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Great Speaker

Great Speaker

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Published by: penaisrael on Oct 14, 2009
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26 Rules to Becoming a Successful Speaker

by William Davis


© Simply Speaking, Inc. 2008. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION.......................................................................................................................................... 2 RULE # 1: LEARN FROM ECONOMICS..................................................................................................5 RULE # 2: BE KNOWLEDGEABLE AND PASSIONATE....................................................................... 7 RULE # 3: MAKE EVERYTHING SOUND NEW..................................................................................... 9 RULE # 4: OBSERVE AND LEARN FROM OTHERS .......................................................................... 11 RULE # 5: INVOLVE THE AUDIENCE................................................................................................... 12 RULE # 6: SHARE YOURSELF WITH THE AUDIENCE ..................................................................... 13 RULE # 7: TALK TO YOUR AUDIENCE... DON'T MEMORIZE ........................................................14 RULE # 8: KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT........................................................................16 RULE # 9: STAY UPDATED ON YOUR TOPIC! .................................................................................... 17 RULE # 10: IDENTIFY YOUR GOAL AND BUILD YOUR SPEECH AROUND IT.......................... 18 RULE # 11: STRUCTURE, STRUCTURE, STRUCTURE..................................................................... 20 RULE # 12: ANALYZE YOUR AUDIENCE............................................................................................. 21 RULE # 13: GO OUT WITH A BANG....................................................................................................... 22 RULE # 14: START OFF STRONG ........................................................................................................... 24 RULE # 15: IT’S ALL IN THE DELIVERY..............................................................................................25 RULE # 16: DEMAND ATTENTION........................................................................................................ 27 RULE # 17: DEVELOP YOUR PRODUCTS ............................................................................................ 29 RULE # 18: SWITCH IT UP....................................................................................................................... 31 RULE # 19: TRANSCRIPTS = SUPPLEMENTS ..................................................................................... 33 RULE # 20: KEEP IT SIMPLE................................................................................................................... 34 RULE # 21: LET PEOPLE LISTEN TO YOU FOR FREE! ................................................................... 35 RULE # 22: MAGNETIZE THEM! ........................................................................................................... 36 RULE # 23: LISTEN TO THE MIDDLE MEN........................................................................................ 38 RULE # 24: BECOME A PERSON UP ON STAGE ................................................................................. 39 RULE # 25: GET THEM TO VISIT YOU................................................................................................. 41 RULE # 26: CREATE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND................................................................................ 44

Communication is an essential part of living. People rely on communication nearly every minute of every day. The interaction between people is what helps build relationships, teaches and informs others, and brings emotion into our everyday lives. So why then is it so hard to learn how to communicate at times? If speaking one on one is no big deal, what makes public and guest speaking so intimidating? It shouldn’t be, and that is the purpose of this book. Although communication is apparent all the time in life, people get paid tons of money to speak and communicate to audiences. The idea of guest speaking is a mixture between communication and teaching. Most of the time, an audience will request a speaker who is knowledgeable about a subject in order to teach a group about his/her area of expertise. The didactic nature of public speaking is what separates public speaking from private conversations. Whether it be motivational, educational or persuasive, giving a public speech is a lot harder than it sounds. From voice intonation and word choice, to stance and delivery, there are so many different elements that affect public speaking that are important to learn and practice them. People always ask me for tips on how to become a better speaker. I have extensive experience in dealing with public speaking; both booking the events as well as speaking at them. There are many secrets that I am going to share with you which will help you excel as a public speaker. Some, you may have heard of before; others may seem weird. Be assured that the pointers and tips that I have laid out for you will be well received if properly executed.

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People get paid to do all sorts of things: fly planes, operate on medical patients, offer banking services and virtually any other thing you can think of. Public speakers get paid… well… they get paid to talk. And if you like to talk, and you think that you can either help or educate others, then public speaking is for you! What better way to make a living than to be flown to exotic places, put up in nice hotels, have your meals and entertainment paid for, and all they ask in return is for an hour or two of your time while you teach an audience. Oh, I almost forgot… on top of all of this, you get paid money!!! If this lifestyle suits the lifestyle you are pursuing, read on. Even if you do not want to be flown all over the world and would like to speak locally or on a smaller scale, these tips can help you out as well. I remember in college, I took a “Training of the Speaking Voice” class. It was not required, but I always told myself that the more speaking experience I got, the better. People learn how to add, subtract, write essays and study for tests, but very few truly learn how to speak. I promised myself that at every opportunity I could get, I would learn about public speaking. The class taught me so much about how to deliver a speech that I wanted to learn more. So I enrolled the following semester in an “Introduction to Speech.” This class taught me how to write and structure speeches in order to hit the audience more effectively. It was wonderful and it wasn’t long before I was applying the lessons I learned to my life in the real world. From small meetings and engagements, to larger venues, the experience I gained in speaking has helped me an incredible amount over the years. I have decided to include all of the lessons I learned in a comprehensive guide to public speaking. This information is a combination of lessons learned

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both in the classroom and in the real world. From reading books to standing on stage, I have encountered many different situations and will share the essential advice with you. So read on to find out the 26 Rules to becoming a successful speaker. When many people decide to go into public speaking, they are more concerned with how much they will get paid over how their speech is going to go. You must decide what is the purpose of the speech you will be giving and how will you go about accomplishing the purpose. Will your speech motivate your audience or let them reflect on themselves? Will it educate them, entertain them, or both? You need to focus on the purpose of your speech and pull through. I remember listening to a very successful business person talk about how he made millions of dollars. He said that the thought of money or power never entered his mind; he saw a way to help people out. He implemented a creative way to help out the consumers and thus made millions of dollars. He did not come up with his company with the intention of making so much money. The money came after his idea of helping people was successful. Have the same approach. Don’t try to book a speaking engagement for as much as possible. Try to find a way that you can help people, and focus on that. Chances are, if you are good enough, the engagements and the money will follow.

