Own the Crowd With Better Speaking

Brogan speaking I know you’re smarter than the typical person out there. I know this because you endure my thinking here. So, for you, I want to share a bit more about how to really rock out with your public speaking. Is that useful to you?

WIIFM

First off, I write about this often. Know why I started the post the way I did? I was following this speaking tips post where it says to start each speech by answering “what’s in it for me.” That is vital.

Know what most people do? They start with “blah blah blah about me, thanks to everyone who ever put on a conference, etc, etc etc.

Engage people immediately and they will be with you.

Work With Your Audience

If you’re going to bother speaking in a room, please BE with the room, IN the room, and be connected with them as best as you can be. I do this in Twitter. I even asked them for speaking advice. Well, it’s the same in person. You can marshal the people in a space, and something magic happens every time you do that: people feel invested in the project.

Push Vision Matched With Value

When I spoke at the Stamats event in Tampa, I was excited that so many people in the audience were really tuned in to the notion of what social media could do for their higher education marketing. I turned my presentation towards the mindset of passion. And by that, I meant that I talked up hard the future of all this stuff, and what it can do for us.

But who stole the show, in my eyes, was Brad J. Ward. His speech was both passionate and value-driven. You could do something with his speech. And that lesson, adding value to the passion, is what I took away from that part of that event.

Takeaways

The very best speeches I’ve seen give me takeaways, something for me to do.

More Advice

The most important part of delivering your speech is believing in what you’re saying, knowing what you’re saying, and conveying it with emotion, dimensions, and energy. Please put your heart into it.

And make sure you watch and learn from great speakers. Want to see a mountain of them? Watch POP!Tech and TED and learn from them. Practice doing what they do once, and then try making it your own.

Even more speaking advice from my old posts, if you want it.

What did I miss? What else do you want to tell people about your speaking experience, or what do you want to know about that I didn’t talk about?

What do you have?

Photo credit, Frames Media, who is a kickass photographer from the NY area, and a really nice guy.

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  • http://www.yellowhousecookbook.com Chris Andrew

    So true about the takeaways, another danger is providing too many. We listen to thousands of presentations in our lives, I often try to provide just one or two takeaways, and when people are still referencing your presentation a year later, you know you nailed home something they can remember. No matter how good the presentation, we can’t remember “five points”.

  • http://www.yellowhousecookbook.com Chris Andrew

    So true about the takeaways, another danger is providing too many. We listen to thousands of presentations in our lives, I often try to provide just one or two takeaways, and when people are still referencing your presentation a year later, you know you nailed home something they can remember. No matter how good the presentation, we can’t remember “five points”.

  • Char James-Tanny

    Have fun. Not just “don’t be nervous” (mostly because you should be at least a little nervous), but you should really enjoy sharing your information with others. And if you’re speaking at a conference or webinar, you’re already speaking to someone who *wants* to hear you…whether it’s because you’re “you” or because of the topic you’re speaking on.

    And make sure you prep enough ahead of time so that you can have that fun! Enjoy your audience and the rush that comes from sharing :-)

  • Char James-Tanny

    Have fun. Not just “don’t be nervous” (mostly because you should be at least a little nervous), but you should really enjoy sharing your information with others. And if you’re speaking at a conference or webinar, you’re already speaking to someone who *wants* to hear you…whether it’s because you’re “you” or because of the topic you’re speaking on.

    And make sure you prep enough ahead of time so that you can have that fun! Enjoy your audience and the rush that comes from sharing :-)

  • http://www.roederstudios.com Laura Roeder

    Thanks Chris. I think the key theme running through all of this is to always recognize its about your AUDIENCE, not about YOU.

  • http://www.roederstudios.com Laura Roeder

    Thanks Chris. I think the key theme running through all of this is to always recognize its about your AUDIENCE, not about YOU.

  • http://www.twitter.com/bradjward Bradjward

    Chris – thanks a lot for the shout-out. I’m really glad that my passion for the topic came through. The ‘WIIFM’ factor was something I learned from watching other presentations AND the twitter backchannel at many conferences. You only have 60 minutes… why should 1/6th of the time be about yourself?

    My thought is – If your presentation doesn’t give the attendees their money’s worth (and more), then you could have done better. Surely you all have $500-$2000 of knowledge, or else you would not be speaking in the first place.

    And re: Stamats, it was a team effort. I even realized it about 3/4ths of the way through your presentation that we were going to team up to do something big for the audience.
    http://twitter.com/bradjward/statuses/995002715

    Great pointers!
    @bradjward

  • http://www.twitter.com/bricknhymr Ryan Bricklemeyr

    Hey Chris,

    I think there are some things to point out as really bad speaking issues.

    Don’t Read your Slides. They are visual aids, it they have a bunch of words that you read aloud, then you might as well have posted it on the web and not actually spoken.

    Don’t over Slide. If you have more than one slide per minute of time you are given go back and edit them out. If you over slide you loose your audience to them having to read your visual aids.

    Don’t be overly one sided. Yes, you are the presenter, but the audience is made up of people too. They have ideas and thoughts and comments and I bet a few of them are smarter than you. Allow for moments of interaction and you will get quite a bit of knowledge, even when you are the presenter.

  • http://www.twitter.com/bradjward Bradjward

    Chris – thanks a lot for the shout-out. I’m really glad that my passion for the topic came through. The ‘WIIFM’ factor was something I learned from watching other presentations AND the twitter backchannel at many conferences. You only have 60 minutes… why should 1/6th of the time be about yourself?

    My thought is – If your presentation doesn’t give the attendees their money’s worth (and more), then you could have done better. Surely you all have $500-$2000 of knowledge, or else you would not be speaking in the first place.

    And re: Stamats, it was a team effort. I even realized it about 3/4ths of the way through your presentation that we were going to team up to do something big for the audience.
    http://twitter.com/bradjward/statuses/995002715

    Great pointers!
    @bradjward

  • http://www.twitter.com/bricknhymr Ryan Bricklemeyr

    Hey Chris,

    I think there are some things to point out as really bad speaking issues.

    Don’t Read your Slides. They are visual aids, it they have a bunch of words that you read aloud, then you might as well have posted it on the web and not actually spoken.

    Don’t over Slide. If you have more than one slide per minute of time you are given go back and edit them out. If you over slide you loose your audience to them having to read your visual aids.

    Don’t be overly one sided. Yes, you are the presenter, but the audience is made up of people too. They have ideas and thoughts and comments and I bet a few of them are smarter than you. Allow for moments of interaction and you will get quite a bit of knowledge, even when you are the presenter.

  • http://www.theviralgarden.com mack collier

    “If you’re going to bother speaking in a room, please BE with the room, IN the room, and be connected with them as best as you can be.”

    Great advice, Chris. Something else is don’t speak from behind a podium, and don’t just say in one place. Move around and engage the audience, even if it means re-arranging the room. At the last event I spoke at, we had a podium and stage set up for speakers. I hated that setup because I couldnt move around, so I had them mic me up so I could walk around with the audience on the floor. I looked like an idiot with wires hanging off me, but it gave me the ability to better connect with and engage the audience. The session got great reviews, and I am sure that simply moving down to the floor level with the attendees was a big reason why.

    Great advice as always, Chris!

  • http://www.theviralgarden.com mack collier

    “If you’re going to bother speaking in a room, please BE with the room, IN the room, and be connected with them as best as you can be.”

    Great advice, Chris. Something else is don’t speak from behind a podium, and don’t just say in one place. Move around and engage the audience, even if it means re-arranging the room. At the last event I spoke at, we had a podium and stage set up for speakers. I hated that setup because I couldnt move around, so I had them mic me up so I could walk around with the audience on the floor. I looked like an idiot with wires hanging off me, but it gave me the ability to better connect with and engage the audience. The session got great reviews, and I am sure that simply moving down to the floor level with the attendees was a big reason why.

    Great advice as always, Chris!

  • Chuck Smith

    Bringing passion to the subject always makes the speech more memorable and engaging for me. I’ve seen hundreds of speakers, but the ones who stick out in my memory are those that are passionate about their subject and who infect the audience with that passion. So, knowing the audience is also critical for conveying your passion to them.

  • Chuck Smith

    Bringing passion to the subject always makes the speech more memorable and engaging for me. I’ve seen hundreds of speakers, but the ones who stick out in my memory are those that are passionate about their subject and who infect the audience with that passion. So, knowing the audience is also critical for conveying your passion to them.

  • http://www.AlohaArleen.com Arleen Anderson

    Aloha Chris!

    Brilliant post. Very concise and on target. Anyone following just what you list will have a positive impact on their audience.

    Something I would add…

    Interact and Engage!
    Whether you are speaking to a small focus group or to thousands in a theater, you can carry a conversation with your audience.

    No one wants a lecture. By interacting with your audience, you will keep them awake, and each member of your audience will crave to become a participant in the event!

