Nancy Myrland All Posts 13 Comments

Public Speakers Take Note

Do you give presentations as a part of your business?

Do you want to give presentations as a part of your business?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, one of these thoughts has probably come to mind:

  • I love to speak.
  • I hate to speak.
  • I want to love to speak.
  • I want to learn how to speak better.
  • I’m scared to death audiences won’t like me.

I recently listened to Brendon Burchard, founder of Experts Academy, interview best-selling author and professional speaker Brian Tracy about what it takes to be a successful public speaker & presenter.

To save you a little time, I took notes for you:

Brian said your talk has a specific structure with 7 parts. It has a spine (the backbone or premise) and ribs, which are the stories…. the “by the way,” or “it reminds me of” that support your spine.  He said he teaches his students to think of their speeches as 7 balls, each one hanging from the one above.  Here are the 7 parts he outlined:

  1. Opening
  2. Your signature story
  3. Main point
  4. Main point
  5. Main point
  6. The transition
  7. Your close

Speech Opening

  • The opening of your speech is where you grab your audience by the lapels. Give a lot of thought to your opening.
  • Don’t forget that the single most important religion of man is hope. Grab their attention by giving them hope.
  • If you give them a really good opening, you have them going forward.
  • Craft your opening by thinking about your close first.  The purpose of every talk you give is to get your audience to take some kind of action. You must be crystal clear about what this action is. Figure it out first as this is the ending to your speech, then go back to the beginning and build your case.
  • Build your opening with your close in mind.

Then you need to tell a Signature Story

Your signature story is some story that tells the story of your life, your struggle, something that changed your life, or something big you learned. Brian said that everyone has an epiphany where their life changed in some way. Tell this to your audience. This storytelling builds a bond of connection with your audience, helps them understand where you were and where you are.

Your Main Points

As shown above, there are 3 of these.  These are the points that support the premise of your talk.

Your Close

  • The Close is your call to action.
  • This is what you want them to do next.
  • It should take no more than 5 minutes.
  • Show them the benefits.
  • Then show them how to take this action.

Miscellaneous Thoughts I Noted:

  • There is no such [phrase] as over-preparing in giving presentations.
  • When public speaking, send out a questionnaire in advance, and find out what they expect to learn, then take time to talk to them on the phone to find out what their situation is…just like a doctor doing an initial analysis of a patient.
  • Practice it multiple times, even recording yourself so you can see and hear how you come across.
  • The day of your speech, ask your contact if anything has changed in their company, firm, industry or profession so you are aware of what is on everyones’ minds. Address these changes in your speech.

Perhaps we can get Brendon or Brian to stop by to share any additional thoughts they have about public speaking. Perhaps they can expand upon the 7 points. They have both made successful careers because of their speaking abilities, so we’d love to hear from them, wouldn’t we? I will reach out to each of them to see if they have a moment to stop by in the comments section.  Let’s see if the power of Social Media and Networking will allow this to happen.  Stay tuned….

Now it’s your turn. What are your thoughts dear readers?

  • How do you feel about public speaking?
  • What questions do you have that would make it easier?
  • What topics do you like to speak about?
  • What qualms do you have about speaking?
  • What suggestions can you share about public speaking?

I am currently taking reservations for speaking engagements for 2012.  If you would like more information, you can learn more here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly

Comments 13

  1. I love public speaking but know I could be much better. I feel I have a leg up because I can do it with relative ease, but that doesn’t necessarily make me ‘good’ at it. I have seen recorded sessions of me speaking and it can be interesting…….you didn’t just stick your finger in your nose, did you?…………..:).

    I can speak on just about anything. I seem to get pretty animated when talking about the Guardian ad Litem program I volunteer for, which is good for me.

    The suggestions I would recommend are: slow down, take a deep breath, be prepared and look your audience in the eye. And a BTW, don’t fidget with your hands or rock back and forth and then just talk like you are talking to a friend.

