4 Tips for Being a Compelling Speaker: Show Notes & Transcript
Welcome back to Marketing Smarts! From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini (that’s us) comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. We deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from our combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. We tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.
This is Episode #144 and we’re talking speaking (you heard that right). Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re exercising your Marketing Smarts!
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Marketing Smarts Episode #144: 4 Tips for Being a Compelling Speaker
Ever wanted to speak? Get better at speaking? Speak on bigger stages? This is the episode for you. Speaking can be a very rewarding experience and help advance your career, no matter the size of the stage. Being a compelling speaker takes lots of practice, showing up with presence, engaging actively with the audience, and not leaving the conversation on the “stage.” But what do you do if you’re an extreme introvert, are stuck speaking in small settings, or get so nervous you forget what you’re talking about? We have you covered, as speaking has become a bigger and bigger role for us and is something we love to help clients with. This episode covers everything from speaking to your team to speaking to huuuuuge audiences. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:
- How do you become a compelling speaker?
- What do you do if you’re an extreme introvert?
- How do you speak in front of bigger audiences?
- What if you start forgetting what you were going to say?
- Who is Jim Kwik?
- What is voice modulation?
- How much content can you create from one speech?
- What’s the best way to calm yourself down on stage?
And as always, if you need help in building your Marketing Smarts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at: ForthRight-People.com.
Check out the episode, show notes, and transcript below:
- 4 Tips for Being a Compelling Speaker
- [0:00] Welcome to Marketing Smarts
- [0:30] Anne Candido, April Martini
- [0:32] Learn more at ForthRight-People.com
- [0:42] How do you become a compelling speaker?
- [1:35] Prepare, practice, and polish
- [5:56] Voice Modulation
- [6:28] Show up with presence
- [6:47] Personal Brand
- [9:54] Social Media
- [12:37] Anxiety
- [14:42] Engage actively with the audience
- [15:00] Public Speaking
- [20:14] Don’t leave the conversation on the “stage”
- [20:31] Content
- [21:17] Podcast Episodes
- [23:08] Lead Gen (Lead Generation)
- [27:02] Recap: How do you become a compelling speaker?
- [27:45] Marketing Smarts is sponsored by ScottMautz.com. Scott Mautz is a popular keynote speaker and #1 bestselling author whose latest book and talk Leading from the Middle helps middle managers dramatically increase their influence up, down, and across their organization. Want your company’s middle managers and leaders equipped to foster a high-performing organization? Want them inspired to drive the change and transformation that’s a challenging necessity moving forward? Go to ScottMautz.com to check out Leading from the Middle and all of Scott’s keynotes, trainings, courses, and books
- [28:39] I hear what you are saying, but I am an extreme introvert and I have a really hard time getting in front of people
- [32:49] I want to get better at bigger audiences. I feel pretty comfortable in front of my coworkers in small settings but I can’t get beyond that
- [36:25] Clients, P&G (Procter & Gamble)
- [38:34] Podcast
- [41:33] I get so nervous I am going to forget what I am supposed to be talking about. How do you guys manage this?
- [42:03] Jim Kwik
- Marketing Smarts Moments
- [47:29] The Remington Room
- [50:49] Customer Service
- [52:29] Recap: How do you become a compelling speaker?
- [53:04] Make sure to follow Marketing Smarts on your favorite podcast spot and leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts
- [53:07] Learn more at ForthRight-People.com and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
- [53:10] Sign up to view all the ForthRight worksheets & tips for FREE!
- [53:12] Shop our Virtual Consultancy
What is Marketing Smarts?
From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. They deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from their combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. They tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.
How do I exercise my Marketing Smarts?
Thanks for listening to Marketing Smarts. Get in touch here to become a savvier marketer.
Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.
April Martini 0:02
This is Marketing Smarts – a podcast committed to helping you become a savvier marketing leader, no matter your level. In each episode, we will dive into a relevant topic or challenge marketing leaders are currently facing. We will also give you practical tools and applications that will help you put what you learn into practice today. And if you missed anything, don’t worry, we put worksheets on our website that summarize the key points. Now, let’s get to it.
Welcome to Marketing Smarts.
I am Anne Candido.
And I am April Martini. And today we’re going to talk about a topic that’s played a big role in our recent experience at ForthRight People and is one that we consistently discuss and prep our clients for and that is four tips for being a compelling speaker. We’ve all sat in an audience and seen people masterfully engage with that audience and have them literally eating out in the palm of their hand, we’ve also been not in audiences where it’s evident that the person is not comfortable, or maybe not prepared, or maybe both, and is limping along painfully, we don’t want that to be you. And that’s the reason for this
episode. Yep. And what we will discuss today is relevant, regardless of whether you’re speaking on a stage in front of hundreds or thousands of people, or you’re sitting up in front of your co workers or a core team of clients and presenting a piece of work or a point of view, the truth of the matter is, is that if you’re going to rise in your career, you have to be a strong speaker,
yes. Amen to that. And that’s the reason for this episode. So with that, we’ll get into 4 tips for being a compelling speaker. Number one, I had a lot of fun with peas in this episode, prepare, practice and polish, usually my thing, we get a literary alliteration, I just went for it. I love it. Alright, so I’m gonna start with a pet peeve of mine, and hopefully also bust a myth that I think prevents many people from building their ability to speak at all. And that is that no one is naturally awesome at getting up on stage. That is true, there is also no such thing as winging it, and succeeding, there’s plenty of waiting and plenty of winning. Yeah, I mean, so really hear me here, it gets me when someone says it’s just a natural gift, I don’t have to prepare a practice, I just get up there and I do it. It’s not the case, which is the point of this point. You have to prepare what you’re going to say. And then practice and practice again, and maybe again, and then polish up that practice and continue to make it better. You’ve all heard the expression, it doesn’t matter what you say, it’s all in how you say it, I would argue that it does matter what you say. And it matters how you say it. Because storytelling is really a huge component here and and embraces both of those things, you have to think about how best to present your case to the audience so that they hear you, they understand you, and hopefully they buy whatever you’re selling, even if that’s just the message that day, the prep in and of itself is an exercise, then comes the practice, I just stood up in front of 400 women on a stage at the Northern Kentucky Women’s Summit a couple of weeks ago, you better believe that I practiced. At this point in my career, it is rare that I will narrate a full presentation. But in this case, it was essential. And guess what, I did it over and over again until it felt about as perfect as it was gonna get. And that’s what I mean about the polish part. It’s those small optimizations that can actually have a huge impact. They can make you feel more confident and collected and together in the presentation. And you really can only get to a level of polish. If you practice and then Edit and then practice and then edit. It’s all about what is your talk track going to be? And how eloquently is that going to come out?
