Become a Paid Speaker

Transform Your Passion into $$$s!

A New Coaching Business Model… Plus Info on FREE Video Training

A New Coaching/Business Model – 3 Simple Steps to Designing, Marketing, and Pricing Lucrative VIP Days — Training Webinar (free)

Visit to sing up!

My good friend Kendall SummerHawk has a solution you’re sure to love because it’s the quickest way to create income in your coaching business, often within just a few days.

Learn about a New Coaching Model that can literally put some extra $1000s in your pocket every month. I attended the event last week and I was totally blown away (keep in mind that I’ve never used that phrase before – I rarely get “blown away” by anyone’s content :), no matter how much I love it…)

Kendal [Read the rest of this entry…]

Are You Ready for Your Next Speaking Gig? Here’s a Lead…

WANTED: 6 Speakers for HR Conference
Max fee $5,000 + Travel For Each Speaker Selected

Get Paid to Speak - E.G. Sebastian, Author, Speaker, CoachMy friend Bryan Caplovitz over at SpeakerMatch just shared with me an opportunity recently listed on the SpeakerMatch Job Board. The event organizer is looking for 6 speakers that can offer practical advice to HR professionals on how to engage/excite their workforce.

Below is a brief description of the event to help you identify if this is right for you. Note: You must be a paid subscriber of SpeakerMatch to submit an application. Subscriptions start as low as $49.95/month and all purchases are backed with a 60-day money back guarantee.

HR Conference

Speaking Fee: $5,000 + Travel
Speakers Needed: 6
Deadline to Apply: January 13, 2013

Illinois: Organizer is seeking 6 speakers to present 90 minute programs during general sessions for a group of HR professionals. Attendees come to learn best practices and network. Inspirational speakers who can offer practical advice on new ways to engage members personally or tactics members can use to excite their workforce.

Apply Online – Click Here!

Good Luck!
E.G. Sebastian

Here are Some Leads, if You Are Looking to Get Paid for Your Speaking Services

Wanted: Sales Motivation, Youth Empowerment, Future of Business, and Future of Education Speakers!

get paid to speak - e.g. sebastian

My friend Bryan Caplovitz over at SpeakerMatch had a very busy election day, yesterday! Four planners with tight turn-around times contacted him looking for speakers on a variety of topics and each planner is paying anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 plus expenses. Topics revolve around Sales Motivation, Youth Empowerment, Future of Business, Future of Education (last two are Ted style 15 min. talks).

Below are brief details to help you identify if these opportunities are right for you. You will need to be a paid SpeakerMatch member to respond to the event organizers.

Job 1: Business Symposium – Future of Education and the Workforce *

Speaking Fee: $2,500-$5,000
Deadline to Apply: November 12

California: Organizer is searching for a dynamic speaker with a particular expertise on the future of education as it relates to business, education and the workforce. The speaker is asked to provide a 15 min. Ted style talk to a group of 1,000 business professionals.

Apply Online [Read the rest of this entry…]

Important Announcement for Business Consultants and Business Coaches!

There's a New Business Coaching Model in "Town"...

There's a New Business Coaching Model in "Town"...

The days where business coaches spend all their time, energy and effort looking for new clients is finally over. In fact, the current business coaching model has now been rendered completely obsolete. There is going to be a major announcement this Tuesday unveiling a new technology that allows any business coach (regardless of skill level or experience) to build a passive recurring monthly income, create a lucrative asset they can sell down the road for top dollar while joining the ranks of Facebook, GROUPON and LinkedIn… and finally STOP trading their time for dollars once and for all.

If you’re a business coach and you want to generate more leads and attract more coaching clients to your business, then you MUST check this out for yourself. If you would like to be first in line to learn more, you can pre-register by clicking here. This ensures you will be the first in line to receive exclusive information regarding this unbelievable opportunity. This is your chance to acquire everything you need to build a lucrative six figure home-based coaching practice for next to nothing. It’s my understanding that the group sponsoring this revolutionary new program will even cover ALL of your start up costs so you can join in this game-changing system. This is a ground-floor opportunity for the right person.

Fox news recently proclaimed Business Coaching as the next “high dollar growth industry” over the next 20 years. Don’t miss out on this game-changer for business coaches. Click here to get registered now. I’ll keep you posted as I find out more about it on Tuesday.

E.G. Sebastian

P.S. Registering does NOT obligate you to anything. It merely ensures that you will be notified before anyone else.

P.S.S. I was given a “sneak peak” at this program and thought it was the absolute best program I’ve ever seen. It’s perfect for those of you who are current coaches or have always wanted to enter the lucrative business coaching field.

Click here

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Secrets to Paid Public Speaking Success #16 (of 101): Focus & Get More Speaking Gigs

Market narrowly – deliver broadly!

Notice how a cheetah gets his dinner: He carefully approaches a herd of gazells, zebras, or some other yummy herbivors… he approaches super carefully… then he picks his target – only one target out of the hundreds or thousands of dinner pottentials in front of him (or her, to stay politically correct).  Then he attacks!  And BAMM!!!  …well, he either succeeds or not; but this strategy is key not only to a gourmet dinner once in a while, but to teh species survival.  This FOCUS is what allows cheetahs – and many other predetors – survive.

Or think of a runner…

I recently interviewed Croix Sather, who set out to ran across the United States of America – from Los Angeles to New York – in 100 days…  AND! Every day stop by a school, college, or business and give a motivational speech on How to Set and Accomplish Audacious Goals.

Listen to the interview here:

Wow!  What a goal!  What focus does it take to prepare for such a quest…  But just like any other runner, in any other running race, Croix focuses on one outcome and he goes for it (if you want to support him OR want to keep up with his progress, visit his site/blog at )

Most truly successful speakers are just as focused as a cheetah or a runner: they carefully pick a target (market) and go for it.  When you pick a specific target market, it becomes much easier to market to them as you can find out exactly what are their pain/challenge areas and how you can EXACTLY help them.

I know speakers who speak mostly to colleges, or to financial institutions, others to insurance agents; and even a few who target only dentists or chiropractors (or other “small” niches) and they go around the country speaking at their events teaching them how to market their practices.

I underlined the word “mostly” above,” as it is the “law” of speaking that if you keep on speaking – no matter to what niche – by being seen and liked, you’ll be invited to neighboring (or totally foreign) niches.  That is why I started this post with the mantra “Market narrowly – deliver broadly.”

When I started, in 2003, I marketed myself primarily to hospitals and social services organizations (I was a naughty boy – I attacked two niches at once — if the cheetah tried that, he’d die of hunger); and while I had some success speaking to these organizations, I got “kidnapped” from these niches.  The more I spoke, the more I got invited to speak at events not related to these niches, so I ended up speaking also to management teams of resorts, Chamber of Commerce retreats, youth conferences and other events, and many other businesses, includeing a few keynotes (one of them at an international event, at the IRTA annual conference).

So… bottom line: Focus on one market!  A market that will appreciate your background and you can easily gain credibility with them (see on how to position yourself as an expert in any niche).  Then market to this niche, showing understanding of their challenges. 

If you have to, volunteer at a few of your niche’s events – or offer to create an event for them (such as a workshop that adresses a key pain/challenge they have).  In exchange for providing the free workshop, ask to allow you to video your event and take photos (or you can create photos off the video footage), AND have them fill our a feedback form (contact me if you need a sample feedback form).  This way it becomes a win-win: they get some valuable info, and you get to start becoming visible in your niche.  You can also use snippets of the video on your blog or website as well as use the pictures on your marketing materials.  You can use the feedback as well on your marketing material and your site/blog.  After you do a few (2 to 5) free ones, you now are ready to start charging for your services.

Do you have to do free presentations to get started?  Definitely NOT!  If you cn position yourself properly right from the start, go for it!  But if it doesn’t work, success beggets success; which means that if you present a few times at no charge and they like you, you can build upon that and grow it into a cash cow… and once you start speaking to your niche, it will be only a matter of a few presentations that you’ll start getting invites to neighboring niches as well (and, of course, no one will stop you from filling out RFPs – Requests for Proposals – in other niches, but focus most of your efforts on that one Zebra – I mean, that  one niche, and I can almost guarrantee your success (well, if you are good and provide some real solutions to your niche’s problems, I can guarantee your success – and of course you are good, right?).

