balance it with substance and meaning. Otherwise people will lose that good feeling somewhere between the time they drive off the parking lot and the time they swing open their front door.

So what’s the secret to engaging your audience at a world-class level?

1) Start with a story. But not just any story. A personal story. One that puts you right dab in the middle of it. Preferably, one that no one else in the world can tell but you. And by all means, let us know who you really are.

2) Expose the conflict. Is there a problem that needs resolving? Is there an archenemy? Can you quote facts and figures? Who are the victims if nothing is done?

3) Identify the solution. Is it a product? Maybe a program. Perhaps it’s an organization. What makes this solution unique? How does this stand out from other solutions?

4) Name the beneficiaries. Who benefits from this solution? Are they your clients? Maybe they’re your donors. Do they live overseas? And how are they benefiting?

5) Give your reason. Now answer the why question. What do you get for doing this? What caused you to get involved? Why should prospects join, buy or promote what you offer?

I know you’re smart enough to not follow in His Highness’ footsteps. You have an authentic, passionate message you want to present at a world-class level. And you realize giving genuine value through a personal story will touch, engage and affect an audience much more and much longer than chants and cheers alone.

Tommy Yan helps business owners and entrepreneurs make more money through direct response marketing. He publishes Tommy’s Tease weekly e-zine to inspire people to succeed in business and personal growth. Get your free subscription today at  If you’re a speaker, trainer, coach, or a consultant, the major challenge you face is connecting with your audience. You talk, shout, or recite your message while they are dreaming about dinner.  Their eyes are glossy, their minds’ elsewhere, and their bodies ready to bolt. You don’t have a lot of time, so you’ve got to grab their attention fast. Or else, you’ll die wrestling against audience resistance.  Find out how

Effective Communication Tips for Today’s Manager

This is a great article ….

The ideas are simple, but powerful, and they apply as much to public speaking as they do to conversation.

Some of the headings are:

Express your thoughts clearly:

The effective communicator has empathy:

Be “truly present”
Be a good listener:

… and more – you can read the article in the Pivotal Magazine

“Tell them what you’re going to say. Say it. Then tell them what you said”

Ah … a contentious statement, that! What do you think? A great way to visualise the structure of your presentation or speech?

Yes. True. It’s simplistic, and yes it has been abused.

Audiences may have short attention spans, but they need some subtelty from you.

But then, used subtly, yes it does work.

And that is because we all do have such short attention spans – including our audiences! If we want to make a point that will stay with an audience after they leave the room, we have to repeat and reinforce it throughout the presentation.

We also need to attract the attention, early in the speech, of those who learn best by being told, right from the start, what to expect from any session. If this step is skipped, we lose those people. They fidget and are uncomfortable.

Yes there are a myriad ways to structure a speech. And they can be used within the (subtle) main “Introduction, Body, conclusion.” Storytelling, plot twists, meandering, and so many more all have their uses at the right place and time.

And for those creating a speech for the first time, its is a fundamental way to remind them to stay focussed on purpose and message, and to work with an audience to get that purpose achieved and message embedded.

Can you imagine being able to get rid of any fear or phobia?

… In just 10 minutes?

Scientists have just given the official nod to a brand new NLP-based system that enables you to literally “erase” old fears and phobias – in a matter of minutes.

Fear of public speaking, fear of spiders, fear of death, fear of failure – whatever it is – it can be permanently deleted. All when you listen to this special “brain language” CD recording.

It’s an amazing discovery – and has the awesome potential to change the world.


Learn more ahead of the crowd, online at:

It works. Life-long fears GONE FOR GOOD – in just minutes.

Check out the site… I guarantee you’ll be amazed!

Engage your audience when you speak

From one of my favourite “gurus” ….

How do you make your presentation more interesting to your audience? Perhaps the most important technique is to include them when you speak. You can choose your words to engage your listeners — or leave them out. If you leave them out, boredom is the probable result. In this article, I’ll give you some specific techniques for crafting your content in a way that grabs the attention of your audience.

