Speaker Tips

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1. 10 Ways To Maximize Speaking To Build Your Personal Brand
2. What Makes a Great Speaker?
3. How Speakers are Like Musicians
4. How to Give a Talk to Market Your Business
5. Top 10 E's to Motivate and Influence an Audience
6. 7 Tips to Jump Start your Public Speaking Success

10 Ways To Maximize Speaking To Build Your Personal Brand

By JoAnn Hines
  1. Remember, you are supposed to fly into an event the night before so you can be there first thing for the registration networking.

  2. This is the time you can catch speakers who are only there for a day or an hour or two to give their presentation. Almost everyone appears for their free breakfast.

  3. In most events, there are scheduled breaks to catch up to people you want to meet but if someone is on a tight schedule, leave the room and catch them on the way out. This is not the time for lengthy conversations. Use your elevator speech, exchange cards and tell them you will follow up.

  4. Plan to sit with someone different at every meal and don't monopolize any one person’s attention. If you are ambitious, suggest introductions at the table, a 30-second sound bite introduction and a card exchange. That way even if you don't get to speak with that person you can use the luncheon as a point of reference.

  5. Make notes on the back of every business card about what you discussed. It helps to have a non-business point of reference when you contact this person later.
  6. Don't spend your time selling. Discussions should include a little business but your real objective is to establish a personal bond with this person, so that they remember you and will respond when you contact them later on.

  7. Make it your goal to meet every speaker and attendee. I know this is a lofty challenge especially if you can't really see a connection, but you never know how someone could refer you to exactly the RIGHT person.
  8. Always introduce yourself to the staff and meeting personnel even if you are not a speaker. They can be important people influencing the decisions on when to suggest new speakers for future events. IMPORTANT: Fill out the evaluation forms and mention that you are willing to be quoted or contacted in the future. Again, this bond building good will thing you are trying to establish.

  9. If you really liked a speaker’s presentation, offer to write a testimonial. No sucking up here. This needs to be legitimate. Conversely, if you are speaker and someone likes your stuff ask them to write you a testimonial. Trade Secret: Offer to write it for them and then send it to them for approval. This always works! If you wait for them to do it, you will probably never get it.

  10. Another trade secret is never to send in your speech ahead of time. Always offer it free to attendees before you begin. Just ask them to leave you a card with their email address. Get It? Now they know you and you know them as opposed to waiting for someone to contact you.

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What Makes a Great Speaker?

Sandra Schrift


When people hear that I owned a national, professional speakers bureau for 13 years, they often ask me, who are the best speakers and why? What follows are some of the characteristics of a very successful speaker who is often a highly paid speaker.

'Tell' em what you're going to tell them, tell them, and then tell' em what you told them."

  1. They arrive early and check out the sound system and introduce themselves to audience members during the networking time.

  2. They speak on a subject that their audience needs to hear. And they use words and body language that shows their passion and authenticity.

  3. They connect with their audience in the first few minutes with a riveting story, a funny incident, a startling statement or perhaps a poem. They know how to make their opening remarks relate to the material that follows.

  4. They have no fear. They don't only say what the audience wants to hear, but what they NEED to hear. In other words, their remarks may raise some eyebrows. They give their audiences some fresh ideas.
  5. They never make more than 3-4 points in their speech. They don't feel the need to tell an audience everything they know. No one can retain it all. For each major point they tell an illustrative story. A good story evokes emotion and offers a lesson. The audience members are then only a step away from their own story.

  6. They make great eye contact and make each person feel attended to. This makes them appear to be more heartfelt and really present for their audience.

  7. Before closing, they summarize and reiterate their major points. They end with an inspiring story and a call to action. They hold the audience accountable - to take some action in the next few days, weeks.

  8. They don't talk too long. They know how much time they have been assigned and they don't exceed it.

  9. They rehearse their speech a few times but never sound canned. They NEVER read their speech verbatim.

  10. All successful speakers market themselves. They all promote themselves. And they all network. They are a model of excellence. And you can be too!

© 2006 Sandra Schrift

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How Speakers are Like Musicians

Sandra Schrift


Emerging speakers can learn a great deal from great musicians. They can learn to connect their heart with their listeners, their audience. A great musician does not merely play notes. A great speaker does not merely utter words. They use their instrument,their voice, to communicate feelings of sadness, joy, drama, and curiosity.

Great speakers use their words to help their audiences connect with their emotions. In a short time, the audience is not just listening to the speaker’s message but feeling and experiencing it.
Here are a few tips to create a great performance:

  1. You want to be nervous. Get your butterflies to fly in formation.Some tension brings about a great speech. You usually don’t look as nervous as you feel. Be prepared, be relaxed. Practice, practice, practice. Use visualization techniques. One speaker suggests that you curl your toes and get rid of your adrenalin. Get out of your head and in to your heart. Reduce nervousness with self talk.

  2. Great speeches have great stories. Sprinkle them throughout your presentation. We delineate our thoughts visually and your audience needs to “see” what they “hear.”

  3. Your voice is the source of power. FDR, Martin Luther King, Churchill used the power of their voice. Remember people need to see what they hear. Slow down, add a pause, whisper. . .use your voice to change tones, be loud or soft as needed.

  4. Use your eyes – to make contact with audience. Focus on one person at a time and all the other people will feel as if you are talking to them also. This will help you to connect with people and make them feel you are there for them.