Post some comments!  Let me know what you think…  Ask some follow-up questions – I’ll answer them all…

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Secrets to Paid Public Speaking Success #15 (of 101): Entertain Your Audience

Don't surpress your laughter

What happens when your surpess your loughter 🙂

 Help your audience members release “negative energies” through laughter.  It is a scientific fact that people who suppress laughter build up gases that will in turn make them feel bloated… and if you don’t help them annihilate those gases through laughter, those gases build up to a point that they’ll blow up.

Ok, don’t run to your librarian or try to look for any scientific evidence on the above ; but it IS  a fact that audiences will perceive you as a more successful presenter if you entertain them.  This does not mean that you have to be a clown, tell jokes, or even  that you are expected to be a naturally funny person.   Entertaining audiences can be done through:

– group activities
– stories (humorous, shocking, with a morale, etc.)
– involving audience through questions
– inviting volunteers to demonstrate something at front of the room
– using simple humorous twists (visit your local library and check out some books on how to use humor in your presentations)

In the past close to a decade, since I’ve been a full time speaker, I learned that audiences will appreciate if you involve them in the presentation.  I have full-day and two-day workshops where I serve more as a facilitator than a presenter, providing about 70 to 80% interactive activities (individual activities, pair up people, and lots of group activities – then have them share their findings with the rest of the group), yet on the feedback form some people will say the following:

“What did you like most about today’s presentation?”  “The interaction and group activities”

“What suggestion would you have to improve this presentation?” “More interactive activities”

So, yes, no matter how much interaction I provide, some wish they had more.  I get lots of great feedback where my audiences express loving the activities; however, I NEVER had anyone complain that I had too many interactive activities or that they didn’t like them.  And we’re talking here about thousands’ of people’s feedback.

So as you prepare to present your next workshop, make sure to plan some activities that involve your audience.  Hop over to and check out some of the books on Ice Breakers, Games that Drive Change, Activities Speakers Use, etc. Play with different terms; there are dozens of great books out there…

Also, check out explore some ready-to-go workshops that are already filled great activities (we presented some of these programs to more than 150 Fortune 500 companies) I’ve been using the Everything DiSC package – which contains more than a dozen ready-to-go workshops – since ’03, presenting workshops from it on a monthly basis.  The Everything DiSC is great as it provides several workshops for customer needs such as:

– improving team performance
– improving managers performance
– dealing with difficult customers/coworkers/etc
– improving sales performance and more

… the other kits are more niched towards one customer need.  Here’s the link again:

With any of these kits you ensure a professionally delivered presentation, filled with interactive activities, and can generate referrals and repeat business almost guaranteed.

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Secrets to Paid Public Speaking Success #14 (of 101): Capitalize on Your Strengths

Capitalize on Your Strengths!

Capitalize on Your Strengths!

Many of us became speakers – or want to become speakers – for one of two reasons:

1. Saw some great speakers (or one great speaker), like Anthony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Seth Godin, Barack Obama…. or maybe it was a religious leader at your church or one you saw on TV… or perhaps it was a little-known speaker that you saw at a conference…AND you thought “One day I want to be like that guy!” 

2. You had an experience, or a series of experiences, that lead you to believe strongly in something – something that deeply affected your life and now you want to share that message with the world

If you decided to become a speaker due to reason #1 above, chances are that you are trying to emulate your “hero”… at times it’s not even a conscious decision, you just simply compare your stage performance to the performance of the speaker you admire.

Now… those who decided to become a speaker due to reason #2 above, often will just go out there and speak, and be themselves; because they have a message and they want to spread that message.  HOWEVER, this group of speaker is not always exempt from trying to monkey – I mean, mimic – other successful speakers…

Don’t Set Yourself Up for Failure!

