Speak to the Slides

How many times do you go to some sort of presentation or speech and watch the speaker fiddle with the slides to where it slows if not halts the presentation. It makes you wonder who is running the show. For many speakers, this ruins the tone and outcome of the presentation. Some, the few, adapt and move on with telling their story. Now, I’ll be first to admit that I am not a good public speaker. It is one of my greatest aspirations. It is where I see myself going, but the journey looks to be a long road.

I recently listened to one of my favorite podcasts, Back to Work, featuring Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin. http://5by5.tv/b2w/38This episode got me thinking about what really makes a great speaker. What common things have I seen in great speakers?

Know Your Core Message

The speakers that stand out, that really stand out, are those that know their central core message. If they needed to give that same speech in a matter of minutes, they could. I’m speaking of the elevator pitch type of speech. The full version of the same speech is much better and might illustrate the main story or message to a great extent. The concept is still the same. Figure out your story. What are you trying to convey? What do you want these people to do in response to your story?

Learn to Tell Stories

Great speakers perfect the art of story telling. Stories support the message the speaker is trying to convey. The wonderful, keep you zoned in, stories that captivate you. The best speakers that I have ever seen are those that exude and ooze passion about their story. The audience can not ignore it. The passion of the speaker spurs the audience to tune in. To ask, why is this guy/gal so passionate about such and such topic? I want to know more. The speaker draws the crowd in. The crowd gets sucked in, they can’t help it! The speaker is a story teller at heart. The best speakers are often great story tellers.

Learn to How to Inspire Others

Great speakers inspire. These speakers make you want to run out into the world and make a dent. They make the audience feel as though they can change the world. They get you to believe in dreaming audacious dreams.


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