Yeah, and I think a lot of times too, and I’m going to pick on the word polish a little bit.
I knew you would. Yeah. I
mean, because this is how you and I kind of distinguish things. Because I would say yes, you are a very Polish person, the way that you are ticularly your words, your sentences. I think a lot of people when they see see or hear polish, they think that it has to be very professional, you have to use big words, you have to use long sentences, it has to feel very almost like academic in a way. But that’s not the polish that we’re talking about. The Polish is making sure as you said, the story is clear making sure that as you are talking you are engaging the audience in a way that’s going to keep them following through with you. And as you’re doing your talk and you’re doing your your speech. I’m more raw, like what I get up on stage, I’m definitely a more of a raw person. I don’t think you would say that I’m highly polished in the way that my presence may look or the way that I articulate things, but in the grand scheme of the impact I generate, I think a lot of people would say she’s good at delivering the impact. So I think that’s the way that you know, you need to kind of consider what’s your natural way of delivering your impact your mode to being a good speaker is not by mimicking or following somebody The else that you think is a good speaker and trying to be like them, the way to becoming a good speaker is to make your presence, your authentic self, the way that you feel the most comfortable show up in the most impactful way.
Yeah, I think that’s exactly right. And you know, the three P’s were a fun little thing to throw in here. But I think that’s right, though. Yeah, but I think you’re exactly right. It’s more of the process of going through it, right. So it’s developed, what you think that it is, then practice it, however,
Anne Candido 5:28
that looks for you. And don’t practice passively is kind of the way I look at it. Really tune in to what you’re saying and how you’re feeling when you say it and clarify as you go. So that your story gets that much tighter, which then to your points will allow it to be more compelling, people will connect, they’ll hear what you’re saying all those things, and the voice modulations. That way that you got to use the state, the way that you use your hand and your arms when you speak all of that, like, Look your if you have to do it in a mirror, it’s real awkward to begin with. But it definitely helps you to see what other people are going to see and make sure that you put in the right polish to make sure that you’re not distracting your audience. Yeah,
April Martini 6:07
I mean, I’m a huge fan of the full-length mirror. Like I remember being young and I was at this hotel, and they still had the double mirrored Oh, yeah. And it was such a godsend, because I was able to stand up there and move around and do my thing in front of this huge mirror to make sure that I didn’t look goofy. Yep. All right, number two on the four tips for being a compelling speaker show up with presents. And this is where your personal brand comes into play. And I’m not going to spend a ton of time here because we have a ton of tools on how to build your personal brand, how to show up. So if you hadn’t haven’t explored those, take a pause and do that now. But the point of this point is that you better get up there and stand confidently in who you are, which means doing the prep to ensure that you do show up that way. And this is everything from what you wear, what does your makeup look like? When are you at your most confident and why is that speaking, like I said, is actually not a natural thing. It’s an uncomfortable thing, even for those of us like me that really actually love it and get a truly natural high out of the experience. I still feel some level of discomfort or anxiety, even if it feels positively as I’m going through. So putting your best foot forward and thinking about how to show up authentically as you but in a way that you feel good about the way that you’re showing up. And then when you’re practicing, you have to think about how you want people to perceive you because their perceptions are reality. We talk about that all the time. I actually spend a lot of time outside of the practice envisioning myself giving the speech. Not even that I’m going through it in my head, but I’m thinking through what do I want to look like? What do I want people to see? How do I envision the experience being even if when I get there, that stage looks nothing like what I envisioned or it’s a completely different space. So the lighting is different, or whatever, that visualization exercise helps me in that way. If I get a little bit nervous, I feel like I’ve already prepped the way that I want to show up. And for me and I like I said I knew I was going to pick on the Polish word because it’s a word that I strive for in my personal brand. But when I think about how I want to show up, and I think this is what you have to get to to define it, I want to be relatedly polished. And I flex that up or down depending on how formal or casual the setting is. So if I’m speaking to a handful people, especially in coaching or training, I work hard to be highly, highly relatable, and then competent and qualified for what I’m doing because I need them to warm up and participate quickly. Right? It’s an interaction situation. However, on that stage a couple of weeks ago, I played up the polish in a big way because I wanted people to perceive me as super capable and confident and that I knew what I was talking about. And I had a right to be on that stage. This is really specifically where the how you say it comes in. Because if you’re not confident in what you have to say no one else is going to be either. So what I always do, and it sounds silly, is take a deep breath, tell yourself you’ve got this and if you have prepared to show up with presence in the ways we’ve talked about you will
Yeah, I like that and I’m gonna give a few tactical hints for how to do this because I spent a lot of my career training people how to speak as well as showing up appropriately with presence when they speak in April I laugh at this but the first of all say is don’t wear all black. I knew we’re gonna throw this in there because Ann was doing this to me before I had to get up there. Exactly when she decided these were all black and I’m like you know the pipe and drape is going to be blackened to note you nobody’s gonna be able to see you when you take pictures. We want to use them on social and she’s like, okay, and then what happened even when he showed up.