Fact is, however, when you try to be like Anthony Robbins, or whoever you are looking up to, you are setting yourself up for failure.  There is only one Anthony Robbins and he is great because he has his own style – Anthony Robbins’s style.  And, if you want to be great, you should strive to become the best “you” you can become, by finding and capitalizing on your strengths and developing your own style.

Capitalize on Your Strengths!

Anthony Robbins’ strengths are his high energy, loud voice, great enthusiasm, passion for his topic, knowledge of NLP and other behavior-modifying techniques, etc.

What are your strengths?  Make an inventory…

When I started speaking, my goal was to be the next Anthony Robbins… I admit it.  Yet when I spoke, I never saw myself as even coming close to his performance.  Before each of my presentations I’d stay awake for nights prior to my speaking engagement, or wake up often in the middle of the night with a giant pain in my chest, and getting frequent panic attacks: “What if I screw up?  What if I forget what I have to say?  What if I make a full out of myself? …”  It was physically painful – really painful.  And while I did ok with my presentations, I soon noticed that I’ll never be the next Anthony Robbins.

I noticed that I’m very different and I have very different strengths… I also noticed that I had strengths that I did not know I had, such as a humorous delivery style (no matter the subject), a conversational tone, connecting easily with my audience, love of interaction with audience members…

It took me about 2 years to develop my own style and be comfortable in my “skin.”  For the first 2-years I tried to be what I was not (trying to monkey other great speakers), while I also tried to be extremely “politically correct,” so I wouldn’t offend anyone in my audience…

Starting in about my 3rd year of speaking I started to relax.  I learned that the only way to truly succeed as a speaker is to allow yourself to be “you”; and I noticed that when I allowed myself to be “me,” I was much more comfortable in front of the audience… AND when finally I allowed myself to be the Real Me (dropped the need to be “politically correct” all the time), now I really have a blast with my presentations, and I can tell that most of my audience members enjoy the “new” me (which in fact is the “old me” – the real me – who I tried to hide since I thought I needed to be like someone else).

I’ve been speaking now, full time, for close to a decade and I can tell you with 100% conviction that AUTHENTICITY is the way to go. 

  • Allow yourself to be Real YOU in front of the crowd (with the caveat that, if you are speaking at a slow speech rate and tend to go way too deep into details… then speed up your speech rate a bit and balance your detail-spills with short stories, group activities, and other interactive activities…. Except if you speak to highly technical audiences, such as computer programmers, engineers, etc., then you can go into as much detail as you want, but still speed up your speech rate a bit AND vary your tone – you don’t your audience members to fall as asleep; or worse, die of boredom.)
  • Find and capitalize on your strengths (while you’ll find some of your strengths by sitting down and making an inventory, you will find some of your strengths while you speak – record yourself each time you can, and watch your performance; watch your audience’s reaction to your presentation: when did they seem most engaged?  What did they find funny?  What part of the presentation did they seem to enjoy most?  … then capitalize on what you learn – do more of what worked and less of what didn’t)
  • Don’t be afraid to pick a side!  If you try to please everyone, you won’t gain true fans. Verbalize your biases and beliefs once in a while (don’t over do it! And make sure not to go into extremes when you are paid to deliver training to a corporate client – getting repeat gigs is more important than letting the audience know about your biases and beliefs)
  • Always give your audience a Feedback form.  Throughout the years I collected thousands of feedback forms and learned a lot through these little pieces of paper.  Of course…, at times you’ll read things that will not be too nice, but again, you can’t please everyone at all times, and that’s ok.  Always analyze if the comment has merit; if it does, improve your act; if it doesn’t crumple up the sucker and throw it in the trash can.
    I know speakers who do not give out Feedback forms out of fear of negative feedback.  I’d say that if you don’t get feedback you are missing out on a great tool that can help you grow as a speaker, as well as help you improve your presentations.  So I highly recommend it (send me an email to support[at]egSebastian[dot]com if you’d like to get a copy of my feedback form).

Did I leave out anything?  Do you have some suggestions on how a speaker can capitalize on his/her strengths?  Please put your suggestions (or questions) in the Comments box.


