Public Speaking Tip – “What do I want the audience to remember of me?”

Who are you? How will you be remembered after this presentation? Are you professional, poised, articulate? Are you warm, folksy, creative, nurturing? Maybe you want to be seen as ballistic, confronting, no-nonsense, boot camp material. What message will your clothes and your grooming convey? What will your choice of language say about you?
You cannot be someone you are not, when you present, unless you are prepared to be a performer for the entire production. Insincerity will detract from your speech as quickly as a joke in bad taste. But you can present a side of yourself as the highlight – the side you want your audience to remember.
And the most powerful choice you will make is how you get that image to support your message – how you put the two together.

Confidence + energy + enthusiasm = passion = engagement


So what is this elusive thing called “passion” in public speaking?

It’s an overused word, “passion”, and yet it is an attractive concept – a person who is passionate.

Well …

a passionate person is enthusiastic.

There is a saying that “enthusiasm is contagious.” And it is so true.

If you are enthusiastic about your subject then your audience will be too.

Behave this way and you create the impression that the subject is worth talking about, worth learning and worth sharing.

And if it is worth talking about, worth learning and worth sharing, then your audience will be engaged, doing just that – learning and remembering and repeating what you shared.

A passionate person is confident in their enthusiasm.
If you speak with confidence, you give the impression of being authentic and sincere.

Confidence gives the impression that you know your content, and that you are confident to share it.

An audience is far more likely to engage with someone who knows what they are talking about and is confident that it will be useful and worth sharing.

A passionate person shares their passion with energy.
Speaking with energy shows your passion for the subject and for your opportunity to share that passion and the information.

Energy presents itself at different levels, though.

It does not mean presenting for the whole time with high energy.

You will need to go into the speech at the energy level of the audience or you will seem strange, seem to be outside their circle, their experience.

You can build the energy, or tone it down to suit.

Try to avoid speaking quickly and excitedly the whole time. It will get boring and will be wasted just as much as speaking in a monotone will.

Keep the power of that passion by using pauses, by using deliberately slow speech and by creating down time. They work just as powerfully as speaking quickly and with excitement.
Combine those three elements of enthusiasm, confidence and energy and you have passion, and passion creates engagement with our audiences.

© Bronwyn Ritchie If you want to include this article in your publication. please do. but please include the following information with it:
Bronwyn Ritchie is a professional librarian. writer. award-winning speaker and trainer. She is a certified corporate trainer and speech contest judge with POWERtalk . a certified World Class Speaking coach. and has had 30 years experience speaking to audiences and training in public speaking. In just 6 months time, do you want to be 3 times the speaker you are now? Click here for 30 speaking tips FREE. Join now or go to 

Developing the Speaker Within You: The Make or Break 10 Seconds

Generally there isn’t a drum roll as we step up to the dais or platform.

OK. So you do get a drum roll whenever you get up? In that case I am not speaking to you, but to all the rest of us who usually don’t get one.

We then have to create our own aura, sense of interest, excitement.

It is widely understood that the first few moments, perhaps 10 seconds that a speaker spends on the stage are amongst the most critical of their entire address. In fact, even their ascendance to the stage, the very act of rising from the floor, or their seat on the platform is just as critical.

We only get one chance at a first impression. One chance at that vital impact that makes us memorable to an audience.

Audiences seem to have this perceptive on/off switch embedded in their minds that is activated immediately the speaker is introduced. Within seconds it swings one way or the other: I like this speaker, or I don’t!

And once triggered it takes much, much more energy to change the position of that switch (if it can be done at all) once the address is properly underway so the message is clear: get it right first up!

It is always advisable to demonstrate an impression of enthusiasm, liveliness immediately our cue is given.

Never, ever just lounge up to the stage, with our face fixed on the floor and meander casually to the dais. Even worse is to, once having shuffled to the dais, spend 10 seconds or so sorting notes, adjusting microphones, sipping water and generally doing all the things that should have been organized well before.

This just breeds a perception of a speaker that is disorganized, careless and in all probability, boring.

It is best to spring to our feet, move at a brisk pace to the platform or dais and then simply spread our prepared notes (if we are using notes) in one smooth motion while keeping eye contact on both our host and the audience.