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Rule # 1: Learn From Economics
One of the first rules of economics is that being a “jack of all trades” is not preferred over being a “master of one.” Basically, what that means is that it is better to specialize in one specific task than to know how to do a little of every task. This fundamental rule is true about anything, and certainly in the world of speakers. You see, people want to sit down and listen to a pro talk about a specific topic. They don’t want to have someone stand on stage and tell them about a bunch of different categories and subjects that he knows little about. Many speakers get caught up in trying to cover as many bases as possible. They are so eager to get speaking engagements and get out on stage that they try to be an “expert” on many different topics. Well what happens then? Meeting planners and event organizers deal with guest speakers all of the time. When a speaker sounds too good to be true, chances are, he/she probably is and the organizer is bound to not ask them to speak. Although it is wonderful to be well-versed in different categories, it is not quite feasible that you can be an expert on more than two or three topics. As previously mentioned, it is very important that you stay up to date with new breakthroughs and information in your respective fields, and having more than three topics will have you bogged down and not up-to-date with your speaking material. Another example is this: After a round of golf, your shoulder begins to hurt. You figure it will subside after a few days, so you don’t go to a doctor. However, a few weeks later, your shoulder is still bothering you! What do you do? Most people would go to a shoulder doctor. Sure, most doctors know some things about
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all parts of the body, but I would feel much better going to someone who specializes with the shoulder. Chances are he has more experience and knowledge and will be able to treat me better than a general doctor. Same applies with speakers! So as tempting as it may sound, do not get sucked into believing that the more topics you take on, the more engagements you will receive. In fact, the opposite might be true. Do your thing and do it well. Take a few topics (one is enough really) and specialize in that field. Know everything there is to know about that topic. Read books, surf the web, and talk to other professionals in the topic area to get as much knowledge as you possibly can. You will notice that not only will it help the actual speeches themselves, but you will see your own speaking engagements increase. Keep in mind that you can not specialize in something there is no market for. As much as I love and am well read in hunting for African Sea Turtles in the winter, not many people are going to want to listen to me speak about it, no matter how knowledgeable I am. So choose something with a market and something that you know a lot about. Be an expert, specialize and get out there and speak!

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Rule # 2: Be Knowledgeable and Passionate
So now you have identified areas that you believe you can help people, but you need to narrow it down to one. The best advice to have at this point is to choose something you are knowledgeable and passionate about. These two ingredients are essential to cooking up the perfect speech. Everyone in the audience wants to be reassured that the person talking up on stage knows what they are talking about. Whatever you choose, make sure that you are well educated and experienced on that topic. The last thing you want is for someone to ask you a question regarding your topic that you do not have any idea about. This can certainly hurt your credibility and may have people leaving very annoyed that you didn’t know what you were talking about In addition, be passionate about what you are speaking of. Sure, people like knowledgeable authorities giving speeches and sharing insight, but if it is done in a boring manner, you will be listening to your audience snoring throughout the duration of your speech! There are many different ways to keep your audience excited about the topic. Some people love to be energetic and jump up and down to keep people interested. Others use comedy and impressions to accomplish the same goal. Regardless of what you implement, be sure you are passionate about what your speech topic. Whether or not you believe it, the audience is able to tell how passionate you are by watching you. Find something that you are passionate about. An audience can tell when a person is truly interested and passionate about a topic. There is no faking the excitement one shows when talking about something he enjoys, so choose something that arouses passion and interest in you. If you look like you are really into the topic and care about, the effect will rub off on the

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audience. If you seem to be apathetic and don’t care about the subject matter, you will find your audience slowly drifting off and your speech will be a disaster. Not only will speaking about something you enjoy make you look better, but you will also enjoy the experience more. So keep this in mind when you are planning and executing a speech. Be knowledgeable and be passionate about your topics. This could be the step that makes or breaks you. If you truly enjoy talking about your topic, you will not even consider it work and you will be getting paid to do something you love...isn't that the goal!?!

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Rule # 3: Make Everything Sound New
I am one of those kinds of people that try to draw lessons from all different parts of life. This one I actually learned while talking to a friend of mine. He was in the sales business, and was one of the best salesman in his division. I never remembered him being a great people’s person, so I asked him once how he was able to do it. This is what he told me: “Make everything sound brand new.” What this means is simple. If you are making the same sales pitch over and over and over again, it may seem boring to you. You probably have the whole routine memorized and are just going through the steps as you would any other time. W hat most people forget is that although this may be the hundredth time you are delivering the sales pitch, this is only the first time the customer is hearing it. Therefore, if you sound disinterested in what you are saying, the customer can hear it in your voice and he will not be excited about what you have to offer. And why should he be? If you are not excited about what you are saying, there is no reason why the customer should be interested either! Therefore, it is important that you make everything sound new all the time. Even if it is the millionth time you are giving the same speech, pretend and act like it is the first. You will notice that your audience will give you their attention and that you will even be more excited in what you have to say. The most popular and recurring advice that people have for speakers (and mostly everything nowadays) is practice, practice, practice. And although I do stand by this advice, I believe that practice can also help you if you don’t know what you are doing. For example, I have been to many speakers where it is
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obvious that they practice. Their whole speech sounds rehearsed and being recited. It is boring, it is monotonous, and the crowd becomes disinterested. Compare that to a speaker who looks as though everything he is saying is brand new and unrehearsed. Everyone knows he has practiced giving his speech, but the voice intonation and word usage suggests that this is not rehearsed or being read from cue cards. The audience will become more engaged and you will see better feedback as a result of your practices. Always remember that you should practice often, but pretend like every time is your first time speaking.