  2. @bdorman264 Perfect suggestions Bill! Thank you for adding them. I can still remember the 2-week sales training I had in my 1st job out of college with L.M. Berry, now The Berry Company. We were video- and audio-taped. When mine was played back, we all cracked up because I broke world records for fast talking. It was very telling. It’s a humbling, but a very important exercise to go through. Thanks again for stopping by.

  3. Nicely done, Nancy.

    Effective public speaking is an essential skill for anyone intent on building a thought leadership reputation. Too often, would-be presenters put more effort into obtaining speaking opportunities than on the content and performance of their speech. Extemporaneous speaking is difficult and risky, and even “natural” presenters shouldn’t fall back on that. Preparation and rehearsal not only elevate the quality and impact of speeches, but also generate the word of mouth that leads to additional speaking invitations.

  4. @FollowtheLawyer I love your comment Jay…very wise. Yes, sometimes extemporaneous speaking can definitely backfire, and can even look sloppy and unprepared, which will irritate an audience. Thanks for stopping by.

    Note to self: Contact livefyre to find out why I’m not being notified of generous comments like this one!

  5. Nicely done Nancy,

    I hope that brendon burchard and Brian Tracy stop by and add to the discussion. Nice job on inviting them. I happen to be listening to one of my audio programs by Brain Tracy currently. I have also purchased and read Brendon’s book. It is groundbreaking.

    What I have learned, having spent the last year as a full time public speaker and trainer, is that adults aren’t simply looking to be lectured to. They want to participate and add to the conversation.The speaker must deliver on the learning promise and audiences contribution is a critical part of the process.

    I love Brian’s outline, and I follow it, but somewhere in there needs to be breaks in the presentation for the audience to participate.

    Do you agree?


  6. @FrankKennybrendon burchard Thanks Frank! I love your reminder about audience participation. You’re also right about Brendon’s material being groundbreaking. I think he is very talented. As always, thanks for stopping by!

  7. I think a tip to add is to be aware of your physical presence. I have seen speakers who seem to get lost in thought and start pacing up and down the platform turning a speech into a tennis match with heads moving to and fro. What distracting physical habits tend to do are detract from the content of the speech and draw attention away from your words to your body.

  8. @Penny Mcguire Thanks for stopping by Penny! I agree…physical movements that aren’t natural are very distracting, and can cause speakers to look ill-at-ease and unprofessional. I appreciate your comment.

  9. @NancyMyrland@Penny This is a tough one for me. I like to go out into the audience. I walk towards people that have questions and such. I refuse to stand still but I may need to rethink how much I bounce around. Thanks for bringing this up Penny.

  10. @FrankKenny I get the impression @Penny wasn’t referring to people like you who know what they’re talking about, and walk in to the audience to be closer to them and to interact with them. I gathered it was more about people who have lost their train of thought, then pace because they can’t get it back together.

  11. Pingback: PUBLIC SPEAKERS, TAKE NOTE…I DID! | Myrland Marketing Minutes | Armada Speakers |

  12. Nice post and good tips! I love public speaking and have mastered telling my own story and explaining to others the importance of their story and how to find the message in it. The most important thing for me personally is that I simply be ‘me’. I don’t fret over a word or sentence misspoken (it happens) or wardrobe flaws (they happen!) I just stay focused on who I am and what my purpose is. I’ve been told that I seem very real when speaking, very friendly and very engaging and yet I am not ‘trying’ to be so, I am just being me. I have seen some speakers with excellent content to share, but it was very obvious they were outside of their own comfort zone and did not portray their authentic selves. Embrace you and share you, it’s the best you have!

  13. @YourStoryMatters Thanks Angela! Yes, I appreciate it when speakers, and everyone in every situation, acts naturally, is genuine in their interest and responses, and makes sure they are present and paying attention. It sounds like you have found your comfort zone in telling your story. Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *