Blog

March 2, 2012 by Speakers' Spotlight

Seven Speaking Tips That Beat “Pretend Your Audience Is Naked”

Guest blog from Harry Beckwith

Harry Beckwith has led major marketing initiatives for 14 Fortune 100 companies, including Target, Wells Fargo, Merck and IBM, work that has won the American Marketing Association’s highest award. His book Selling the Invisible was named one of the top ten business and management books of all time and spent an unprecedented 36 consecutive months on the Business Week bestseller list. His more recent books, The Invisible Touch and What Clients Love, have also sold very well in the United States. Using real-life examples of successful groundbreaking strategies he has developed, Beckwith provides the practical steps needed to establish and nurture enduring relationships with customers.

Once upon a time, I suffered from glossophobia.

This affliction touches billions.  It’s the fear of public speaking, even to a tiny group.

I conquered it by discovering what makes people smile, nod, and listen carefully, because nothing calms you down faster than an interested audience.

This is what I’ve learned.

People love stories. Children plea for them at night, and adults crave them, too. Stories make us wonder; we want to know what happens next, which keeps us engaged, even enthralled.

Tell stories.

People don’t want to be impressed.  They want to be respected.  Rookie speakers feel tempted to impress an audience, assuming that this will make their ideas sound impressive, too. But if your words or actions suggest “I am better than you,” people won’t care what you say.

This principle also underlies another rule of effective speaking: Dress like your audience, but just a little bit better.”

Don’t try to impress them. Try to touch them.

People care if. If you truly want to help your listeners–by informing or motivating them, or improving their lives–they will care and listen. But they will care only if you do.

This recalls a favorite tip: “If you really care, notify your face.”

Your eyes mean everything.We mistrust people who won’t look us in the eyes–even if our eyes are among over 200 sets in a room. We regard peoples’ eyes as windows to their souls, and it’s from our eyes that people assess us.

If you look each person in the eye for a few seconds, you make each person feel important–a feeling that every person craves.  It also makes each audience member feel involved; it makes your presentation feel like a conversation rather than a recitation.

For this reason, minimize visual aids.  They break eye contact and make it appear that you are talking to the screen and not to your listeners.

Look them in the eyes.

Preparation matters.  But not for the reason you suspect. Preparation does more than make a presentation appear polished–and a too-polished presentation actually can feel inauthentic, even souless. If you’ve spent hours learning about the people to whom you are speaking, you will communicate the most compelling message you can deliver to a person: You are important to me.

If it’s worth saying, it bears repeating. The old rule–“Tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them”–reflects the limitations of our memories. Plus researchers have shown repeatedly that people are more apt to believe something they hear more than once-even if they hear it from the same person, and even if they question that person’s credibility.

Repetition works.

People love music. An outstanding speech is musical; it ebbs and flows, hits a variety of notes, and makes beautiful use of pauses and silence. Just as in humor, speaking’s key ingredient is timing.

Allow some gaps between your notes.

Obey The Rule of Seven. There’s a reason why only seven principles appear above: Our brains and memories have limits. We can recall seven-digit phone numbers.  Throw in an area code, however, and we become helpless. So make no more than seven points. (Recent research suggests that making just three or four points works much better.


Speakers' Spotlight represents a wide variety of motivational speakers who present energetic talks that will inspire you and your staff to take action, be it in your personal lives, your workplace, or both. Read More

Conference Speakers

The Impact of a Speech Can Last Forever

Speakers' Spotlight represents a talented roster of some of the world's most extraordinary conference speakers. Our conference speakers' experience is as broad as it is deep, and they are all leaders in their fields, which include business, politics, sports, the media, academia, science, technology, culture and entertainment. Our conference speakers are thought-provoking and action-oriented and leave their audiences, whether speaking to a group of 10, 100, 1000 or more, enlightened and inspired.

Speakers' Spotlight's conference speakers frequently go the extra mile to be in touch with meeting planners - or even CEOs and presidents of companies and organizations themselves - in advance of their talks in order to tailor the message and hit on key points specific to the client's needs. Our conference speakers arrive on time, and will have conferred with you in advance to ensure they have everything they need in order to deliver an impactful speech. Our conference speakers frequently use well designed visuals, such as photos, slide shows, or video clips to bring other elements of interest into their talks, and our conference speakers frequently build-in time during their talks to allow for an audience Q&A, ensuring your staff has a chance to ask questions of the particular conference speaker they have just heard.

Some of our conference speakers in high demand include David Chilton, Bruce Croxon, General Rick Hillier, Clara Hughes, Ron James, Amanda Lang, Stephen Lewis, Patricia Lovett-Reid, Mark Kielburger, Kevin O'Leary, Jeff Rubin, and Margaret Trudeau.

Speakers' Spotlight is committed to serving the diverse needs of the corporations, organizations, companies, non-profit and government groups that contact us when seeking conference speakers, and we work hard to find the conference speakers that will best meet and exceed your needs. Whatever you require are when it comes to conference speakers, Speakers' Spotlight will work had to ensure that you get the conference speakers that are right for you.

Keynote Speakers

Speakers' Spotlight: The Key Ingredient To Finding Your Perfect Speakers

Speakers' Spotlight represents a vast roster of some of the world's most extraordinary keynote speakers in fields such as business, politics, sports, the media, academia, science, technology, culture and entertainment. Our keynote speakers run the gauntlet from spoken word poet Sarah Kay, to business guru Simon Sinek; from young athlete Olympic athlete Adam van Koeverden to the wrongly incarcerated former boxer Ruben Carter; from Margaret Trudeau to her son Justin Trudeau. Whatever your needs are for your keynote speakers, Speakers' Spotlight the keynote speakers that will fill them.

Our keynote speakers can adjust their talks to suit your needs, whether you're looking for an address by keynote speakers of 15, 30, or 45 minutes or more, our keynote speakers will confer with you before your engagement to ensure that their talks meet your needs. Our keynote speakers frequently adjust their speeches to include important talking points your organization or company needs emphasized, and will also often adjust content so it is individually tailored to your audience. For instance, if your audience is primarily those in the auto industry, our keynote speakers will draw on anecdotes from that industry in order to ensure their speech is relatable. Our keynote speakers are usually available in the days and weeks prior to your event to discuss your needs and go over any details (such as audio visual requirements) that arise.

Speakers' Spotlight is committed to meeting the different needs of the corporations, organizations, companies, non-profit and government groups that contact us when seeking keynote speakers, and we work hard to find the keynote speakers that will provide the best match for your event. Whatever you require are when it comes to keynote speakers, Speakers' Spotlight will work had to ensure that you get the keynote speakers that are right for you.

Motivational Speakers

Motivating the world

Speakers' Spotlight represents a wide variety of motivational speakers who present energetic talks that will inspire leaders and employees to take action, be it in their personal lives, their workplace, or both. Speakers' Spotlight's motivational speakers address everything from encouraging audiences to adapt healthy lifestyles to unifying groups to achieve professional goals. Our motivational speakers work with an astonishing range of companies in sectors such as science, technology, finance, advertising, and manufacturing, as well as professional organizations, cultural institutions, and non-profit entities and government, throughout North American and around the world.

Motivational speakers that work with Speakers' Spotlight frequently go the extra mile to be in touch with meeting planners - or even CEOs and presidents of companies and organizations themselves - in advance of their talks in order to tailor the message and hit on key points specific to the client's needs. Our motivational speakers arrive on time, work with the client in advance to ensure the proper set up of their audio/visual needs so that everything will go smoothly when they hit the stage, and often include Q&A sessions in their talks so that your staff can ask any questions of our motivational speakers that they may wish.

Using Speakers' Spotlight to book your motivational speakers obviously offers many advantages. You reap the benefits of our experience and expertise, as we can help you select the best motivational speakers for your motivational speakers' engagement.

Our motivational speakers include prominent motivational speakers - and many of them household names -- such as Roberta Bondar, Michael "Pinball" Clemons, Terry Evanshen, Scott Harrison, John Izzo, Simon Jackson, Craig Kielburger, Dr. Samantha Nutt, Simon Sinek, Severn Cullis-Suzuki and Brett Wilson.

Whatever your needs are when it comes to motivational speakers, Speakers' Spotlight has the motivational speakers that will both meet -- and exceed -- your expectations.

Zync is a marketing agency specializing in corporate brand identity and responsive web design.