Tag: How to become better as a speaker

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As a professional speaker I am passionate about what people who book speakers think makes a great speaker.

That is why – at the Asia Professional Speakers Convention 11-12 May  that I am chair of this year – we have a panel of three buyers of speaker services sharing about just that. Check out www.AsiaProfessionalSpeakersConvention.com if you are interested.

And that is why I yesterday I asked the question to Mike Doughty. Mike Doughty is today a speaker and the founder of Get Business Fit. We had a conversation today about speaking as two speakers sharing peer-to-peer, but I also took the chance to ask him about his views from “the other side”.

Mike used to run an event company that would book some of the best speakers in the world. Over the years he booked over 100 speakers – and paid more than 2 million dollars in speaker fees.

I asked him: “What makes a great speaker great?”

His answer?

“The ability to articulate a different perspective in a way that is engaging.”

 

Sometimes a short, precise sentence is the only thing you need to be reminded of what is important.

As a speaker is your message different?

Are you giving a new perspective?

Are you articulating this message in the best way?

And do you do it in a way that is engaging?

If you answer “yes” to all these four questions you are on your way to becoming a great speaker, now work on getting even better at all four. If your answer – honestly! – is “no” or “a bit” or “perhaps” or “I think so” etc, then put all your effort on fixing that one thing that is missing.

Personally I think the one thing I need to work most on is “articulate”. As a non-native English speaker speaking almost exclusively in English I constantly struggle to use a more nuanced vocabulary in my speeches. What is the thing you need to work more on?

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On Friday I was in Kuala Lumpur to deliver two two-hour speeches for two different groups from the same company.

Group one: Senior leadership.

Group two: Young potential leaders.

I love when I get to do two talks for two different groups from the same company because you can pin the groups “against” each other to create a sense of “competition” between the two groups of which group is the “best audience”.

I do that by saying things like:

“I will ask you the same questions and I asked the other group and I look forward to see if – and if so how – you will answer the questions differently.

A bit of friendly competition makes the group want to be “better” and when a group is good, the speaker becomes good and when the speaker is good the group becomes good and so on.

Sometimes small “tricks” like this makes it slightly easier to be a speaker. Thought I would share that little trick with you today.

 

 

 

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