How to Make Your Presentation Introductions Exciting

At the 2017 American Payroll Association speaker school, my co-presenter seemed surprised when I asked him, “When you were a little boy what did you want to grow up to be?” (more…)

How to Get Started in The Speaking Business

If you haven’t heard the story of how I launched my speaking career, here’s a snapshot. Read below or enjoy this brief video, recorded at one of my events for speakers, coaches, consultants, and trainers:

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Make Your Presentation a Success – Is Your Message Clear?

Casablanca Film Poster Is your message clear? Bill Gold [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Great films and good speeches have a message. Is your message clear?

What’s your message? Legendary Hollywood producer Sam Goldwyn was quoted as saying, “If I want to send a message, I’ll send a telegram.” Yet, great films and good speeches do have a message. Some recent movies consist mainly of CGI explosions and chase scenes. They’re exciting, but at the end, the audience is usually left with a big “So what?”

In a speech, the funniest or most exhilarating story will be pointless if you don’t tie it into your theme and provide a lesson for the listener. (more…)

How Can You Grab Your Audience? Expert Advice

Vivien Leigh grabs the audience from her first moment onscreen in Gone with The Wind. Wikimedia Commons image.

If you don’t grab your audience in the first 30 seconds and hint at more to come, you lose them. This is true in film and in public speaking.

Do you know how to grab your audience? The first thirty seconds of your presentation are critical, like the first page of a book or first seconds of a TV show or film. If you don’t make an impact and hint at more to come, you lose your audience.

Good movies, TV shows, and books, like good speeches, often open with a flavor scene, grabbing attention and positioning the audience for what is to come. Take a classic movie that has been a favorite for eight decades, Gone with the Wind. Neither the book nor the film opens with a discussion of the causes of the Civil War. Both start with Scarlett O’Hara sulking because the impending war might interrupt her social life. (more…)