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Rule # 4: Observe and Learn From Others
When I was a little kid, I loved basketball. I used to play it all day and all night. I had myself convinced that I was going to be a high-flying NBA star…so what did I do? I watched as much basketball as I could. I watched the best players I could and tried to learn from them. Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan all taught me things I could do in order to make myself as a basketball player better. This applies in any part of life. You want to become a good speaker? Watch the best speakers in action and observe how they perform. Observe their diction, voice intonation, use of pauses and humor, eye-contact, stance, movement of arms, pacing around the stage, introduction, conclusion, what they are wearing… anything at all. Any detail or bit of information you can get on good speakers will undoubtedly help you. Those guys are the best for a reason, and if you can integrate some of their successful patterns and behaviors into your speech, you will be surprised how improved you will become. The same thing goes for speakers you do not like. Notice small things that bad speakers do in order to avoid them during your speech. Fiddling, saying “um,” or not maintaining proper posture are great examples of things NOT to do. So pay close attention to speakers you both like and do not like. Remember, there are things to be learned from everybody, so be sure to use others to help you realize how you want to deliver your message.

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Rule # 5: Involve the Audience
Have you noticed that in today’s world, a lot of the new products and services focus around customization? Everything from tennis shoes and clothing, to cell phone ringers focuses on people customizing their products for themselves. Try integrating customization into your speech. Obviously, if you are giving a speech to hundreds of people you can not customize it to each person in the audience. However, getting personal and involving the audience will keep everyone entertained and involved in what you are saying. When you incorporate someone into your speech, others will take notice of the fact that you are trying to involve others and not just preach. Those that know the person asked to participate will become more interested and pay attention closer. This is a great way to bump up participation if you notice that you might be losing the crowd. The idea of Q&A originally came from the idea that by involving the audience and addressing concerns, the speaker would not only clarify his message, but also increase his credibility with the audience. Although nearly all speakers use Q&A today, they do not realize what it is really meant for. So when you initialize our Q&A session, remember what it is there for and be sure to use it to make connections with your audience. Do not feel limited to this one opportunity to engage your audience. Be creative with different ways throughout your speech in order to get to know your audience better and make them feel as though they are getting to know you as well.

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Rule # 6: Share Yourself with the Audience
It is one thing when people get on stage, act really smart and knowledgeable, talk, and then leave. People might listen or take note of what you had to say, but no connection was made with the audience. Today’s world likes to encourage connections with people and relationship building. Therefore, it is imperative that you try to engage the audience as much as possible. Try to get personal with the audience. Talk about your life experiences, offering insight into funny stories or major events that helped shape your life. Talk to the crowd as if you were talking to a friend or close relative. Let them know about how you felt and what you thought as you were going through your experiences. Sharing as much personal information with your audience as possible will show the audience that you value relationships and will get them to respond much stronger to your speech. If the audience feels like they know you after you are done, they will enjoy the experience much more. Eye contact is another great way to establish a rapport with your audience. Especially in a smaller crowd, establishing eye contact could be one of the most important things in public speaking. It is a great way to keep your audience excited and interested in what you have to say and will also help build a sense of personal connection throughout the speech.

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Rule # 7: Talk To Your Audience... Don't Memorize
I remember in college I had to give a speech. The speech could have been about anything, as long as there was a lesson to be learned at the end of it. It was not a major grade or speech; just a five minute address and I chose to speak about World War II and the lessons that could be learned from it. I practiced and I practiced. I had the whole thing down pat; memorized like the back of my hand. I got up in front of the class, introduced myself…and then I went blank, completely blank. The class stared at me for a while, and I waited about 5-10 seconds, and then I realized that there was no way I was going to remember my shtick. So I just began talking. I remembered the underlying points I wanted to make, but I talked about the topic as if I was explaining it to my family at the dinner table. In my head I thought the speech was a disaster, but my teacher pointed me out and said that it was the best speech of the day. She told the class I was the best because of two reasons. A) She could tell that the speech was not memorized and I was truly speaking and not remembering something rehearsed (refer to Rule #3) and B) She could tell I practiced a lot. I did not get hung up or forget the subject matter, and I sounded as if this was the first time I had ever talked about it. She said this was the perfect combination and gave me an A. I am not sharing this story with you to brag, but to make a point. The two most important things in engaging an audience is practice (making sure you understand the concepts and points you want to make) and novelty (making
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everything sound brand new and exciting). One without the other will not get you positive feedback, but if you learn how to master these two, you will be on your way to success in no time.

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Rule # 8: Know What You’re Talking About
When a person sits in an audience and watches someone on stage talk extensively about a topic, it is natural for him to assume that the speaker is an expert on the topic of discussion. Once Q&A rolls around, the members in the audience will rely on you to provide interesting and accurate information while answering their questions. You do not want to disappoint your audience and say that you do not know the answer to their question, but you also do not want to flat out lie and make up an answer. It is for this reason that when choosing a topic, you must select one that you are knowledgeable about. When I say knowledgeable, I do not mean that you have read a book or two about it. You must qualify yourself to your audience as an expert on the topic. Experience and education are the best ways to acquire this expertise. For example, if you have spent years working in coal mines or have studied geology extensively, that qualifies you to be a speaker on coal mining, but may not qualify you to speak about the environmental effects of coal burning on the atmosphere. If for any reason you do not know the answer to a question that is directed to you by an audience member, be completely forthright in telling them that you do not know. However, keep in mind that the more you say “I don’t know,” the less credibility you will have. So go into your engagements as knowledgeable as possible. You do not want everyone leaving the speech thinking that you have limited knowledge about the subject you selected.

