Three Reasons Speakers Fail to Hit The Mark


A speaker who fails to get to know their audience will fail to connect with their audience.

A few years ago, I had a conversation with my friend Jeff Davidson, a prolific author and popular professional speaker, about why it is that speakers sometimes fail to hit the mark. The result of our brainstorm was the article below, which explains the three most common reasons speakers do not connect with their audiences or live up to a meeting planner’s expectations. They are still true today. Whether we are experienced professional speakers, or aspiring speakers, it is a good reminder of the continual commitment and work required to consistently deliver excellent presentations:

How to Hire The Right Speaker & Get Your Money’s Worth

Audience Applause

The clearer you are about what you expect, the easier it is for your speaker to do a good job.

You’re planning your company’s next meeting and you want everything to be perfect. You’ve got a location, theme, and date. The next thing to do is to hire a professional speaker. How do you choose the right speaker? And after you’ve found a speaker, is there anything you can do to help ensure that their program meets your expectations?

Here’s a checklist: (more…)

How to Deliver a Speech When Working With an Interpreter

Darren LaCroix and Patricia Fripp

Darren LaCroix & Patricia Fripp


Connecting with an audience that speaks a language different from your own requires some extra consideration.  Understanding how best to work with an interpreter is key to making your presentation successful with audiences across language boundaries and to expanding your opportunities as a speaker.

My partner in the World Champions’ Edge speech coaching community Darren LaCroix and I give this advice to speakers on working with an interpreter. I hope this helps you to be prepared.

Darren: The more speaking you do, the more opportunities will arise. Eventually, one of them will be to address an audience who does not speak your language. (more…)

How to Add Value as a Speaker: Make Meetings Fun and Exciting

How to Add Value as a Speaker: Make Meetings Fun and Exciting

Executive Speech Coach Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE

Executive Speech Coach Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE

By Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE

Business leaders: If you want your associates to be creative, innovative, and flexible, make your meetings fun. Here are three examples.

Professional speakers: Learn from the creativity of your clients and get involved.

A QUIZ SHOW – Before I spoke at a small meeting for USA Today, the organizers conducted a “quiz show.” This was a great icebreaker and also served to educate their employees, using questions like: “Who writes the editorial column on page 3?” “What is our distribution in Cleveland?” “What was the headline on the Life Syle Section last Tuesday?” Small prizes like USA Today pens and note pads were awarded. This got the audience laughing while learning (and had the audience fully warmed up when I came on).

THE PRIORITIES GAME – Another time I was speaking at Levi Strauss. There were six tables, each with eight sales people. Each table received copies of the same thirteen examples of typical paperwork that crosses a salesperson’s desk each day. They then debated the priority for handling them. This was a great way to find out how the sales people thought and for management to teach them priorities. I was as amazed as management was at how many different opinions there were on handling the same thirteen items.

“OSCARS” – A Pacific Bell meeting was held around the time of the Academy Awards. The creative meeting planner set up an awards ceremony and asked the managers to wear formal evening dress. This sounded so creative to me that, even though my speech was later in the day, I wanted to be part of it (at no extra cost to the client). “Oscars” were given out in categories like customer service, sales, and money-making ideas. Wearing an evening gown, I sashayed across the stage to deliver the envelopes containing the names of the winners. As the nominees in each category were announced, a giant video screen showed their photos. The first two were always famous movie stars, the third an employee. Would you believe it? Pacific Bell employees beat out the movie stars every time! Everyone who accepted an Academy Award had to give a short speech. It was innovative, memorable, and fun.

This gave me the idea for my fifteenth speech for the Continental Breakfast Club (CBC). The year before, my talk had been “Wonder Woman: A Mythical Character or State of Mind?” which I delivered wearing my Wonder Woman costume.

One of my more creative clients, Dan Maddux, Executive Director of the American Payroll Association, heard about my Wonder Woman performance and booked me to do a similar presentation at his next conference, called “Are You a Wonder Woman or a Superman in Payroll?” (more…)