I literally went to drop off my papers and I walked in the room And I started dying laughing because not only was the stage black, like everything in the room was black. I was like, yeah, oh, no, I have to go tell her. She’s right. Yes,
yes. I mean, sometimes it happens. But I mean, these are the important things you need to think about, you need to think about what your setting is going to look like as well. So that you can make sure that you have the presence that you’ve practice. So part of it is in what you wear, and that what you wear is obviously in way to make you feel comfortable in the way that your appearance reflects your personal brand. But it’s also in thinking about how you want to leverage the content going forward. Right? So if we want to put images on social media, and in April is all like blended into the background, that’s not going to do any good, right? Those are not going to be high quality images. That’s not what we want to portray. So you have to think about what that looks like. You also need to think about how the stage is going to be set up. So always ask how that’s going to be if it’s in a meeting, you ask the same way? Is it going to be a roundtable? Is it gonna be people on the side? Like, where do you want to stand where the projector going to be? Where is the screen going to be? How are you going to be able to interface with the crowd and interface with your presentation, if it’s more than the meeting context, these are really important things to understand and know so that when you get into a room, you feel like you’ve been there before, you’ve already kind of thought about how you’re going to command a stage, you know where the podium is going to be, you know, where if there’s going to be anything else, any kind of props on the state, you know, if the table is going to be in an oval, so you kind of know where everybody is going to be sitting. You don’t have to have that distraction. And that doesn’t have to add to your anxiety, right. So I think those are really, really important things to consider. Now insane that I’m going to give you another two, like really important points, don’t use a podium if you don’t have to, it’s the most restrictive thing ever. It is a crutch for most people, it turns it whatever they’re trying to present into a very like monotone jelly, a very monotone level of impact. And so it does really compromise your ability to be you. And to be able to engage with the audience. When you have something in front of you. It blocks it there’s there’s psychology around the blocking that that’s associated with other thing, and this is going to be blast me for a lot of folks, but we just saw this happen. And we did Himba event, which is you need to make sure your slides work for you. Right. So a lot of people will say, Oh, there’s more pictures, less words, that’s fine. If you’re a professional keynoter, and you’re giving this this talk every week, for 52 weeks of the year, and you’d have that thing down cold. If you’re doing something that’s very customized. If you’re doing something that you know, you don’t do very often, or it changes on a regular basis, don’t add the extra anxiety by like trying to drill all your all the words off of your slides. So they’re just images and you know, the images are going to spark some level of memory that’s going to help you like it, that doesn’t happen for a lot of folks. Honestly, April slides had a lot of words on him. I mean, but that wasn’t necessarily because she was incapable of presenting those sorts of presentations is because she wouldn’t make sure that the audience got the value of what she was saying. And so they could follow along. And I’ll tell you, a lot of people are taking pictures of those slides. So that adds an incremental value of how you want your presentation to continue to live on after you’re done. That’s one way of doing that. Now, were they overly busy to the point where nobody could comprehend them? No, there’s definitely stylistic things that you can do. And in order to make sure that people’s eyes go to the right things, and it doesn’t become overwhelming, and April’s a master of being able to walk somebody through that. So those are some just tips from a lot of work that I’ve done to train other people and a lot of experiences we’ve had in doing presentations that I think could be very beneficial for folks, and you
missed your big pet peeve not having something in your hands.
Oh my gosh, yes. So that is the other thing is like if you feel like you need a crutch, right? Have some simple points on a note card or on a piece of paper that is with outside of your personal reach, do not have anything in your hand, you’ll fumble with it, you’ll get dressed to distract people by waving it in the air, you’ll hear it on the mic, you’ll hear it on the mic, especially if it’s multiple pages and you’re not sure where you are, you’ll start fumbling through the pages, it should be one page with some key salient points that you put on the podium that you’re not using, but that you orchestrate your talk if you need to, in order to go over and use it or you put it on the notes of your actual presentation. Almost everybody who’s doing this in a real way has two screens that allows your you to see your presentation that’s at your feet. And the notes slide associated with that. Okay, so there’s multiple ways of being able to do that. Do not carry anything in your hands. Yes. Thank you. You’re welcome.