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Rule # 9: Stay Updated on Your Topic!
Many speakers are very knowledgeable about the subject matter. But in today’s world, it takes a lot more than previous experience and education. Everything changes so fast today, things that were news yesterday are old history today. You must stay up to date on the new information, knowledge, and trends in whatever subject you are speaking. In basically every field, technology and new techniques are being constantly implemented. If you are giving a speech in such a field where vast improvements have been made that you are unaware of, your audience may write you off as a “has been” who is not quite up with the times. It is very important that you stay up to date, both with your knowledge of the information as well as the experience of its implementation. Think of it this way: would you ever want to get up and listen to a computer programmer talk about the internet and its capabilities if he hasn't been keeping up with the industry for the past 5 years? The internet has changed so much over the past 5 years that information that was topical a few years ago is now archaic and obsolete. Although this might be a drastic example, the lesson holds true. Stay well informed of new breakthroughs and news in your field so that you are as knowledgeable and credible as possible heading into your speech.

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Rule # 10: Identify Your Goal and Build Your Speech Around It
If you ask most speakers what their goal is, they will give you the wrong answer: They will tell you about their speech topic. And although the speech topic is obviously very important, that does not define the GOAL of the speech. Every speech has a goal in mind. The goal may be to educate, to persuade, to motivate, or countless other possibilities. You need to know what is the goal of your speech so you can better understand how to tackle the engagement. If your goal is to educate, than you need to structure your speech in an educational manner (this will be discussed in detail later). If your goal is to make money…well then you have a long way to go! Speaking for money or recognition is always wonderful, but if that is the purpose of speaking, or working in any field for that manner, then I am afraid you are doing it for the wrong reason. I once saw a very wealthy man who made all of his money in the technology sector in the late 1990s speak. When he was talking about how he made all of his money, he said that he made it by not wanting it. He said that he never started up his computer business in order to become a millionaire, or billionaire for that matter. He started it up because he thought of a way he could help people. By providing a product that would improve the lives of his customers, he would reach his goal of helping people. He ended up helping others with his new product, and they ended up helping him a lot with the fortune he earned. The point is this: if you focus too much on giving speeches for the sole purpose of making money, you will not be happy or make as much money. The audience must feel as though you want to be there. Even more so, you should WANT to be there helping those in your audience. Nearly all speeches deal with problem solving. The problem is presented by the audience, and then left up
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to the speaker to solve it for the audience. If you are able to help the audience members by solving or helping them solve the problems identified in the speech, then you will make them happy. And I assure you, once you scratch their backs and help them solve their problems, they will be scratching your back and you will begin to see results. One of the first things you do when designing and building your speeches’ structure will be to define a goal. The goal will determine how you will approach your audience, and what different tactics you can use to reach your audience. For example, you may want to use a lot of rhetorical devices (parallel structure, allusion, alliteration) if your speech’s goal is to persuade. If your speech’s goal is to educate and inform, you must use terminology that your crowd will understand so you do not lose them. Use the goal of the speech as a springboard and use it to develop a speech that your audience will love

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Rule # 11: Structure, Structure, Structure
Structure is everything when you are giving a speech. You want to come up with an arrangement that will have a strong impact on your audience. What is the best structure? There isn’t one. There are different approaches whether your speech is meant to motivate or persuade, but you must analyze your audience to find out what approach would be the best. A tip that works well is: Say what you are going to say, say it, then say what you just said. You want your audience to walk away remembering and easily identifying the topic and purpose of your speech. You therefore need to repeat your main points and purpose multiple times for emphasis. Now you don’t need to get on stage and say “This is what I’m going to talk about.” Be creative. Start off with a question, a personal story or anecdote, a fun fact, anything! Be sure to structure your speech in a way that goes through peaks and valleys. You do not want a speech that hits the point early and then gets really boring after, or one that takes forever to get to the interesting part that you lose your audience to boredom. Pacing and structure need to be used to make sure that you keep your audience involved constantly. I wish there was a way for me to tell you what the “perfect structure” is, but unfortunately in varies from speech to speech. The best way to get a feel for what structure is best for your speech is to watch others give speeches on similar topics. Take note of how they introduce their subject matter and the various transitions they use to change subtopics during their speeches.

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Rule # 12: Analyze Your Audience
This was the first lesson I learned before I even gave my first speech. You must analyze your audience before you even begin to plan your speech’s approach. Determine who are you going to talk to. Everything must be taken into account: age, sex, race, religion, socioeconomic class, everything! Think of it this way, You do not want to put together a speech dealing with state-of-the-art technology and use complex acronyms and words when speaking to mostly elderly audience members. You need to make your speech fit your audience. Just because you have given the same speech dozens of times does not mean that you can give the same speech every time. Before I ever give a speech, I sit down and write out who my audience is going to be. Using all the categories listed above, and any other ones I can think of, I try to write down every characteristic that most people in my audience will have. Once I have an idea of who my audience is going to be, I then begin to write down different things that may interest or excite the audience. By using the audience as the foundation from which to build my speech upon, it provides versatility in how to approach the engagement. I am sure to use the proper nomenclature depending on which generation I’m speaking to and take into account any noticeable characteristic to help me connect with my audience. This way, even when I’m giving the same speech over and over again, it is always different depending on who is in my audience. This distinguishes the great speakers from the good. If you are able to adapt YOUR speech based on your audience, you will have mastered one of the great secrets of public speaking.