    Ways to do this?
    Ask questions – and take answers!
    Get your audience to physically do something – raise their hand, stand up (my favorite for long seminars), talk with the person next to them, close their eyes and think/dream of something. You can tell them to write something down.

    When your audience recieves value from what you share AND considers themselves an active part of your presentation, you’ll not only have a fan, you’ll have a friend.

    Mahalo,
    Arleen Anderson
    http://www.AlohaArleen.com
    http://www.twitter.com/AlohaArleen

  • http://www.AlohaArleen.com Arleen Anderson

    Aloha Chris!

    Brilliant post. Very concise and on target. Anyone following just what you list will have a positive impact on their audience.

    Something I would add…

    Interact and Engage!
    Whether you are speaking to a small focus group or to thousands in a theater, you can carry a conversation with your audience.

    No one wants a lecture. By interacting with your audience, you will keep them awake, and each member of your audience will crave to become a participant in the event!

    Ways to do this?
    Ask questions – and take answers!
    Get your audience to physically do something – raise their hand, stand up (my favorite for long seminars), talk with the person next to them, close their eyes and think/dream of something. You can tell them to write something down.

    When your audience recieves value from what you share AND considers themselves an active part of your presentation, you’ll not only have a fan, you’ll have a friend.

    Mahalo,
    Arleen Anderson
    http://www.AlohaArleen.com
    http://www.twitter.com/AlohaArleen

  • http://www.tumblemoose.com Tumblemoose

    I’ve been fortunate enough to present at local and national conferences and your advice is spot on.

    Truly, the most effective tool is passion. Remember, you’re not selling a product, you’re selling your LOVE for the product.

    Pay attention to the audience for cues that you are drifting. When that happens, get into your presenter’s tool bag and get to work. Change pitch, tone, movement – anything to snap them out of it. For the love of God, don’t present to your Powerpoint presentation. It is a tool to help deliver message – nothing more.

    Watch other presenters and their audience as they speak. Take notes regarding the visual cues you get from the audience. Don’t just pay attention to the good speakers, watch the bad ones too. There is much to learn from both camps.

    My two cents…

    Cheers

    George

  • http://www.tumblemoose.com Tumblemoose

    I’ve been fortunate enough to present at local and national conferences and your advice is spot on.

    Truly, the most effective tool is passion. Remember, you’re not selling a product, you’re selling your LOVE for the product.

    Pay attention to the audience for cues that you are drifting. When that happens, get into your presenter’s tool bag and get to work. Change pitch, tone, movement – anything to snap them out of it. For the love of God, don’t present to your Powerpoint presentation. It is a tool to help deliver message – nothing more.

    Watch other presenters and their audience as they speak. Take notes regarding the visual cues you get from the audience. Don’t just pay attention to the good speakers, watch the bad ones too. There is much to learn from both camps.

    My two cents…

    Cheers

    George

  • http://blog.mypersonalbrilliance.com Jim Canterucci

    Chris, I think the economies of meetings and our desire to hear from practitioners causes meeting planners to unleash inexperienced speakers on an audience.

    Although I’m a professional speaker (that doesn’t mean I’m better, it’s just that I make my living doing it), I don’t think a conference with all pros is the best idea or realistic. However, having a meeting where all speakers actually work at the craft, like a professional does, would make a big difference. Just having been in an audience doesn’t qualify you, like having eaten a great meal doesn’t mean you’re a chef. (Caveat – Like all professions there are bad professional speakers too. I realize that. That’s another post though.)

    If conference organizers would spring for a day of presentation skills coaching for all the speakers I think the world would be a better place.

    For some though, there really is no hope. For the death by PowerPoint providers, I think it’s like the guy who looks in the mirror and really thinks the comb-over looks good. It’s a weird genetic kind of thing. Jim

  • http://blog.mypersonalbrilliance.com Jim Canterucci

    Chris, I think the economies of meetings and our desire to hear from practitioners causes meeting planners to unleash inexperienced speakers on an audience.

    Although I’m a professional speaker (that doesn’t mean I’m better, it’s just that I make my living doing it), I don’t think a conference with all pros is the best idea or realistic. However, having a meeting where all speakers actually work at the craft, like a professional does, would make a big difference. Just having been in an audience doesn’t qualify you, like having eaten a great meal doesn’t mean you’re a chef. (Caveat – Like all professions there are bad professional speakers too. I realize that. That’s another post though.)

    If conference organizers would spring for a day of presentation skills coaching for all the speakers I think the world would be a better place.

    For some though, there really is no hope. For the death by PowerPoint providers, I think it’s like the guy who looks in the mirror and really thinks the comb-over looks good. It’s a weird genetic kind of thing. Jim

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Phil

    I often talk through stories. I like when others do it as well. Helps to make things seem more real and helps to form that connection with the audience, the emotional bond. They knwo more about me and my family when I’m done from all the stories they hear.

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Phil

    I often talk through stories. I like when others do it as well. Helps to make things seem more real and helps to form that connection with the audience, the emotional bond. They knwo more about me and my family when I’m done from all the stories they hear.

  • Jim Lenahan

    A good piece of advice whether you’re giving a big speech, presenting in a small business meeting, making a sales pitch or just talking to someone at the bar: Tell great stories.

    Facts and figures are good for making you sound smart, so don’t discount that. (I always make sure to memorize a few key numbers in advance for just that purpose.) But great stories — beginning, middle and end with people at their center — really stick in others’ minds. I care less about what you know and more about how what you know applies to real people in the real world.

  • Jim Lenahan

    A good piece of advice whether you’re giving a big speech, presenting in a small business meeting, making a sales pitch or just talking to someone at the bar: Tell great stories.

    Facts and figures are good for making you sound smart, so don’t discount that. (I always make sure to memorize a few key numbers in advance for just that purpose.) But great stories — beginning, middle and end with people at their center — really stick in others’ minds. I care less about what you know and more about how what you know applies to real people in the real world.

  • http://www.fg2.com/squaredroot Steve Golab

    Chris – thanks for your advice as always. You seem so naturally talented as a communicator that I find it hard to imagine you have the same issues (with public speaking) that the rest of us do.

  • http://www.fg2.com/squaredroot Steve Golab

    Chris – thanks for your advice as always. You seem so naturally talented as a communicator that I find it hard to imagine you have the same issues (with public speaking) that the rest of us do.

  • Sami Ghazi

    Thanks Chris. These WIIFM aspect of it would seem to be applicable in any kind of one-on-one conversation you have with a colleague.

  • Sami Ghazi

    Thanks Chris. These WIIFM aspect of it would seem to be applicable in any kind of one-on-one conversation you have with a colleague.

  • http://chrisbrogan.com chrisbrogan

    @Steve – not true. I just do it at a different level. Gary Vanyerchuk just spoke directly after me at this event today and he OWNED me. He was way better. And now I’ve got my goals for 2009 in my speaking, based on what I learned. Kickass.

  • http://chrisbrogan.com chrisbrogan

    @Steve – not true. I just do it at a different level. Gary Vanyerchuk just spoke directly after me at this event today and he OWNED me. He was way better. And now I’ve got my goals for 2009 in my speaking, based on what I learned. Kickass.

  • Jonas

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  • Jonas

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  • ilana

    Like an actor, a good orator brings himself, in full, to the platform on which he speaks or performs. His entire being is there, present and by embracing that authenticity, both the actor and speaker move their audiences into emotional realms beyond simply providing stories or pieces of information.

  • ilana

    Like an actor, a good orator brings himself, in full, to the platform on which he speaks or performs. His entire being is there, present and by embracing that authenticity, both the actor and speaker move their audiences into emotional realms beyond simply providing stories or pieces of information.

  • http://vur.me/davidleeys/42223587 David Lee

    GREAT tips! I love what you say, BE IN the room. So true! Will surely be back for more.

  • http://vur.me/davidleeys/42223587 David Lee

    GREAT tips! I love what you say, BE IN the room. So true! Will surely be back for more.

  • http://www.bestdvdeditingsoftware.com/ VideoEditing

    I like the most the “What’s in it for me?” approach and the takeaways. I strive to work that in whenever I’m communicating something. If you can make those two points clear, you will have effective communication.

  • http://www.bestdvdeditingsoftware.com/ VideoEditing

    I like the most the “What’s in it for me?” approach and the takeaways. I strive to work that in whenever I’m communicating something. If you can make those two points clear, you will have effective communication.

  • http://nowspeed.com/internet-marketing-strategies-and-secrets/ Bob Cargill

    Back in the day, Chris, one of my dreams was to hone my presentation skills to the point where I could lead seminars and speak at conferences about what I do for a living – direct marketing, copywriting, etc. At the time (nearly 20 years ago…pre-blogging, pre-social media…scary thought, I know), the extent of my public speaking opportunities was only a couple of wedding toasts, so I knew if I was ever going to make it to the “big leagues,” I needed to take more swings of the bat. So I joined Toastmasters, a truly remarkable organization that empowers its members to achieve their full potential and realize their dreams. There are Toastmasters clubs throughout the world — about 200 in Massachusetts alone — and in each one all kinds of people are developing their communication and leadership skills. Looking back, I can say that more than five years of experience as a Toastmaster went a long way toward changing my life, instilling in me the confidence and skills necessary for any of the public speaking I do nowadays.