All right, number three on the four tips for being a compelling speaker engage actively with the audience and I’m going to hand this one to you and
Anne Candido 14:48
yeah, so this is having to overcome a little bit of some of our fear in public speaking right which is like we don’t even want to admit there is an audience now you want me to look at them. Want me like acknowledge them. So here’s some some thoughts about how you can overcome that. And it seems a little bit anti counterintuitive and a little bit of like anti releasing my anxiety, but I guarantee you that it does. And so one is actually making eye contact when you can actually acknowledge that the audience’s there, and you’re engaging with them as people, it takes a lot of the anxiety down, right? Because you’re like, Oh, we’re humans, we’re having a conversation. I can handle that. Right? It’s when I feel like, oh, there’s 400 People just staring at me waiting me for me to mess up or say something bad that I might I start getting all that anxiety. So when you can see them as people, when you can actually, like, connect with people in the audience. And especially if there’s somebody you know, have them sit in the front row. Yeah. So that you can have a little bit of that safety where they can can be you’re the person that can kind of like calm you down, or kind of like, connect with you in a way that’s like a little bit of a safe space, your comfort toy, your car. Yeah, yeah, whatever you need to call your comfort person. That’s really, really helpful. Also, try to see it or try to get the audience to engage with you. audiences don’t like to be talked at, for a very like long amount of time. I mean, just go back to all your college lectures and stuff, we just sit there for 15 minutes and listen to a professor like basically just lecture to you for like, nobody really likes that. Also, it helps people just psychologically start to kind of drown out what’s being said, it starts to kind of sound like white noise. So add in affirmations as you’re going along, even if you can’t really see the people what’s going on. So that’s where you have to kind of play it a little bit and plan for it a little bit ahead of time, where if you can’t see him, and it is a little bit more interactive in the groups a little bit smaller, you can solicit feedback. If you can’t see them, then you just make comments like, you guys get me falling along. Yes, like me, if you watch any of Tony Robbins and stuff, he says that all the time. It’s like he makes a statement. If he’s not hearing me, he goes, yes. And everybody says yes, because it gets the energy back up, it gets everybody re engaged and focused on him, you’ll crack a joke, like use some humor in order to just kind of break in and create some levity within it. Now, if it’s a very, super serious topic, obviously, that doesn’t work. But for 90% of the other ones, you know, using some of that humor, or some of that levity can help to kind of give you some of these ups and downs in the presentation that kind of keeps people engaged. And so it doesn’t start to feel again, like that white noise piece. But be careful not to get distracted either. That can always happen when you see somebody getting up and walking over this time versus doing this and some persons over there doing that, or they’re chatting to your friend like what are you talking about? You’re talking about me? Do they not like my presentations, that’s something I just said. So those can also be a little bit of detriment when you’re when you’re up there. And I said, see the last one, and this is things that I remind myself too, is like, don’t rush through it, especially you I mean, they brought this conversation. For her presentation, I was like, It’s a little long, I feel like you’re gonna rush through it, make it you have to give it time to breathe. So don’t feel like you have to push it all the way through. So again, I guess that’s a statement of making sure your your presentation is the appropriate length, don’t try to push too much in a short period of time, or try to condense and think you’re gonna get through it all. Give it time to breathe, make sure that you have that time to move from one point to the next ask for input if you need to, or law for questions. And I think those are where I think is the my tools for engaging actively with the audience.
April Martini 18:35
Yeah, I mean, I think that that’s all right. And I think that the really good thing to internalize here is that the audience can be a helpful support to you, because I think what you said is spot on, which is that people are like, they want to pretend that they’re just talking to an empty room, I think Yeah. And I think that that’s one of the easiest ways to psych yourself out be unnatural, get distracted, get off track is when you’re avoiding it. And that quickly as possible. Yes, exactly. And so I think that all of these things are counter to what people that don’t speak, think. But if you embrace them, it really does take the pressure off. And I think that if you can get them to engage in any way, that’s a huge win. And they will help give you cues to help you be successful in the moment if you’re paying attention. Right? So if people start to check their phones or something that’s not a good one, right? It indicates that they’re distracted or whatever, but that can cue you to move along or to make a joke or change course or ask a question, you know, so it is meant to be more interactive, regardless of size or who you’re presenting to, the more that you can get people To participate, the better off the whole thing will be, but you will feel better because you don’t feel like you’re caring at all. Yeah, I think that’s right. All right. The fourth and final tip for being a compelling speaker is don’t leave the conversation on the stage. And this is Anne’s jam. So I’m gonna give this to her. Yeah,
it’s kind of goes back to the point of being mindful that you’re going to create content from a lot of these things that you do. And so you want to be mindful of how that content is going to be generated, as well as what it’s going to look like. So that’s kind of case in point here. But I think what we want to make sure everybody realizes is that it doesn’t matter the size of the group, if you miss tremendous opportunity, if you don’t think about what’s next. All right, whether you’re presenting in a meeting, whether or not you’re doing a pitch, whether or not you are doing a talk to a small group or doing a talk to a big group, you do think about what the objective is in that moment, but also what the opportunity is to create additional value after it right. So some of the ways that you can do this and in order to create that value, and it depends on what your ultimate goal is. You can do handouts or homework assignments to continue people’s thinking, we do this all the time we do it for all of our podcast episodes, we did it within your speech that you did at the at the Chamber event, it gives somebody something to think about reflect upon when they are gone from that particular event. You could also send out reminders about that if you have access to the group, it’s like, Hey, have you had a chance to think about your homework or the handout that we’ve presented was coming up for you, if you’re struggling with it, get back with us, like we’re happy to do a coaching session talk you through it. So you can turn it into some lead gen in that point, by continuing to have the conversation and continue to build a relationship. You can promo future events, engagements are our next steps. So you might have something that you are using this as a lead gen tool in order to go promote something bigger. Even if you don’t know what that other thing is, you can continue to start building your email list, you can continue to build that advocacy, you can continue to build those relationships so that when you do have the bigger event, you have a list of people that you can go to. So that’s another one asking for feedback in the moment if applicable, this makes sense or on what people want next. So that’s another big one is how do you continue the momentum of this? How do you continue to generate the buzz and keep the buzz going? So ask them what they liked what they didn’t? Like? How do you refine it going forward? Is it something else you want to do? Is there something else another way you want to remain connected, you can send out surveys to get that information more quantitatively if if that’s easier for you. We talked about social media posting an engagement, it’s really important to show how you’re showing up especially if you’re a business or a person who you’re trying to promote your speaking or your or what your business or your personal consultancy, if you will, what they do and how that this is applicable to that, where and how to best contact you. Again, this is always a way of being able to generate lead gen and being able to continue those interactions in those that engagement. And then a call to action to sign up for your thing like that always can be a very tactical way to put all this together. So it basically what we’re saying is just spend a lot of time prepping for delivering whatever this is. And you need to assume the credit for that in the moment. But you also want people to continue to engage with you. So you really need to think about what that looks like in that ecosystem so that you can continue to make these things work hard for you. So they’re not sitting in an isolated event space that has a beginning and an end. That’s the point of actually going and reaching out and speaking is kind of a form of business networking to some extent. So make it work as hard for you as you can.
