Sept: Think You’re Past the Basics?

What do you think when you see an article entitled something like, “Back to the Basics?” I used to think, “Ugh! “I’ve been there. I’m beyond that.” At the same time, I usually find a pearl somewhere in the article: maybe something I forgot or something I downplayed.

So here we go. See if you can find a pearl of wisdom that will help you excel.


Basic Public Speaking Tips +

1. Do your homework.

Yeah, you know this one. Know the group/company you are speaking to:

  • their problems,
  • their issues,
  • their opportunities,
  • their changes,
  • the industry, etc.

A spin off that: mispronouncing names is unforgiveable. You must also know to call people by name during your talk. (Pearl coming) That’s huge. No, that’s HUGE!  I’ll bet you don’t know how huge, because you look at them, say their name, and look elsewhere. What you don’t see is the huge smile on their face afterward because you called them by name. Did I say it was huge?

How about this one from Harvey Mackay, the Swim With the Sharks guy:

2. Add sparkle and surprise to your presentation.

Yes, to be high-level you have to do more than merely present the material. As you are putting your presentation together, look for places to add humor, a twist, a fun fact, fun picture or video, surprise slide in your PowerPoint, a phrase for the audience to say and remember, etc.

Harvey again:

Your presentation needs to have a focused message that leaves the audience with…


3significant take-home value.

Meaning, you don’t get just to share “stuff” about your area of expertise. They need to walk away saying, “Wow! I’m going to …”

Ok, like I said, I don’t do well with basics, so …


4What do you want your audience to do ….

….after your talk? Go home? Probably not.  I see speaking as a trade: you give them valuable new ideas for life or work/career, and they:

  • Buy your book/DVD for more in-depth info
  • Sign up for your online coaching program
  • Sign up for advanced seminar
  • Hire you to coach them even higher


 5. Have a backup goal.

Suppose your goal is to get donations for a charity. If the presentation isn’t going well, shift to planting seeds for a future talk. Or encourage them to attend an event or volunteer.

As you can see, higher level public speaking isn’t simply delivery. It’s even what you do after the delivery.

Do you have any basic public speaking tips, things that you’ve learned along the way and wish you knew at the start?  Share them below.

To your Speaking Success,



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