Here’s the rest of the article in Pivotal Magazine

Is Twitter a Presenter’s Nightmare or a Dream Come True?

with Cliff Atkinson

Armed with laptops and smartphones, audiences are no longer sitting quietly while speakers are talking — instead they’re using Twitter and other tools to create a backchannel where they chat with one another, make comments about your presentation and broadcast their thoughts to people all over the world.
If audiences are happy, the backchannel can spread your ideas far and wide, create buzz about your ideas, and keep a conversation going long after you leave the podium. But if audiences are unhappy, the backchannel can criticize your ideas and delivery, disrupt your talk, and even derail your presentation completely. So is the backchannel yet another thing to fear when you give your next presentation? Or a great opportunity to really know what your audience is thinking?

Cliff Atkinson, author of The Backchannel: How Audiences are Using Twitter and Social Media and Changing Presentations Forever, will share his research and ideas for making the backchannel work for you.
You will learn:
• How audiences are changing the power dynamic of presentations
• Why you need a Twitter account and how to use it
• How to make your presentation Twitter-friendly
• How to avoid backchannel disasters
• How to extend your message farther than previously possible
• How to use Twitter feedback to adjust or fine-tune your ideas

Click here for all the details …

Instantly improve your public speaking dramatically

Interesting article on 7 “little things that will instantly improve your public speaking dramatically.”

I really love


and undoubtedly certain people need to be told



… a very useful list to print out and read just before presenting.
7 Easy Ways To Instantly Improve Your Public Speaking

Positioning Yourself For More Speaking Engagements

12 essential Steps to Attract Your Ideal Customers

With all due respect, love and admiration, why do you, some of our planet’s best teachers (professional speakers) think that all you have to do is throw up a website to get invitations to speak? What’s with the trend to try to build relationships only over the Internet? Can you imagine the response of a meeting planner if the author of the best-selling “how to” book actually picked up the phone and called the CEO of an organization to suggest a way in which she/he can solve at least three of the organization’s five challenges?

Yes, of course, you can imagine it. Then I’d like for you to tell yourself that the only difference between you and the high profile speaker is positioning – and OK, I’ll concede, more experience. There are so many ways to showcase your expertise to the world, and I’m going to show you the most basic, yet essential steps that you can take to keep from being on the endangered speakers list.

No cynics, please. If you’re excited about building your speaking business, this is one of the most important articles you’ll read. No matter how many different formats I use to communicate this information, these 12 Positioning Steps are critical to meeting planners taking you seriously.

These steps are based on my experiences in booking more than 2,200 paid engagements. They include simple steps that Mark Victor Hansen taught me back in 1982 and the current strategies that Internet marketing experts recommend.

Positioning Yourself Creates the Clarity You Need to GROW Your Business

I believe that it’s ideal for you to have someone represent you full time, rather than do it yourself. But since many speakers begin their speaking careers with another primary source of income, it’s a transition that can be costly unless you have thoroughly positioned yourself. Besides, when you have done what’s necessary to position yourself, you will more readily attract a commissionable salesperson (and bureaus) because you won’t be so darn hard to book! Once you have clarity about your positioning, you’ll find low cost ways of implementing the on-going strategies.

Whether you’re an emerging or active speaker, review these 12 Positioning Steps and set the stage to finalize each step. Be willing to take responsibility for not getting booked as much as you’d like to be. I’m giving you the system here and once you begin to complete each step, you’ll be ready for the next one.

Taking 100% Responsibility for Where You Are Now, Begin with #1

1.) List your core competencies. Your core competencies are the source of your competitive advantage. By combining a set of core competencies in different ways and matching them to the needs of your target market, a speaker can launch a business. Core competencies are the glue to your business model. What do you do best? What do you know the most about? What are your strengths?