Eye contact is just so important even at this early stage of an address so it is advisable to do everything possible to keep the audience attention on your eyes, not on the surroundings.

They are, even at this point, instinctively working out whether they will listen to us, or not.

For this reason it is usually best to transport our notes in a matt black folder that is basically invisible to the audience while we are moving: not a bundle of loose, flapping pages that give the appearance of a newspaper caught in a wind gust.

Once ensconced at the dais, depending on the event and the audience, great energy and expectation can be created by maintaining an interested, roving eye contact with the audience for a few seconds, coupled with appropriate body language, before uttering our first (very carefully chosen) opening line.

Whilst it may seem forever, a well executed pause at this critical moment of about 4-5 seconds will almost have our listeners lifting out of their seats in expectation. It is almost like inflating a balloon right up to bursting point: the audience are almost holding their breath waiting for the bang!

At this point, for a few critical seconds, the world is our oyster.

The selection of our opening words, the first 5-10, is key to creating the life and energy that will either turbo charge or stall our entire address.

I once was commissioned to introduce a keynote speaker, from WorkCover, a key Government agency responsible for employee safety at an industry conference.

My opening five words were “WorkCover is killing this industry”.

Everyone went quiet.

Our CEO’s face looked like the blood was draining from it. I could see him thinking “what is Neil doing, what have we done, how am I going to apologize to our speaker?”

But, the audience attention was palpable.

What the CEO (and the audience) didn’t know was that I had done my homework in advance. As any speaker should. I had spoken with the keynote before the session, talked over his content to make sure that I didn’t detract from his key address.

And, I had meticulously explained, and gained his consent to open with an inflammatory remark.

We got the attention of the audience. Our keynote was pleased. Our CEO recovered his composure and didn’t have a heart attack. The session went well.

Our first few moments on the stage will often determine our success. Plan them well, execute them well and our audience response will be positive.

Neil Findlay has been involved in the business and Not For Profit sectors for nearly 40 years in Australia and abroad. During this time he has been an active public speaker. Take a moment and review his website at or his e-business card at

Are you left-brained or right-brained?

The brain is composed of two hemispheres, known as the left and right hemisphere. While each hemisphere has unique functions, both hemispheres possess the ability to analyze sensory data, perform memory functions, learn new information, form thoughts, and make decisions.

The way you use these abilities determines a large part of your personality and behavior. By the time we, as humans, are two years old, one hemisphere begins to dominate your decision-making process. Communication between the two halves is possible due to the corpus callosum and this process continues to improve until the age of 15.

The left hemisphere specializes in analytical thought. It is responsible for dealing with “hard” facts such as abstractions, structure, discipline, rules, time sequences, mathematics, categorizing, logic, rationality, and deductive reasoning. It is also responsible for details, knowledge, definitions, planning, goals, words, productivity, efficiency, science, technology, stability, extraversion, physical activity, and the right side of the body. Left hemisphere ability is the predominant focus in school and society.

The right hemisphere specializes in “softer” aspects than the left hemisphere. The right hemisphere is responsible for intuition, feelings, sensitivity, emotions, daydreaming, visualizing, creativity, color, spatial awareness, and first impressions. It is also responsible for rhythm, spontaneity, impulsiveness, the physical senses, risk-taking, flexibility and variety, learning by experience, relationships, mysticism, play and sports, introversion, humor, motor skills, and the left side of the body (the old belief that left-handed people are more creative does hold some scientific credence). The right hemisphere also has a holistic method of perception that is able to recognize patterns and similarities and combines those elements into new forms.

The Brain Type Test will determine which half is your dominant half, and to what degree. The test consists of 54 questions and should be completed in about 10 minutes. After completing the test, you will read your left and right brain score. You will also be have a detailed paragraph explaining the characteristics that are associated with your dominant side. Also included, is an analysis of the characteristics associated with each side of the brain. The detailed evaluation explains in great detail the exact nature of your brain’s halves’ ability to communicate with each other and how that communication affects your life in how you learn, remember, process data, and contemplate issues. =>