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Rule # 13: Go Out With a Bang
I love music. I have played the guitar for many years now and love listening to virtually all kinds of music. Since I am such a music fan, I go to concerts quite often. And since I am well experienced in public speaking, I always try to find similarities between going to a concert and going to a speaker, and the similarities are astounding! Think about it; whether you go to a concert or a speaker, you are being entertained, and you are listening to the message of the people on stage. The artist or speaker has a clear message, and it is up to them to deliver that to you in a manner that suits you. The idea of pacing through both concerts and speeches are also very evident. Before a band gets on stage, they discuss what songs they will be performing in order. The order of the song selection is very important to the band as it helps set the tone for the evening. The band uses the song selection and tone to help deliver the band’s message to the audience. Notice how similar the two are. A speaker must determine (based on his audience) the tone and approach he must take in order to keep everyone entertained and interested in the message the speaker is delivering. The number one similarity I notice between the two are the endings. Most concerts I have been to involve going out with a bang. Huge explosions, pyrotechnics, or a crowd-favorite song is always used to “keep the audience wanting more.” There are studies that show that if you go to a mediocre concert, but the ending is great, that people will leave the concert remembering it as wonderful. The last part of the experience will be what people remember, so make

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sure that you end with a bang. Once again, this can be achieved in different way, depending on what kind of speech you are giving. The use of humor is one of the most popular ways to end a speech. Keep in mind that if you rely on humor, you must make sure that what you say is funny… you don’t want to end your speech on a corny line that leaves your whole audience wondering why they even came. Stories or a summary of the lessons is a good idea as well. The idea of your conclusion should be to tie the message of your speech to the points you made, and teach your audience how to apply your message to their lives. Any creative and interesting way that you can accomplish this will leave your audience wanting more, and happy that they heard you speak. A lot of people say that the first impression matters the most. Although this is true in some respects, in public speaking it is the last impression that matters most. Remember this when planning out your speech. Ending the speech on a strong note will provide you with the bang at the end that could send you over the top. Keeping your audience wanting more will augment your speech and will have your audience leaving with a sweet taste in their mouths.

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Rule # 14: Start Off Strong
Most people form an opinion whether or not they like someone within the first 60 seconds of meeting them. The same goes for their opinion when listening to someone on stage. The first few minutes are a very important part of your speech. They will determine whether your audience is enthralled in what you are saying, or whether you will lose their attention for the duration of your speech. So be sure that you come up with a way to impress your audience early and often to make sure that they stay focused. I have seen virtually every single kind of opening from speakers. I have seen some get up and jump around in excitement when they first get on stage while others enter the stage very slowly and begin their speech with a story or riddle. Jumping around and acting exciting is not necessarily the best way to start a speech. Once again, depending on your audience, your beginning needs to match the people you are speaking to. I have seen some very basic introductions that start with a personal story be much more powerful and effective than someone getting on stage and pretending to be excited. So think of your speeches’ goal and audience, and come up with a way to connect with them strongly and quickly. The faster you connect with them, the easier you will find it to get up and help them (which is your purpose).

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Rule # 15: It’s All in the Delivery
Have you ever heard a comedian tell a really funny joke, and you couldn’t stop laughing? Then you get home, and you tell your family or friends about the joke, and they don’t think it’s funny at all. You feel a little stupid, so you say “I guess its one of those things that you just had to be there for.” I know you have… in fact, everyone probably has! What makes the comedian so funny, and makes you look stupid when you tell your friends? It is all in the delivery. Comedians really are public speakers. They get in front of an audience with the goal of pure entertainment. Some comedians have messages, but for the most part, they are there to keep their audience distracted from their own lives and laughing throughout. So in essence, comedians might be some of the best public speakers out there. So let’s learn from comedians to help us in our speaking lives improve. Comedians use delivery better than anyone. The delivery of a joke could mean the difference between a house favorite and a complete and utter flop. The same is true with speaking. If you have a great message, but do not know how to convey it to the audience, you could end up boring everyone, or even worse, offending and alienating your audience. It is vital that you use your audience analysis to come up with delivery techniques for your speeches. I previously stated that you shouldn’t memorize your speech and should just talk about your subject matter. Delivery, however, is important to memorize. Keep track of the way you introduce and talk about material, and your audience’s reactions to it. The successful deliveries should remain part of your “act” and the ones that don’t seem to connect with the audience should be thrown out for new ones. This is why people say experience is so important. The more you have, the

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more you know what deliveries do and do not work. And since delivery is one of the most important parts about giving a speech, experience means everything! Comedians are known for performing the same shtick night-in and night-out. Yet if you were to watch the good comedians do a show, you would hardly realize that the act is rehearsed. That is because they act as though their jokes are being said for the first time. The delivery of a good comedian is a hard thing to replicate. The way they get to be so good is through practice and experience. So practice your delivery often, and make it sound new every time you say it. It could mean the difference between being a crowd favorite or a crowd bust. Knowing your material in and out will help you adjust and change your delivery until you find what works best with you. Once you nail down your delivery and keep it exciting all the time, you will be on your way to becoming a great public speaker.

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Rule # 16: Demand Attention
As a guest speaker, it is easy for you to assume that everyone has come to listen to you. You will be granted their undivided attention and they will listen to every word you have to say, right? Well, not really. In fact, if you want attention, you will have to take it. Even if the attendees at your engagement go voluntarily, it is easy to be distracted from the speech and lose interest in what you are saying. Do not let this happen to you. You must take attention and keep it throughout the speech. Otherwise you will be on stage thinking everyone is enjoying your talk when in reality you are the only one paying attention to what you are saying. There are some great ways to keep people involved in your speech. The following paragraphs include popular ways to make sure that people are paying attention to what you have to say. The first way to keep people involved is to keep people involved. Call on audience members to come on stage, help out, or ask questions while in their seats. Any way to connect with your audience will be a wonderful way to keep them and others in the audience locked in and paying attention to you. Stay animated while giving your speech. I can not tell you how many times I have seen people give speeches where they seem so excited at the beginning, and slowly turn into a monotonous and boring act. Keep in mind that if you do not look and sound interested in what you are talking about, no one will be interested either. Stay relevant in what your subject matter is. Sometimes people veer way off topic in order to explain something that really isn’t that important of a part in their

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speech. Stay on topic and only go into deep detail for topics that need to be explained in order to progress your speech. My parents taught me that attention is very hard to keep and very easy to lose. Therefore, it is extremely important that you do everything possible in order to keep all eyes on you. Once you lose the attention of a crowd, it is very hard to get it back and may result in negative audience reactions. If you are giving a speech and begin to see the audience drifting on you, try to change gears quickly and get everyone involved again. Taking a five minute detour in order to tell a quick story or joke to get everyone excited again can be worth it and might even save your speech. So do not think that just because you are the keynote speaker that you deserve attention. The minute you think like that will be the minute you start losing attention. Audience attention is something that needs to be seized, so get on stage and demand that the audience listens to what you have to say!