2.) Make a list of facts about yourself. As a speaker, you are hired for two reasons: facts (about you) and third party endorsements (of you). Have you won any awards? Have you addressed eight of the 50 chapters of your professional association? Are you a voice in your industry? What are the results of your expertise in a particular industry? What are your professional credentials that separate you from your competition? Are you a top producer in your sales field?

Are you a published author, have you written home study guides and or recorded educational CDs that demonstrate your value in your target market? Are you a columnist in your local newspaper? By the way, if you’re a beginning or emerging speaker, one of the best things you can to to build your credibility is to get published. You don’t have to have an agent or a publisher, you can self-publish. Or you can write an ebook and sell it from your website.

3.) Make a list of third party endorsements. The first reason as stated above that you are hired is because of facts about you. The second reason is third party endorsements. You get hired more often than not because of referrals…others who believe in you and pass on the good word about you. Meeting planners will focus on the results you’ve gotten for others. The more you can focus on the results that you have provided for others, the more others will pay attention. That’s why people buy.

4.) Compose your I AM, I DO statement. The advertising term is “unique selling proposition” or USP. It’s the same thing as your “elevator speech.” I’ve created a template in one of my products called Let Me Introduce Myself where you create two sentences that succinctly describe your expertise and your value to your target market.

Choose the appropriate adjectives, adverbs and direct objects that separate you from your competitors. These two sentences reveal exactly how you will bring value to your target market. Even high profile speakers who fail to continually refresh their USPs can track their lack of bookings to fuzzy USPs, making the erroneous assumption that their celebrity is sufficient, or their past accomplishments will secure their future invitations to speak. Wrong! Too much new talent coming out to secure anyone’s future who has remained stagnant. Your clarity about your value to your target market is imperative and should be very clear in your USP. This is your marketing message.

5.) Craft your signature speech. When you’re beginning, focus on one presentation topic. This should be the one that you are most passionate about communicating. It should be no more than two paragraphs plus bulleted deliverables; in other words, the bullets are the audience takeaways. This will prevent the presentation topic from being all about you and/or your philosophy. Your prospective buyers want to know what’s in it for them, not what’s in it for you! It should reflect your ability to influence others to have more productive lives, have greater success at work, reduce stress, generate new ideas, overcome the odds, increase performance and or reduce costs, etc. The more experienced you become, the more your presentation topics can be described in ways that benefit the buyer.

6.) Identify your target market or your ideal client. Craft your ideal client profile. For instance, if you are a top producer in real estate, your target market might be the real estate industry which would include all companies and all associations in the real estate industry. Your ideal clients would be real estate agents who want to become top producing Realtors®.

Once you excel in that niche, you can broaden your outreach to include a secondary target market such as general sales. All commissioned sales individuals are seeking ways to increase production. You already have the proven systems, the daily sales activities, the marketing strategies that lead you to become a top producer, so why not expand your outreach? Ask your clients what they struggle with and figure out how to help them increase their production or decrease their losses. The more experienced you become, you may even be able to expand to other secondary markets.

7.) Create a compelling website. Your site can be simple if you have the necessary elements to describe your expertise and your value to your target market(s). The eleven (11) standard elements are:

1.) Info about you/ your biographical sketch containing facts about you
2.) Third party endorsements – These can be under a “reviews” section or these can be integrated into the site or on flash pages, or using scrolling text
3.) Your signature speech with descriptive paragraph and bullets and other presentation topics if you have more than one
4.) A DVD of you in action, speaking
5.) Articles about you or by you
6.) Meeting planner’s tools – This is a valuable meeting planner resource page such as various photos (color and black/white) of you that can be uploaded, your introduction, your pre-program questionnaire, your AV requirements
7.) Products that you offer to your client base
8.) Your shopping cart – Offer your extended learning materials here such as CDs, books, training manuals, study guides, ebooks, teleclass recordings, boot camps, continuing education courses and other products that bring value to your ideal customer. A good shopping cart tracks your customers and profits coming into your company.
9.) Create an opt-in box on your landing page. An opt-in box is the tool that makes it possible to build and track your customer base notifying them of your new products, your blog, helpful articles, etc. You’ll want to provide incentive for them to opt-in by giving away free information, reports and tips. Free information that you offer will builds your list, leverage your outreach and increase your profit if used wisely. Speakers with large databases are appealing to those experts who host boot camps and educational intensives. The opt-in box is an ideal way to grow your database.
10.)Privacy policy
11.)Site map