Ok…, I promised myself that I’ll start posting shorter posts, but I screwed up again… next time I’ll try to do better 🙂


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Useful Resources

Here are a few more resources that I use…

  • – subscribe to Millionaire Blueprints and get inspired by how others went from “zero to hero” — you can also buy back issues of the magazine
  • – FREE online or in-print magazine filled with great tops on online marketing.
    “Target Marketing delivers hands-on, how-to-do-it editorial that gives you the tools you need to effectively develop, execute, and evaluate your direct marketing efforts. Whether it’s direct mail, telemarketing, or websites, you’ll get the ideas and insight you need to help you and your company market smarter and more profitably. Subscriptions are available free to individuals who meet pre-established demographic criteria.”
  • – Publish Your Books and Audio Products!
    This service came highly recommended by several people I know; I use — check out both services and see which one suits your needs better.
  • – a service provider that caters to speakers and helps us with creating products, fulfiling orders, and many other services.  Check them out!!!!

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Secrets to Paid Public Speaking Success #13 (of 101): Attract Coaching and Mentoring Clients with Public Speaking

Do You Provide Coaching or Mentoring Services?

Do You Provide Coaching or Mentoring Services?

I’ll tell you in a seocnd a few ways to attract new coaching/mentoring clients, but first I just have to give “homage” to public speaking:

Public speaking is the greatest way to make a living…

Just think about it:

  • you get paid for doing what you love to do
  • you often get paid an unbelivable amount of money for what you love to do
  • you get to share your message to the world
  • you get to travel (many of us speakers love that part)
  • you get to meet countless wonderful people
  • you have the ability not to just dream, but actually adopt what your creative juices inspire you to do or share
  • you get to be seen by many as sort of a celebrity (definitely you’ll be seen as a super brave person, as most people would rather stick niddles under their toe nails than stand up and speak in the public)
  • and… did I mention that it’s one of the very few careers out there where you get paid to do what you love…?

Well… I love public speaking!  In the past 20 years I shifted businesses and careers more times than I want to admit it… Public speaking is my longest career ever – nearing a decade – and I’ll do it till I turn 99, then I’ll retire 🙂

Now back to business!

Public speaking is not just great for the sake of public speaking, but it can also bring in some side-business.  I know many speakers – including me – who, yes, they love to travel (and some totally hate to travel), but they’d love to spend more time doing creative work (writing a book, writing a new speech, creating a new workshop, etc.)…

Here are a few ways to generate new clients through public speaking that will result in spending more time at home and less on the road:

  1. Coaching
    If you are not providing coaching to your audiences, you are missing out on a biiig chunk of income – income that you could generate while sitting on your but, in your home-office, staring out the window.  Fact is, you can’t really make a lasting impact in 90-minutes or even a ful-day workshop, so you are cutting your audience members short if you do not provide them the possibility to get more of you.
    To get some great coaching tools (trust me, you need them), visit (I haven’t been there in a while, but they used to have free coaching tools and a bunch of free training – they also have paid packages, which is well worth the investment) and – they have paid packages, but they seem very thorough and professional (I’m not related or compensated by any of the two sites)
    What to charge for coaching?  It depends.  I’d say that a base fee would be $450 per month for one meeting per week (by  phone, usually), for a 30 to 60 minutes session (I do 45 minute sessions for coaching / 60-minutes for mentoring).To get coaching clients, first of all start promoting yourself as one, get trained, get some practice clients, keep working on your skill…  Then each time you speak, mention some successes that you attained with your coaching clients… then at the end of the presentation/workshop/etc., give out a form that allows your audience members to sign up for your coaching program (and if they do it today, they’ll get a 25% discount – or even a 50% discount – for the first 30-days of coaching)To get more sign-ups, provide a CONDITIONAL (if you do everything we agree to during our coaching calls and if you don’t get the expected results, then you’ll receive 100% refund); or provide a 30-day or 90-day unconditional money back guarrantee (in my first years I provided a 90-day unconditional money back guarrantee – no one has ever taken advantage of it)To further increase your sign ups, provide coaching packages with a time-frame, such as 90-Days to Greater Profits, 90-Days to a Healthier You, Relationship Make-Over in 60 Days…
    Link the title of your coaching program to your presentation or to main points in your presentation.  You can provide 30-day packages… al the way to 1-year packages
  2. Mentoring
    Mentoring is perhaps the easiest way to generate an additional income as a speaker… or even as a coach.  As a mentor you don’t require to have any formal training, nor do you have