Yeah, and I would just add that this is another way to make yourself lean into doing these things more if there are other benefits, right. So Andrew mentioned the ecosystem. And I think if this isn’t the sole time that people are going to see you or interact with you. And there’s other ways that’s going to happen, then I think you can again, take some of the pressure off of like this is one in a series of things, right. And then on the other side, I think if you start to build a community or an audience or whatever, that or even a profile the type of people that you’re speaking to, number one, it can help you customize and look savvier because the content is anticipated or built for them. But on the other side, again, it becomes more comfortable because you’re familiar, right in some way. And I do think that this is a big one where people like are just so myopically focused on the fact that they have to give a presentation, whatever that looks like, did everything else kind of falls away. Whereas if you think about it as just something in the scheme of things, it helps you orient it to okay and actually like It can work harder for me, there’s a lot more legs to it. I can provide other things, all of that. Because you’re right, it is one of the primary ways that you can sell new business and get new clients. And you know, I mean, that’s a huge reason on why we participated in that summit. It’s like we’ve been members, we have been presented before, it was like, Okay, well, we’ve now solidified exactly what our offerings are, and could be, and we’re having, you know, forthright women launch all these reasons that tick the box, I love doing it, but it’s a considerable investment. So think about what you want out of it, or what it could potentially lead to, so that you can think about it bigger picture than just that speech.
And I think that’s a really good point, because some of the new opportunities may not be paid opportunities, they might be a direct opportunity to to deliver or grow revenue in the moment, but they may have a lot of other value added benefit, that may not even come to life in that moment. They may come to life, weeks, months down the pike, right? So you might say, I don’t even know why I’m gonna go talk to these 10 people, this one group, I mean, what is that going to get for me now? Well, what it gets for you is it gets you in front of people to practice, first of all, because sometimes it’s better to practice and for the smaller groups and refine your whole style, as well as your content. It gets you in that atmosphere and in that environment, that people are actually listening to what you have to say. So you’re going your thought leadership, your credibility, reputation, you get to use it on social. So you can say that you’ve been doing some speaking events. And these people thought you were valuable enough in order to bring to their event. There’s a gazillion different ways that you can drive value, even though you’re not getting paid money. And I’m not saying that you should always do it for free. But you should consider that there is a ton of value added benefit outside of just getting paid to speak which a professional keynoter obviously gets paid to speak. But most of us aren’t professional keynote. We’re doing it for other reasons,
right? We don’t make our whole revenue on that, right? Yeah. All right. So just to recap, four tips for being a compelling speaker. Number one, prepare, practice, and polish. We don’t care what anybody says, No one can get up and successfully, wing it and give a slam dunk presentation. Number two, show up with presence. Leverage your personal brand and do what you can to make yourself comfortable and confident. Number three, engage actively with audience take your cues from them while you’re on stage or in front of them to ensure that they are tracking with you. Number four, don’t leave the conversation on the stage leave people with something to think about or work on, or how to get in touch with you to continue the conversation beyond that moment. And our next segment is in the trenches where we give real world examples specific to industries and situations but with broad application, so any of you listening can digest them and put them into action. Number one, I hear what you’re saying. But I am an extreme introvert and I really have a hard time getting in front of people. To which I say in my very forthright way do you want to rise in your career, then you better get over it? Sure, extrovert. But seriously, though, being an introvert is not an out. There are plenty of people that are masterful speakers, and then also self professed introverts. So our recommendation goes back to the personal brand here and establishing really specifically how you want to show up. And then following the recommendations we’ve given you in this episode. Also, you don’t have to conquer a stage of hundreds or 1000s on your first presentation, right? You can start small, you can get up in front of four or five people you can talk about subject matter that you know cold as your first presentation, you can practice in a safe space to make yourself feel more comfortable with people you trust, or just your own mirror. So you can see physically how you’re showing up and gauge how to manage that versus how you want to appear. You can take a class. Toastmasters is one that’s thrown around often to get yourself more comfortable and also feel like you have tools in your toolkit for how to do it effectively. I mean, and if you can’t hold yourself accountable for doing it, then have someone else hold you accountable. I mean, we have done this plenty of times with different folks. But I think the for those of us that really have a fear of this or haven’t done a lot of it or don’t have a lot of practice or really understand how to get up and speak and haven’t been through education on that. copping out is the natural tendency. So if you’re not going to it’ll hold yourself accountable, then find someone who will and who will help you navigate so that you can start to take some of the steps that we’ve said and not feel so consumed by your fear and anxiety about doing it.