8.) Establish your speaking fee with options for generating a profit. Fee flexibility can be the key to making money speaking in this economy. There are 7 ways to earn money when you speak:

1.) Fee plus expenses
2.) Fee only
3.) Expenses only
4.) Fee + expenses + product sales
5.) Product sales only
6.) Product sales + expenses
7.) Pay the organization a % of your product sales

9.) Turn your expertise into products. These include CDs, manuals, workbooks, teleclasses, DVDs of you speaking, CE courses, coaching/consulting programs offering accountability systems (most people get better results when they’re in a program). Bundle various products that you’ve created. You can interview industry leaders, top producers, successful managers, community activists, radio personalities and association executives and turn your passion for speaking into an exciting educational opportunity for yourself.

10.) Identify all of the possible marketing activities that you can do to attract your ideal clients/your target market. If you do something in several of these categories on a daily basis, covering all of them in a month, you’ll begin to build a stead flow of inquiries and clients.

11. Systematize the marketing process into daily activities.

This should be a repeatable process the week days of every week. Eventually you can rely on a schedule so predictable that it can all be on auto-pilot. You can even hire virtual assistance to do many of these tasks for you. No more panic attacks in the middle of the night about how you are going to pay your bills. It’s properly positioning yourself and systematizing your marketing activities that is going to make a difference. Spend time every day working on multiple activities so that you aren’t waiting by your phone for it to ring. You’re being pro-active in evaluating the success of each step and considering new ways of implementing them. If you continue to take action steps every day, you will develop a belief system in your company, in yourself and in what your value is to your target market.

12.) Make contact with your prospective buyers. Make it a priority to contact your prospective buyers once you are positioned. Have your systems in place so that you can dedicate time each week to contacting your past clients and future clients. Do not assume that you can reach out to your customer base without picking up the telephone. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to meeting planners if you’re positioned properly. If you are, you will not get ignored. You’ll be making hot or warm calls. But if you’re not positioned properly, you’ll be making cold calls. See the difference?

The path of least resistance feeds on the natural tendency of people to fear prospecting. Cold calling has become a dirty word associated with high pressure calls and unscrupulous tactics resulting in no sales. If you’re a beginning speaker or a speaker who is not generating inquiries with your website’s SEO, if your database is still small, if your email blasts are not yet generating telephone inquiries, it’s time to complete the Positioning Steps above so that you’ll be comfortable with reaching out and actually contacting your buyer, either face to face or via telephone.

How’s Your Current Positioning Working for You?

Do you live in the world of cause and effect? It’s a great advantage if you’d like to get to the truth of why you are not booked as much as you’d like to be. When you devote the time and attention to undertake these 12 Positioning Steps, you’ll have a system. You’ll know what to do. You’ll know what to say. Your telephone will ring. Your web inquiries will increase. You’ll begin holding new dates on your calendar. Stand back and watch how big your voice becomes in your target market.

Mary McKay, speaker marketing specialist, is the founder of the Turnkey Speaker Booking System, where you learn to position your expertise for more paid speaking engagements. To get your F.R.E.E. weekly tips, relevant articles and coaching on positioning and marketing your expertise and attracting more clients, visit

Thought for Thursday

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.
— Mark Twain

… or as powerful, or as useful at keeping audience attention.

Do you remember a time in school when a child or maybe a pair of children were chatting when the teacher was talking. The teacher stopped, the class was silent, and the children kept chatting. Until suddenly one became aware of what was happening ….

Then you will know very well, the power of the pause!!