  • http://nowspeed.com/internet-marketing-strategies-and-secrets/ Bob Cargill

    Back in the day, Chris, one of my dreams was to hone my presentation skills to the point where I could lead seminars and speak at conferences about what I do for a living – direct marketing, copywriting, etc. At the time (nearly 20 years ago…pre-blogging, pre-social media…scary thought, I know), the extent of my public speaking opportunities was only a couple of wedding toasts, so I knew if I was ever going to make it to the “big leagues,” I needed to take more swings of the bat. So I joined Toastmasters, a truly remarkable organization that empowers its members to achieve their full potential and realize their dreams. There are Toastmasters clubs throughout the world — about 200 in Massachusetts alone — and in each one all kinds of people are developing their communication and leadership skills. Looking back, I can say that more than five years of experience as a Toastmaster went a long way toward changing my life, instilling in me the confidence and skills necessary for any of the public speaking I do nowadays.

  • Derek Forrest

    It amazes me the wealth of knowledge that is on comments section of many blogs like this one. I think some people tend to bypass the comments section of blogs but a lot of the times they add tremendous value to the original post. Great points made from passion, fun, and story-telling.

  • Derek Forrest

    It amazes me the wealth of knowledge that is on comments section of many blogs like this one. I think some people tend to bypass the comments section of blogs but a lot of the times they add tremendous value to the original post. Great points made from passion, fun, and story-telling.

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  • http://www.ireflectm.com Carlos Hernandez

    I have had the benefit of learning how to deliver reflections (we were not allowed to call them homilies) as a lay person (that’s church speak for non-clergy) at religious services.

    Essentially, the subject matter and audience required us to go beyond the focus of a public speaking course. We endeavored to reach beyond the listeners’ ears and enter their heart.

    I have been to successfully translate the approach into my professional speaking opportunities.

    Makes it quite engaging!

  • http://www.ireflectm.com Carlos Hernandez

    I have had the benefit of learning how to deliver reflections (we were not allowed to call them homilies) as a lay person (that’s church speak for non-clergy) at religious services.

    Essentially, the subject matter and audience required us to go beyond the focus of a public speaking course. We endeavored to reach beyond the listeners’ ears and enter their heart.

    I have been to successfully translate the approach into my professional speaking opportunities.

    Makes it quite engaging!

  • http://christophermingryan.typepad.com/thewaywewatch/ Christopher Ming Ryan

    As a former Stand Up Comic (I used to work along side Ray Romano in NYC), another big thing to remember is not to apologize. If a point hits creates silence that you thought was going to make them clap, hoop ‘n holler, or laugh just keep going. It’s not a big deal to them… They just want to hear what else you have to say.

  • http://christophermingryan.typepad.com/thewaywewatch/ Christopher Ming Ryan

    As a former Stand Up Comic (I used to work along side Ray Romano in NYC), another big thing to remember is not to apologize. If a point hits creates silence that you thought was going to make them clap, hoop ‘n holler, or laugh just keep going. It’s not a big deal to them… They just want to hear what else you have to say.

  • http://www.thatdamnredhead.net Stacy

    I’m seconding @Bob Cargill on Toastmasters.
    I’m very passionate about Toastmasters International and even blog about it sometimes. I serve as the Vice President of Public Relations for my club and some people have called me a “Toastmasters evangelist.” It’s cheap, it’s fun, and it’s just as much leadership skills as it is speaking skills, if not more so. I highly encourage people to check out http://www.toastmasters.org and find a club near them. It’s cheap, it’s fun, and the only thing you’ve got to lose is your nerves and sweaty palms.

  • http://www.thatdamnredhead.net Stacy

    I’m seconding @Bob Cargill on Toastmasters.
    I’m very passionate about Toastmasters International and even blog about it sometimes. I serve as the Vice President of Public Relations for my club and some people have called me a “Toastmasters evangelist.” It’s cheap, it’s fun, and it’s just as much leadership skills as it is speaking skills, if not more so. I highly encourage people to check out http://www.toastmasters.org and find a club near them. It’s cheap, it’s fun, and the only thing you’ve got to lose is your nerves and sweaty palms.