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Rule # 17: Develop Your Products
Going back to the concert analogy, there is a lot more to a speech than the speech itself. Think back to the most recent musical concert you have been to. Chances are that in addition to the concert ticket, the band sold shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, hats, water bottles, and anything else it could stick its label on and sell for nearly pure profit. The same is true with speaking. Look at a speaking engagement as getting your foot in the door. Whether or not you are speaking for money or not doesn’t matter, that isn’t where the money is made. The money in public speaking is in selling other products before and after the speech. From speech notes, CDs, instructional movies, consultation appointments, and many other different forms of packets and supplements, you can make thousands of dollars from the sales of these products. Sell them for reasonable prices. You do not want people to think that your products are rip-offs. The great thing about most of these products is that theycost next to nothing to produce, so once you put the time in to make them, the rest is pure profit. CDs can be bought and burned for pennies, and if you sell a recorded CD of your speech or tips that pertain to your speech for $10, that is $9.99 in pure profit from each one you sell. Sell 15 in one night, and that is basically $150 in one night from CDs alone! Remember that the money to be made is not in the engagement itself but on the selling of various products. Of course, be sure to run this by event planners to make sure that they will allow you to sell your products. Most times, they will not have a problem with it,

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but it is best to make sure that they are fine with it before hand so you avoid any testy situations. The great thing about having your own products to sell is that you have them forever. Once you write up speech notes, all it takes to sell them is to open up your word processor and click “Print.” Keeping your product library new and updated may seem a bit tedious, but it is very important. You do not want people buying material with old information or techniques on it. Some people might even be discouraged to buy something when they see copyright dates that are more than a few years old. So look at your product catalog as an investment. It may take a while to develop the individual components, but once they start selling, they will soon be sure sources on income for many years to come. One important point to make though is not to have too large of a product library. Having too many products to sell may confuse the audience which might lead them to not buying anything. Offer a variety of products, but be sure that the newly added ones you are offering are not cannibalizing the current offers you have.

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Rule # 18: Switch It Up
Who wants to get sit down for two hours and listen to a boring speech? Most likely nobody, and that is why you must learn how to switch it up in order to keep your audience into what you are saying. The first way to do this is to outline your speech at the beginning. Talk about 3 or 4 major points that you will be addressing during your speech. That way, when you get to each point and identify it, the audience will already have had a mini-introduction into the topic and will know exactly where the speech is heading. This will increase the audience’s attention in what you have to say. Use the stage to your advantage. A speaker standing at the podium for hours does not seem like the most exciting thing in the world, but a speaker that uses movement across the stage to hit his audience is a lot more exciting. By “working the stage,” you provide constant movement and require others to pay attention to where you are going, and what you are saying. Don’t go overboard and run all over the place...remember that giving a speech could take a while and you don't want to get tired in the first 10 minutes! The last and most effective way to change gears throughout your speech is through your voice. Remember in grade school when your parents or teachers would read books to you? They would often use volume, pitch, speed and tone while reading the books in order to keep you entertained and excited about the story. Just because you are grown up does not mean things have changed. In fact, the more animated you are on stage, the more likely your audience is to listen to you. Identify what areas of your speech require you to speak slower or softer, and play around with ways to use the pacing of the speech to your advantage.

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Remember, the more you use it, the less effective it will be. That means if you get up and scream all speech, no one will notice (they might notice the fact that you are insane). The changing of the pitch, tone and speed of your voice is important, so be sure to switch it up often and when necessary. The more experience you gain in public speaking, the easier it will be to recognize when you need to pick up the pace or slow down. The use of speed, volume and tone during your speech could be the factor that keeps people involved and leaves them enjoying what you have to say. In the early stages before you are able to identify when to change gears, try to be as animated as possible. It is better to be considered too animated about your subject than to appear bored and monotonous. The more experience you gain speaking, the easier the shifts will come to you. So switch it up often in order to keep the audience’s eyes and ears on you and improve your credibility with the crowd.

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Rule # 19: Transcripts = Supplements
Do you ever watch primetime news magazine programs or talk shows? Well I am not sure if you noticed at all, but at the end of the program there is a number that appears that people call if they want to order transcripts of the program. Most people think the idea of ordering a transcript of the program is foolish when you can just record it or order a tape of the recording from the station. However, some people learn better through reading. They would rather sit down and read the transcript than listen or watch a television program. The same is true with speaking. I previously mentioned ways you can develop your speaking products to help enhance your services (and your compensation). One of the newest and most popular ways of accomplishing both goals is through the selling of transcripts. By either recording your speech and typing it up at a later date, or hiring someone to transcript your speech into a document that night, you can sell the transcript of your lecture to anyone who is interested. Although the initial investment may be expensive or time-consuming, once you have the transcript, there is no other cost other than the paper and printing. That is basically pure profit from the sales of transcripts. Most people do not believe that people will spend money on transcripts, but most transcripts sell for between $30-$50 a piece! Sell 10 transcripts in one night and that is between $300-$500 cash!!! Be sure to copyright all documents as you do not want anyone to steal your ideas. Using transcripts as a supplement to your lecture as well as speaking fees and product sales is a great way to earn additional income while helping out your audience.