    to be a great listener (as a coach, you must be a pro listener, be non-judgmental, allow the client to come up with answers whenever possible,etc – as a mentor you do not need the whole package… though good listening helps here too)
    In a mentoring relationship you simply offer to teach your new client a skill:
    – how to build a wordpress-based website
    – how to create a membership site
    – how to develop a marketing plan
    – how to use social media to promote your business
    – how to lose weight and develop healthy lifestyle habits that will keep you fit
    – how to develop great stage presence
    – how to sell more products from the back of the room
    – how to get started in paid public speaking
    – how to become the confident person you always wanted to be (this wou’d most likely lend itself to a combination of coaching and mentoring)
    – html training
    – create products training
    – how to write a book in a week
    – and the list could go on to infinity… and beyond….Fact is, if you want to extend your income-generation beyond your speaking (especially whenever you speak for free or at a low fee), then providing mentoring to your audience members is a great way to generate some additional income. Make it easy for your audience to sign up.  Have sign-up forms ready and give them an incentive if they sign up on that day.

    Record your presentation – with a video camera AND  an audio recording device, whenever possible – and at the end of the day, offer the recording of the presenation for a fee.  SPICE your offer up with some irresistable bonusses, such as white papers, eBooks with super great info (and super great title) related to the topic of the day, etc + a free 30 minutes coaching  or mentoring session with you (and you put a value on it, such as “a Value of $125 – actually, put a value on each of the bonusses you provide with the recording).
    You can send them the recording by mail, as a CD, for higher perceived value; or as an Mp3 download… or a combination of two, again for higher perceived value.

In your bonus materials
– ebooks, ecourses, audio recording of past events, etc – you’ll promote subtly but repeatedly [without overdoing it] that you are available to coach or mentor the reader or listener…  You’ll also promote [subtly but super visibly] your products, online audio-courses, and whatever other services or products you might have.
The key is to provide tremendous amount of value – you want your client to say “Wow!  This is some super great stuff!  I’m so happy I invested in it… and I’m so surprised that he only charged so little for it…”  And if you accomplish that, they’ll invest in more of your products and services…

What to charge for the recording?
$2O.OO would be the least amount… but depending on the added value you provide, you could charge as much as $75.OO or more…  If you include recordings – or a whole library of recordings – of past teleclasses or live training presentations that are related to the topic of the day… plus perhaps a few checklists on how to get from A to Z… then you can charge more…


Put on Teleclasses or Webinars – paid or free – of your workshops or presentations and create products out of them.  During each teleclass/webinar promote your coaching or mentoring services. 

Provide your listeners with the chance to purchase the recording of the teleclass or webinar… again, spicing it up with a several irresistable offer-type bonusses.


I already mentioned this in previous posts – and I’ll mention it again later – it’s just so important…

ALWAYS COLLECT YOUR AUDIENCE MEMBERS’ CONTACT INFO and stay in touch with them.  Send them regular value-loaded short videos, or short emails, a newsletter, etc. and always promote [subtly] your coaching or mentoring programs/services… and, of course, your speaking services…

I hope the above tips helped.  If they did, please give me some feedback in the comment section.  Also, if I left out something, or you have other creative ways to gain more coaching/mentoring clients through public speaking, share with us…

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Secrets to Paid Public Speaking Success #12 (of 101): 5 Tips to Create a Powerful First Impression


First Impressions Count - Make 'em Powerful!

First Impressions Count - Make 'em Powerful!


“I’m sorry, I’m not really used to speaking in public.. so please bare with me…”

“Hello!  Can everybody hear me in the back…?