Yes, and I think the other point that I would say here is that you don’t have to be a quote unquote, professional right out of the gate. Yeah, exactly. You can make take this and baby steps into the point where you feel comfortable. So I’ll use an example of a recent event that we were at. And the person who is speaking, got up and she just started reading her speech. I was like, Oh, this isn’t going to go, well, like, it’s just going to just read this, but then she would stop. And then she would interject her own personal points of view her own personal stories. I was like, this is working. Yeah, it’s actually working. You know. And so what I stated as like, everybody was saying, like, Oh, my God, you just can’t screw up their speech. And you know, she’s a little bit newer to this. She’s trying to still trying to get comfortable with it. And that was her way and making sure that she was able to deliver a very compelling message in a, I’ll use April’s where the polished way, in in vivo, able to lead that credibility that she wanted to learn, and it makes sure that she did, right by the actual event. Yes. Now, is that the way that she’s going to probably do going forward forever? No, I mean, but it was the way that she did it in the moment, but she was very conscientious about making sure she brought in her own stories along the way. So I say that just to say, like, you know, like I said, you don’t have to get up there and be a professional keynoter on day one, and think that you’re going to be the master of being able to do the image slides and be able to convey the whole entire story and hold presence for an hour like, that is a lot to ask somebody to do. And it’s a lot to expect of yourself, especially if you’re brand new. So just give yourself some grace and kind of ease your way into it. And then don’t feel bad about it. Yeah,
I mean, I think that’s the whole thing, right? That the rules are that there are no rules as as far as what your style can be, which is why we push on defining your personal brand and how you want to show up, right? You can make those choices for yourself. And I think you’re exactly right. Is that the way I would have done it? No. But as she started going, I was like, holy cow. This is working. And the vulnerability of that opened up the entire room. So yeah, there you go. Yep. All right. Number two in the trenches, I want to get better at bigger audiences. I feel pretty comfortable in front of my co workers in small settings, but I can’t get beyond that. First, I want to say congratulations on mastering getting to this point. As we’ve discussed, it’s no small feat, and it should be commended. Because as we’ve said, there’s plenty of people that just won’t do it in any sort of way or setting. Right. So you’ve definitely got some ground under you and have found success. I think, unfortunately, the issue is comfortability and becoming too comfortable, which is what makes it hard in our experience to go to the next step. So to the points we’ve made today, and maybe some that we have it that taking a small step that we just talked about the small next step. So do you present to a similar size in a similar setting, but outside of coworkers and clients? Do you sign up to speak at a university to a student class that may be bigger, but they may not be as experienced, so it doesn’t feel as daunting? Is there in all company event that gives you a bigger audience on a topic that you’ll have to prep for but still feels in your wheelhouse? Or where you are comfortable speaking? Do you start to go on new business pitches, so your audience expands beyond the people that you know, it’s all about being strategic in? Well, what’s your end goal is, which is whatever size or whatever stage you are trying to get to? And then what skills or experiences do you need to build to get there? I’m always a big fan of doing the next thing, because then the thing before won’t be as hard, right? So it’s like, okay, if I speak typically very comfortably in front of 10 people, okay, well, I’m gonna go to 20. And I’m gonna change this one thing about it, right. So stepping into it that way, because once you’ve accomplished the next, then your skills build on top of each other, and it makes it easier to do all the things that came before, we don’t recommend making the leap from four to 400. I will tell you that from my experience, I was trained, I mean, we had like actual training in the agency world. Because if you cannot present you will not move forward to the points we’ve made. Like you literally can’t get promoted if you don’t know how to speak and tell the story of the work and sell it. So there’s that but the way we were always started was we would take whatever training it was, and then we would only be allowed to present internally, which actually I have to say is sometimes harder because you do know the people that say that sometimes it’s harder. So that was part of the reason, right? So then if you could do that and you were good at it, then you could go on to the clients, right? And then from there, it was like okay, the size of client got bigger and bigger and bigger, right. So the audience got bigger. There are still pivotal moments, and that’s why I think it’s so important to build on the experience with intention that I can remember is like I cannot believe I have Do this moments. One of mine was we were in California with Aussie haircare for P&G, and it was one of the brands summit. So there was, I don’t know, 100 people in the room, and I had to get up with another co worker who definitely hated this kind of stuff. And, you know, and I like it. But still, that was the first time, right. And so together, we kind of co-gave this presentation. But that was the first time for me in a room of that size, right. And I kind of had to carry the situation a little bit because she was not comfortable at all. But those things slowly started to build. And I didn’t jump from presenting to a couple clients in our office to 100 people for P&G, right, the progression was, I was allowed to present to clients in the office, then I would go on new business pitches, and there might be a table full of people plenty, you know, and so it like gradually started to grow to the point where the belief was that I believed I could do it. And you know, my employer believed that I could do it, it wasn’t just like, turn it on, snap your fingers. And suddenly, I can present anyone of any size about anything and do it masterfully. Yeah, I
think those are all good points. And I reflect back to my introverted self, because I am one of those introverts that didn’t really care for presenting a whole lot like I could present work. And I liked it in a small roundtable format. But as soon as I had to get up in front of like, our executive board or anything like that, I like, Oh, what do these people are going to think of me? And they’re going to start judging me based on this? And if I don’t do well, then that’s going to reflect on my contributions in you know, then they’re gonna want to get me training. And I’m like, No, then you just kind of start down in that spiral, right. So I have found as I was starting to her, try to make myself get comfortable with it, I would take small parts of a bigger presentation. Very good point, right. So you take a couple of slides that you would talk about, it’d be stuff that you know, you feel comfortable talking about without having to do the full thing and being able to regurgitate it all from start to finish and have to hold the room the whole entire time, you could do a couple of the slides, and I still do some respect do this with you and me, were like, Hey, you do the intro, you set it up. Because after a certain timeframe, like I get tired of talking, I just do you know, I able to do it when I because I’m a speaker and I have to do it for three hours. But even with that I build in breaks that allow for conversation that allow for an exercise that allow for something else. So I don’t have to talk for that long. So even if that’s kind of if you’re if you’re kind of with me, you’re kind of feeling my vibe, you just don’t I mean, it’s kind of funny to say that I don’t really like to talk that long. But we have a bike, and we have a podcast. But we intentionally break it up, right. So that’s it, because I told you, Mike, I don’t like to talk that long. So if that’s your jam, too, then you need to build that in and start with those and then start to increase the length of time that you’re actually presenting. And then you actually then will do the hard part, which is the intro on the setup, which is usually the harder part right, and then you can maybe you get into a little bit more of sharing the work and sharing or sharing somebody else’s work, something you’re not as familiar with, so that you can build that skill. So it’s really about building skills, which builds the competency so that when you see something, you feel that you can talk about it no matter what it is, because that mindset is stuck in your brain of like, okay, I know how to then be able to communicate in an effective way. Regardless if this is my staff or somebody else’s stuff, or whatever that might be. And that helps you also, in a pinch, if for some reason, someone so is sick that day, or they think their kid’s gonna throw up and then you might have to take over for him and you kind of experience going through the presentation, just making sure that you’re going to do it let you know, do it justice, like the other person was going to do it. So that’s all part of the skills, it takes some time. But like I said, the way that I kind of worked my way through it was by asking to do smaller parts. So I knew that my time was gonna be like, limited five minutes, 10 minutes, I get to do my part, and then I get to be done.