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Rule # 20: Keep it Simple
As a speaker, you should be very knowledgeable about what you are speaking about. But knowledge alone does not guarantee that everyone will understand what you are saying. Remember those teachers that you knew were brilliant but they just could not relay the lesson if their lives depended on it? Same thing applies to you. You need to remember that most of the time the audience will not be experts in the topic. In fact, that is why they are in the audience and you are up on the podium. You need to “dumb down” the lecture topic to a form that is easier to understand for them. I have seen many well educated and knowledgeable lecturers bog down the crowd with complex diagrams, flow charts and graphs that leave the audience more confused when they leave than when they walked in. So keep it simple. In graphs and diagrams, keep information to a minimum. Only include data or information that you will be talking about that affect the lecture or message. Once again, you must analyze your audience to determine how knowledgeable they are which will let you know what you need to include and exclude (funny how everything always boils down to one lesson…analyze the audience). If you can find a way to make your material easily understandable, you will notice the attention and audience response to be much improved.

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Rule # 21: Let People Listen to You for Free!
Is it just me, or is all this new audio craze just taking over the world? I feel like I can’t go anywhere without seeing someone sporting the latest mp3 or other portable audio player. Everywhere I look, I can’t seem to get away from those white earphones adorning the ears of people young and old. Musicians are using the internet and boom in the portable audio market in order to further their careers and improve their recognition. The smart speakers are doing the same. Think of this, by making previous speeches of yours available for download online, they can easily be downloaded and put on computers, CDs, and portable media devices. People who are interested in speaking services will be able to get a first-hand account of what your speeches are like. Downloading “you in action” will give better insight into what kind of speaker you are. Using the internet to help gain recognition and a fan-base could put you over the top. Event organizers are concerned about one thing. When they hire a speaker, they want everyone in the audience to enjoy it. They want people coming up to them after the speech telling them how good of a job they did hiring the speaker. So put your personality out there. Let the planner know that if they hire you, they will not regret it. Make it easy for them to hear your speech’s topics, message and delivery. This is a great and cheap way to increase your accessibility and recognition.

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Rule # 22: Magnetize Them!
Do you know where the most viewed place in a residence is? I will give you once clue, it is not the television. If you guessed the refrigerator, you are absolutely correct. Think about it, at least three times a day (a lot more at my place) people go to the refrigerator to get things to cook or eat. Various other times, people just look into the fridge to check if there is anything good to eat (my favorite is when people look multiple times hoping to see something new mysteriously pop up). If advertisement is based on how many people will see your ad, then why not use the refrigerator as a place to advertise your services? People always look at the magnets on their fridge. Whether or not people realize it, the names and numbers on the magnet will find their way into their heads. The best way to get the magnets in the audience’s hands and onto their fridge is through goody baskets. Goody baskets are used for basically anything. Ask the event organizer if they are planning on making baskets that will be put on every seat in the house. If not, ask if you can either make one to place on the seats or hand out before and after the speech. That is the best way to get the items in the audience’s hands. Once they are in their hands, you need to convince the audience to put them on their fridge. This can be done through creativity. Come up with a funny slogan or saying that you know your audience will enjoy. Many people like to put magnets with cute or funny sayings on their fridge. That way, when their friends come over, they can look at the magnet and have a good laugh. If you can provide a large enough incentive for your audience to take the magnets, put them on the fridge and keep them there, you will be getting months and months of advertising.

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Don’t underestimate the value of such a simple idea. Chances are, even if its months down the road, when someone or some organization needs a good guest speaker, your name is right there on the fridge (and in their heads too!). If your slogan is clever enough, people will associate the slogan with you and remember you in a good light. I am always trying to look for ways to get free advertisement. After all, in this world anyone thinks they can get up and speak in public. As a public speaker, one of the biggest assets you have going for yourself is your reputation. A great way to build and maintain this reputation is through perception. You must make people perceive you as being the best, and a great way to do that is for you to appear being the best. Clever slogans or funny phrases that can be put on a refrigerator and seen daily is a great way for you to build credibility long after you have stepped down from the podium. Always remember, just because something is cheap does not mean it is ineffective. In fact, most of the really expensive advertising is not as effective as you think. Cheap and effective is the best way to make sure that you increase your reputation without decreasing the weight of your wallet too much!

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Rule # 23: Listen to the Middle Men
There was a study that was done a few years back that said no matter who your audience was, about 6-8% will not like you no matter what you do. The reason for this is because people will automatically associate you with something or someone that they do not like. Conversely, the same amount of people will automatically like you because you may remind them of someone or something that they do like. This is a very important lesson to learn as a speaker. This may not be the most important tip to becoming a successful speaker, but it is an important thing to keep in mind. There will always be some people that either love or hate you depending on how you look and act. You can not worry about these people since you have no control over who you are. Their feedback is completely useless to you as well. The real way to find out how good you really are and how many people really enjoy you is to find the 84-88% of people who are indifferent to you when you first walk on stage. These people are the ones that will gauge your performance objectively and will provide insight on what you did right and wrong during your speech. Do not get caught up on people that dislike you. Take criticism constructively and not defensively. If you use the criticism from those that are indifferent and change your routine to accommodate them, you will find that over time you will slowly grow to be liked by a vast majority of your audience.