We all heard such borring and no-impact openings… Never open with similar openings: check your VA equipment in advance and never start with an apology (unless you knock over someone’s hot coffee in your way to the lecturn and it lands in their lap; or if you step with your high heel on someone’s foot… you get the gist 🙂 )

The way you start your presentation, PLUS the way you look and carry yourself, will often set the tone for how you’ll be perceived throughout your presentation.  At times you can recover from a poor first impression, but why risk it?  Why not do it right each time…?

Here are 5 tips that will ensure that you’ll create a great first impression every time you speak:

  1. Have someone read your bio!
    Make sure your bio is more audience-benefit oriented.  Enumerating your degrees and accomplishments might feed your ego, but as Joel Bower says “Your ego is not your best amigo” – so keep it short and make it sound like you are the perfect speaker for this event.  Always customize your bio to fit your audience, highlighting how you helped other people “just like them” – just like your audience.
    If possible, never read your own bio, even if you have to ask an attendee to do it for you (I’ve done that once or twice in the past decade..).
  2. Dress for success! 
    The key is to dress one notch above the audience; though for most events dressing up in a formal attire is the safe way to go.  You are looked at as an authority on you topic – gift your audience with the ability to listen and hear your message, and not get distracted by your attire (keep jewelry to minimum; ladies make sure your skirt and blouse are not too revealing, or else we guys won’t hear a word you are saying; wear cloth that make you feel powerful and confident)
  3. Project Confidence!
    Regardless whether you feel it or not, stand up straight, look your audience in their eyes and smile (unless you are the speaker at a funeral or you speak on suicide or other somber topics).  Confidence CAN be faked, no matter what some might tell you!  “You fake it till you make it” is a very valid saying when it comes to public speaking.
  4. Have a strong opening!
    Start with a great (personal) story… or some intruiging data.. or intriguing question…
    “On July 26,  2008, as I was driving down to one of my speaking engagements, enjoying the view on the winding mountain roads of  Montana, suddenly there was a THUMP! (use the microphone to create effects) – a rock of the size of a bowling ball fell on my wiendshield, cracking it into millions of pieces, blocking 100%  my view of the road more info

    … the rest of the events happened almost in slow motion… and I felt as if I was watching from outside as ran off the road and started heading towards some large pine trees….”Of course, your story needs to fit the theme of your topic.  Personal stories seem to be most liked, but others’ success or inspirational stories work as wel…  One great technique is to tell your story only half way, then involve the audience and ask something like “How many of you found yourself  at a point in your life when you..” or something similar that relates to the story and to the topic of the day (as you ask, you raise your hand and leave it up in the air, till you get some response — you’ll get responses; your audience is there for the very topic you just mentioned in your question).  Then finish your presentation by getting back to your story and finishing it.  Your audience will be greateful that you did not forget about them and you did dnot leave them “hanging” with an unfinished story/suspense…Or you could use one of the safest “powerful” openers and start with a famous quote: “Ralph Waldo Emerson said…”Intriguing questions are my favorites:
    “Did you know that…”
    “Do you realize that during the time I’ll speak, in the next hour or so, 200,000 people will die of a heart attack  in the United States… and about 70% of that could be easily avoided” [I made up those numbers – please don’t quote them]Involve the audience type questions:
    “With a show of hands (and you raise your hand and keep it up) how many of you are here today because you are frustrated with…”

    Be creative!  But do not be borring.  You’ve probably heard it many times – if not, you’ll hear it many times – Your audience will forgive you if you stammer or stumble here and there; heck, they’ll forgive you even if you forget what you wanted to say…  or if you trip and fall off the stage; but they’ll never forgive you if you are boring.  So make that first impression of your opening count!

  5. Use a confident voice and try to be upbeat!
    It is realy scarry when a speaker starts his or her presentation on a monoton tone….  Smile, speak up, look people in the eye (find first someone with a friendy face, look him or her in the eye, then find someoene else and look that person in the eye… and keep fanning out, till you cover the whole room — avoid speaking to one or two people!)

If you use the above 5 strategies, you’ll consistenty generate a great first impression; which in turn will give you a great start to deliver your presentation with more confidence and poise.


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