How to become better as a speaker

See something strange with this picture?

Yes, all the seats are facing each other, not the stage.

That makes it harder for the speaker to connect.

But the really unusual set up is that the boss has a chair facing the OPPOSITE way.

There is a big LED TV so he can see the slides, but to see the speaker (and for the speaker to see him) he has to decide to turn around…

So how to deal with this as a speaker?

I saw this set up the night before my speech and considered having them change the layout of the room, but it was not an option.

To make the room work better I decided to:

1) Keep the energy up from the start to get the chairman to turn his chair around to see what was happening

2) Walk into the room a few times during the speech to create a better human connection with the room.

3) Network with the senior leaders (the ones that would be sitting in the blue chairs) during the dinner to have a personal rapport with them.

Lesson: You can not always change the room to how you want it so then work with what you got.

What is the most intimidating set-up you have ever spoken at? How did you resolve it? Email me at [email protected]


** Announcement: Read the end of this post for a special announcement about mentoring! **

“Call for approach” means that you – during the speech, and preferably close to the end – give the audience a reason to come up to you after the speech.

You could say things like: “I am writing a book on xxx and would love to hear your examples, please approach me after my speech if you have a good story”, or “If you want more examples do not be afraid to approach me after the speech.”

The reason for the “call for approach” is that many audience members are afraid to approach a speaker. They might be shy, introverted, intimidated or even star struck. By giving them permission to approach you you encourage them to come up – giving you valuable opportunities to connect, network and research.

I promise you you will get more people coming up to you after your speech, and by people approaching you you will get more stories you can use, more connections you can nurture and more leads you can use.


** Special announcement: After 5 years of giving free advise on Professional Speaking but saying “no” to all requests for mentoring I have decided to take on a FEW mentees to help them build a global speaking career. If you are interested in knowing more send me an email [email protected] **



There are 3 kind of conferences a speaker can speak at:

Industry conferences
Internal events
Client events
Today let’s talk about Client events.


a) You are talking to strangers

When you speak to an audience where not everyone knows everyone you have to pay more attention to build rapport with the group and within the group.

b) They are there as guests – treat them like guests

A client event is a gift. Clients are there to feel special. That means you need to have a more positive message, have to be more entertaining and have a less “teaching approach” than when you speak at an internal conference.

c) They are there for a purpose and that purpose is not you.

Remember companies invite clients to sell something. That means that clients will very much appreciate if you incorporate some of the sales pitch into your speech. It looks so credible if the external speaker – in a believable way – pushes the clients products to the audience. And they love that. Or, if you can not do that, help by expressing what an amazing company the company is. Anything to help sell the client to his client.

Remember: Your speech is there to sell the client.


Learn how to become a professional global speaker

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