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Rule # 24: Become a Person Up on Stage
Previously, I told you about how making a connection with the audience is important. Remember, when you are on stage talking about whatever it is you are knowledgeable about, people don’t always see a person. They may see a teacher, lecturer, or even someone that they think is trying to change their opinion (which sometimes you are). Remind people of what you are. You are a person just like them. Let them know that you have a family and friends and hobbies just like everyone else. The more of you that you share with your audience, the better received you will be by them. There are many ways to accomplish this. How many times have you been over at a family member’s or friend’s house and they want to show you pictures. Showing and sharing pictures is a great way to gain insight into how someone ticks. By looking at pictures, you will find out who the person is close with, what he enjoys doing, and various other information about him. So do this with your audience so they know who you are. Inviting each audience member on stage one by one to look at your pictures can be a bit time consuming. I recommend printing out pictures and putting them on every seat before the show. You can either use captions or decide not to. I have found that if you use captions people are going to read it before you want them to. If you exclude captions, you will be able to walk the crowd through the pictures one by one so they will go on the journey with you.

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Other great ways to share pictures with your audience is through a projector. Whether it be an old projector with slides in it or a new one hooked up to a computer with PowerPoint, this is a great way to pace the pictures. This way, the crowd will not see the pictures until you want them to, and you will be able to talk them through the pictures. In addition, this is a great way to keep the audiences attention. With handouts, many times the audience will read or look down at the handouts and lose focus of your speech. By having a large projector screen on stage which the audience can look at, they are constantly looking up toward you and the chances of you keeping their attention greatly improve. I have even seen people put brief videos of family and friends on screen to provide a little insight into their lives before they delve deeply into their speech topic. Once again, the most important thing for you to do is to analyze exactly who you will be speaking to, and whether or not sharing of personal information will have an effect on how you are received. The more you look like an average human being that people can get along with, the better you will be received and hopefully the louder the ovation when you are done.

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Rule # 25: Get Them to Visit You
There is a famous saying that claims the hardest part of selling something to someone is getting them to come in the first place. Once they are there, you can sell them anything they need, but if they never come, no amount of salesmanship or convincing will get them to purchase anything. If you are selling books after a speech, try your best to convince people before and during your speech that they should come by the table after. The reason for coming on by could be anything. I have found that humor always works best in these situations. Tell others during the speech that you will be selling books after. Tell them all payments are taken, including cash, credit card, checks or their least-favorite child. Anything like that will entertain your audience and should convince them to stop by, even if just to meet you after the speech. Another great way to do this is to offer or show something at the sales table after the show. You can place personal pictures, diagrams relating to your lecture or small token giveaways at the table for people to stop on by and see or take home with them. Once they are at the table, you can talk to them and sell them any books, tapes or other materials that you think they may need. People like to be treated special. They love believing that others are willing to do nice things for them. In return, they are subject to remember the person fondly and do nice things for them in the future. A great example is the following: I attended a speaking event where the speaker sold various books, CDs, and other materials after he was done with his speech. I went to talk to him at the back of the room where he had the sales table set up and we got into a conversation about public speaking. Meanwhile, others were purchasing his various products.

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There was this one person who was beginning to read the speaker’s authored book. He was obviously interested in the content, so the speaker told him that the price was $20. The man quickly told the speaker that he did not have any means of which to pay for the book now. The speaker than told the man to take the book home, and if he enjoyed it, to send him the $20 via mail. The man seemed shocked at such a kind act, and promised to send the $20 promptly. I asked the speaker if he did that often, and he told me more often than I might think. The speaker claimed that most every time he did it, not only did he receive the money in the mail soon thereafter, but he would get nice notes and cards thanking him for his understanding and generosity. This is what you as a speaker must understand in order to be truly successful. Public speaking is not a hobby, it is a business. Part of the business is convincing people that you are one of them, and truly care about them. By showing understanding and compassion, you will see how nicely others will treat you in the future. I am sure that some people never sent any payments, but the benefits of those that did send back far outweigh the negatives of those who did not. Chances are those that you are kind to will remember you for years to come, and in the event that anyone they know needs a good speaker, you are at the top of their list. So by risking the cost of production of one book or CD or any product of yours for the reward of being paid in the future PLUS any kind words or possible future speaking engagements is a risk most people should be willing to take. Not only will that one person be appreciative of the kind act, but maybe he will tell others or others in line will hear you be understanding. The rub off effects of such an event could be huge to you in the future as you attempt to increase your

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fan-base. Obviously, don’t do this too often or for everyone or you will soon find yourself in the red. So get people to your table by all means possible. Do a raffle, offer bonuses if they stop by, or integrate your speech into a post-speech table next to your sales table. Any way in which you can increase the sales of your products will have a direct impact on the thickness of your wallet, not to mention that you will be helping others and they will be rewarding you well into the future.

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Rule # 26: Create Your Personal Brand
In business school, they teach that differentiation is one of the best ways to gain a competitive advantage over others who are seeking the same jobs as you. One of the best ways to differentiate yourself in the world of speaking is through branding. Branding, a simple concept, is the idea that by building your name and goodwill, you will be able to demand higher fees and increase your booking engagements. There are three things you must do in order to brand yourself and set yourself apart from the competition. The first is to be outrageous. Think of Muhammad Ali. Before he was even competing at the top he proclaimed “I am the greatest of all time.” He would taunt his opponents and boast at every chance, at it set him apart from everyone else. Granted, he went to achieve some unbelievable feats, but he is considered one of the greatest athletes of all time. Another lesson I have learned in life is that in order to be successful you must surround yourself with the best people possible. That is another great way to promote your career. Once again, Muhammad Ali had a posse that used to travel with him that he called GOAT. It stood for “greatest of all time.” Although I know it is not common practice for speakers to have posses follow them around, be sure to always surround yourself with smart individuals. If you are giving a speech on bio-genetics, talk and keep in touch with some of the forefront minds in this field. Being able to mention that you work with the greatest and most knowledgeable people in the field will qualify you fast as a wonderful resource. The last step is simple to say, but hard to do. Promote, promote, promote. Going back to the boxing example, Don King has made hundreds of millions of dollars by doing nothing but promoting. If you can find a way to be enthusiastic

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and promote yourself well, you will be reaping the benefits from your hard work for years and years.

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