Public Speaking: Advice From Professional Speakers: Part I

Public Speaking Tips From Professional Speakers

Whether you give speeches as a Toastmaster, a public official, or a organizational leader, we believe you will profit from advice from professionals who get paid for speech making. Below are three responses to the question,“What is the best speaking advice your coach ever gave you?”

“Slow down and connect. Better to give them less content and more emotion so that they have ‘breathing room’ to see how the content can apply to them. Don’t preach. Share. Have a conversation with the audience and then ask them questions that directly apply to their world.”
–Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman, MBA, CSP, is past president of NSA GA and the author of the national bestseller “Never Fly Solo.”

“My speaking coach advised I was trying to put too much content into my talks. I countered that I felt more content made me a more valuable speaker. He suggested I cut about half of my ‘advice content’ and add more audience involvement activities (entertainment)…My speaking coach also said there were way too many ‘I’s’ and not enough ‘you’s’ throughout the talk. To may way of thinking I was just establishing my credentials so the audience would accept the value of my content better. By substituting ‘you’ for most of my ‘I’s’ the audience listened more closely and valued the content more. This didn’t make sense to me and frankly I resisted doing it at the start. But when I did do it, I saw audience evaluations improve noticeably. Now I often start with the statement, ‘This talk is all about you. I’m just the messenger.’”
–Rick Wemmers, CSP, is a business development expert,

“I was told, ‘You’re not funny.’ That observation saved many painful hours of trying to be funny.”
–Diane Bogino provides assessments, coaching and training (Diane Bogino is also a contributor to

Excerpted with permission from the 2011 Spring Issue of “Georgia Speaker,” official publication of the Georgia Chapter of the National Speakers Association; President Wendy Kinney, Editor in Chief Kelly Vandever

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Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and communication strategist. His book “TheWords Lincoln Lived By” is in its 23rd printing and “Time Tactics of Very Successful People” is in its 43rd printing. His training video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions and annual meetings all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, call 404-435-2225. Learn more at Atlanta Speakers Bureau or at his website. His latest book “Lincoln and Obama” has just been released by Audible.
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