  5. Interact – provide your audience with short role plays or partnering exercises. This gives them an opportunity to practice what you are telling them to do. Give them an opportunity to tell someone about their challenge and get some feedback as to how to resolve it. Then they can walk out the door at the end of the program ready to think or act differently. This is what every great speaker wants!

© 2006 Sandra Schrift

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How to Give a Talk to Market Your Business

Sandra Schrift


First of all professional speaking is a business to business sale. I realized as a speaker bureau owner that there were many terrific speakers who did not have sales and marketing acumen and therefore they never got the bookings and higher fees they deserved. So you must use "attraction marketing." When you have an opportunity to speak to a group for free or for a fee, they are not buying your speech . . . they are buying your solution that will fix their problem. Be coach-like in your presentation and demonstrate what it would be like to work with you as their coach.

Think of yourself as an expert who is addressing the audience's challenge and is providing "how to's" to solve their problem. Here is what some of my clients speak on: direct mail marketing, security issues in the workplace, how to lobby the government for your special interest, ethics in the workplace, follow your dreams, financial planning, a doctor and lawyer who want to speak about what is wrong with our healthcare system and how we can change that.

Begin each talk by asking yourself 3 questions.

  1. What action do I want my audience to take after my speech?
  2. What do they need to know to do this (content)
  3. What do they need to feel to do this (emotions)

Remember, you will get hired for your content and paid (or referrals) for your delivery!
So to persuade an audience, we must get in touch with their feelings, and reveal that our own feelings are in harmony with theirs. When we can do that emotionally, and truthfully, we will have won their trust . . . and will get repeat business and referrals to new clients.

There are 145,000 meetings held annually in US alone - about 7,000 day. Meetings are an 80 billion dollar industry. How much of that do you need to make you happy?

In addition to platform speaking, you can also be a guest teleclass speaker, conduct your own teleclasses, provide a radio interview, start your own virtual university ( I did in 1998 - Speakers University - thespeakersuniversity.net)

Here are some of the hot topics:

  • Knowledge Management
  • Filling Multiple Roles in the workplace
  • Creating Change skill sets
  • Ethics in the workplace
  • Time/task management
  • Stress Management
  • Increasing worker/employee productivity
  • Blending people and organizations
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Leading, managing and surviving change
  • Diversity
  • Strategic Planning
  • Humor (as a stress handling technique)
  • Negotiations techniques
  • Handling difficult people
  • Conflict resolution
  • Communication Skills
  • Motivation
  • How to achieve Balance in your life
  • Health and Wellness (to do's)
  • Programs specific to women's issues and family issues.

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Top 10 E's to Motivate and Influence an Audience

Sandra Schrift


Speak with E's. Be a speaker of influence not control or guilt. With the privilege of the platform comes the awesome responsibility of motivating and influencing your audience to feel/think/act differently.

  1. Educate provide your audience with extensive information on your topic. This will empower attendees to feel competent and knowledgeable. Support your points with stories. Stories help us see through the eyes of other people. Adults delineate their thoughts visually.

  2. Entertain give them the facts laced with a good dose of humor. Adults learn better when they are lightening up! Here's the place for some magic tricks, handwriting analysis or a song.
  3. Experience get the audience involved. When they interact, they get it better and retain it longer. Group exercises, simple questions and answers, role-plays.

  4. Enthusiasm vary your tone of voice, smile often, and show passion for your subject matter. Make your body language reflect your comments.

  5. Example be the speaker/person who motivates the audience to admire and respect you. You have succeeded when people say, I want to be like him/her.

  6. Encourage be supportive to your audience believe in them. Acknowledge them Say, I did it and so can you.

  7. Excellence hold yourself accountable for excellence. And then help your audience be accountable and live up to its potential. Speakers need to give audiences what they need, not what they want.

  8. Expertise demonstrate that you know your stuff. Speak about what you know from your business background, personal experiences and research. Be perceived as an expert on your topic.

  9. Eloquence deliver your speech with high energy, sincerity, inspiration, and a sense of humor. Are you one of a kind? What makes you different from your competitors?

  10. End result you want to energize your audience to take some risks, some action, go to the edge and execute, make their dreams come true, or get the job done. Your information should be useful and immediately applicable to their lives.

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7 Tips to Jump Start your Public Speaking Success

Sandra Schrift


The formula for success - Have a passion for what you speak on. Master your delivery. And be very persistent about what you need to do to be a sought after speaker who is asked to come back again and again!

  1. To begin - Practice the four D's: Drop, Delay, Delegate, and Do! Make the space for taking the steps needed to pursue your speaking career.|

  2. Acknowledge and utilize your prime time (Chronobiology). Use your peak working hours to develop and collect your material, listen to tapes, hear other speakers, view videos, etc.

  3. Visualize your speech and break through your nervousness. See it. Feel it. Allow it to happen.

  4. Get away from "woulda, coulda, shoulda" thinking. Don't wait for the perfect time - just DO IT!! Remember: There is no right time to begin your speaking career.

  5. Take one step at a time - the first step is the hardest. Then - do what is needed to package yourself and improve your delivery constantly.

  6. Set time limits - you don't have to do it all in one month.or even one year.

  7. Don't do it alone - company makes it more fun!! Hire a Coach now and cut your learning curve.

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Follow this link for an important article on Writing a Speaker Agreement That Agrees with Everyone

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