Yeah, I mean, I think that that is a really, really great point. And I think it’s something that if you asked for it, it normally will be accommodated. If not, then people will lean on you to do more than you’re probably comfortable with. I think that’s a really good one. I mean, one of the things that I would always tell, especially younger people was I know you’re having tremendous anxiety about this, but we’ve purposely given you the three slides that even if you fumble over them completely, they’re not the make or break of things and we grate it up, we can clean it up. We’re here to support you all those kinds of things. I think you’re right. It’s about building the skills and it’s also about like, sometimes it’s just getting over the hump and feeling like you have support and you have people that are saying I’ve been there too. And this is how you can Go and do it and be better, serviceable, whatever, even if you don’t love it.
Yeah. And as I say one more thing, too is another way to really kind of get your feet wet here is to be part of a panel. Yeah, yes. So instead of having to actually speak on a set piece of content as people expect you to
present Well, yeah.
Panels are a little bit more impromptu, even though some of the questions are scripted. But you’re not necessarily expected to have scripted answer. So you can have that exercise of being in front of people answering questions, which are generally about you or about your thoughts. So there’s no right or wrong answer there. And you could just get more comfortable with that environment. without it having to be about the content.
Yeah. Because they’re asking about you and your experience. Yeah, you’re right. There is no wrong answer. Yeah, it’s just you. Yeah. All right. The third and final in the trenches question, I get so nervous that I’m going to forget what I’m supposed to talk about. How do you guys manage this? And I’ll let you take this one.
Anne Candido 41:00
Yeah. So this is a big one. And I think this is probably one of my biggest fears. I’m like, I’m gonna get on stage. I’m like, What was I talking about? Again, because like I said, I don’t like to talk a whole lot, right. So there’s a couple of skills and tools that I have used in order to help me one as I recommend Jim Kwik. His story is he had a brain injury when he was young. And so he had a whole lot of trouble developing speech and cognitive learning and memory. So he’s come up with a huge suite of tools, and some A’s and tricks of being able to memorize and regurgitate stories in speeches in a way that is very easy to adapt and learn. So one tool, and again, I’m stealing this firm from Jim, saying that his mind is that you use your parts of your body and you associate the parts of the body with different points of your speech. So if your top of your head is my intro, and I want to make sure I get through this point, my shoulders then become a different point. So you start skinning your body. And that helps you keep track of where you are in random order and your story, right. So that really just helps give you another pneumonic that allows you’re very easily and simply to transfer down through the story versus Okay, I have to memorize all the points in my story, right and hit other tricks like that. It’s they actually work really well about memorizing lists and how you memorize lists. Very similar. So I suggest you check him out. Again, I’ll say rely on your slides. I know what people say. But it’s better to have the words on your slides and have you be able to follow your presentation, your speech or whatever you’re presenting and not lose your plays versus like. Like, just totally fumble on stage and totally like, come down to an anxiety spiral. So make your slides work for you. But don’t read them. Don’t read them. But if you have to in order to get your place back or you have to like what we were talking about for that the other person we were talking about who gave us their narrative, do it like do it in that moment until you are ready to pick it back up. Right? It’s because I sometimes I think we overthink things sometimes, but it’s better if you don’t read them agree. Again, frame it up. Like you’re telling a story. This helps you remember where you’re in the story, then a bunch of disparate facts or points. So that’s one thing that I always think about like, Okay, how would I want to explain this and in an order that would make sense for me to talk about it, which also ironically translates to usually a format that is easy for people to understand and integrate and relate to. So it works double duty there. And like I said, if you need to have one card or piece of paper with key prompts, but don’t hold it, and practice how you’re going to engage with it on the stage. Good, really good point, right? Like I said, Because I I really don’t want you guys standing behind podiums. You always if you’re going to give a speech, ask for a lavalier mic, or else we’re probably will default to a handheld. That’s also very awkward, because especially if you had 10 Be very expressive with your hands, which I am, that mic starts going everywhere, then nobody can pay attention because they can’t hear you. And that gets very distracting. And then you feel very awkward having a hold a mic like you’re freaking Taylor Swift singing. It’s just not it’s just not a really conducive way to giving a very compelling speech. So
April Martini 44:22
yeah, and just a couple to add, from my perspective, if you do lose your place, try not to let it rattle. You own it with as much grace as you can, because it happens. Yeah, the worst thing you can do is continue to unravel as a result of it happening. So if you have to take a deep breath or you know, do something like what was I talking about again, or you know, something that is going to help you get back into it, the more the quicker you can get your head back in, the better. And the other thing I would say is it’s just another plug for practicing. I’ll be really honest that when I first started to present a lot of times I was the baby in a room of pretty senior folks. We It was a huge opportunity. But it was super daunting. And there were times where I would literally blacked out. And I would not remember what I had said. And the feedback was always huge did a really great job. I’m like, Well, thank god that I rehearsed it enough times, because I have no memory of what I was saying. So anyway, I think it’s just a matter of knowing that it does happen. There are plenty of things you can put in place to help you try to manage through it. If it does happen, just move on as fast as you can.
And the last thing I’ll say there, too, is, if this is a planned speech, or a plan, talk, sometimes when we get in our heads, and you know, we start going down the path, we’re like, Oh, that would be a really good example of sharing which we have not rehearsed our practice. Yeah, don’t do that. Don’t digress. Don’t do it. If you’re in a conversation with people, and you’re presenting work, and somebody’s asking a question, and that brings up another point, and you’re gonna digress a little bit, that’s fine, because you can come back to your slides, and you can come back to that conversation. But if it’s a plan, talk, be very, very conscientious about not trying to change it up in the moment. Unless it’s at a point where, again, you’re having a q&a, and allows you to be more flexible in the conversation.
I think that is a fantastic point. All right. And our third and final segment is where we highlight companies or brands that may or may not be using their Marketing Smarts, and may or may not have a whole lot to do with today’s episode. And this one actually is connected, because it’s where we had an event where he and I both had to stand up and be effective speakers together. But I think we’d be remiss not to acknowledge these guys. The Remington Room is where we hosted our event last week. And what I would say is that there are plenty of events, spaces in this area, any place out there. But I think that the thing that I kept coming back to and why I want to give them props is that they didn’t overcomplicate anything for us. And they tried to be as accommodating as they possibly could. And instead of being a hindrance, they were a huge support and help for the event. The space is beautiful. So I’ll just put that out there and very versatile, very versatile, they have all the things there. But the things that I really loved, and then I think that they just do really, right is that they’ve got this gorgeous space, it’s super classy, and yes, there are many ways you can utilize it and set it up. But all of this supports our, quote unquote, no frills, and I don’t mean that in like, oh, it kind of fell flat. I mean, it was freaking amazing. And we had for three people didn’t have to do a lot to get it there, which was awesome, which was awesome. So they have a full kitchen, they prep the food, they prepared the menu options, they were super flexible, giving me you know, allowing me to give them my perspective on what I wanted and coming back with an answer that worked. No pushback, just suggestions. They have gone out of their way to find some unique solutions for situations that if you run events, you know, you run into this, like, what are the rules on alcohol, right? And so it was, look, we have to have someone serve it for you, which means you have to pay that person to be here. But here’s what we do we contract with O’Bryon’s who’s a local bar and restaurant here in town. And we are able to provide a super competitive rate on the alcohol because they’re not up charging it to the level of you know, if you were buying it like glass by glass. Yeah. And if you just provide the list of what you want, we’ll work with them to get it they bring it in anything you don’t use, it’s unopened, they will refund. That’s freaking amazing. Yeah. Right. So there are things like that where it’s like, I feel like in other situations, we’ve been gouged, right, where it’s like, I don’t know how much people are gonna drink. So we buy all this wine, and then it’s like, well, you bought it so and also we charged this fee on top of it. And then I also think just the careful consideration and wanting to know kind of the run of show and how they could support and participate in that. versus these are the only ways we can do it. So I had mentioned you know, we’re going to mingle at the beginning. We want heavy appetizers because we want people to feel fed and they’re going to have a couple of drinks, but we’re not doing a full dinner because that would just take away from the event right? So they took the time to make these really beautiful little cups
Anne Candido 49:26
of like charcuterie cups. The charcuterie cups were amazing. And I mean, again, they
April Martini 49:31
could have thrown a couple of nuts, a couple pieces of cheese and a few crackers. Right but the delight associated with this car nice
was citation. Yeah, I
mean, it was like okay, so I eat a piece of cheese and I look and I have a chocolate covered pretzel and then there’s six different kinds of nuts and then there’s an Andes mint and there’s a honey stick. It’s see it’s so I say all of this number one, I want to give them props because we couldn’t have pulled that off without the support of them very specifically. It’s not about having an event space. It was about having them in our winner for this event. But I also think that, especially in the customer service world we’re in right now. And where we in certain employers make concessions on expectations. This was above and beyond what I would typically expect. And I just highly recommend them because they understand the importance of partnering with you to put on the event that you want. And I think that they work really hard for the moments of delight. The last thing I will say is that, actually in the room, they had this wall that looked like it was like, letters you would stick on. And it said, Welcome to the group that had been there before. And I was like, what do we do about this? And so very quickly, they were able to text someone that was on a trip with a client somewhere, and say, Hey, this screen says this, it’s app based. So they were able to tap on their phones from wherever they were. And it just like, showed up on the screen of ethics and stuff like that, right? Where it’s like, you can tell that they understand the business that they are in, and what’s actually important about that business and how to service their clients at a level that I think is just too much.
Yeah, I just echo everything you say. And I’ll just add to that they were very accommodating as I wanted to rearrange the room and make sure we got the right pictures. And yep, they were just like, whatever you want, whatever you want, I’ll do whatever you want, you know how to move the chairs a couple of times with the tables couple times. They were just very patient and understood that they were there in order to make sure that whatever we wanted was fulfilled upon and I thought that that was very evident and very polite and very accommodating and all that
and even when we force them to participate in the conversation, they played along. Yeah, that was awesome. So anyway, thank you to The Remington Room, they were just lovely. All right, so just to recap four tips for being a compelling speaker, prepare, practice and polish. We don’t care what anyone says no one can get up and just wing it and have a slam dunk presentation. Number two, show up with presence. Leverage your personal brand and do what you can to make yourself comfortable and confident in the moment. Number three engage actively with audience take your cues from them while you’re on stage to ensure they are tracking and not getting off track. Number four, don’t leave the conversation on the stage. leave people with something to think about or work on or how to get in touch with you to continue the conversation. And with that, we will say go and exercise your Marketing Smarts!
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