How to remember your speech – first tip of the Pivotal Tips Package

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[Quotation about public speaking] Speaking with style

“People think I can teach them style. What stuff it all is! Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style.”

— Matthew Arnold

[Quotation about public speaking] Catching fire



And that is what it feels like to own the stage, to really connect, to be in flow as a speaker.

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[Quick Public Speaking Tip] One of the Secret Ingredients that Create Memorability


Memorability is important for us speakers, as it is for anyone building a brand, creating change, inspiring action, or wanting to be rehired.  

If you want your audience to remember your message, there are several wonderful ingredients you can add to the mix.

Today let's look at this one

... create an emotional connection. 

Maya Angelou is quoted as saying   “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

When you make an emotional connection, you open up the pathways in your audience’s brains that facilitate recall.  Whatever you associate with that emotion will be retained along with the emotion, in their memories. 

If you want to introduce a new way of thinking or doing for your audience to adopt, create an emotional connection.  Having already researched your audience, you should have some idea of what excites them, what they cry about, what their problems are.  And you can use that information to connect to their emotions.  Use examples that will push those buttons, appeal to what matters to them most. 

Tell stories that create an emotion.

Use words that heighten emotion. 

Use emotive verbs.  Rather than “she said” use “she screamed”, rather than “he went” use “he raced”.  Give your adjectives and adverbs the same treatment. 

You can watch your audience as you go, and get a feel for what moves them.

It is also a fact that while statistics and logic and facts and figures are useful in supporting a point, they will not have the power over your audience that emotion does.  People will make decisions (and give you their attention) based on emotions … and justify them afterwards with logic.

So create an emotional connection with your audience and mix it in and around your facts, statistics and testimonials to engage your audience, have them remember your message and be open to making changes in their lives. 

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A promise of success – The Official guide to TED Talks

ted_talksTED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking Hardcover
– May 3, 2016
by Chris Anderson

At long last - what promises to be the definitive guide to public speaking, well to TED talks anyway (and no, I haven't read it, and will wait for the Kindle edition, I think. It should be worth waiting for.)

Who wouldn't want to be a speaker for TED? The whole system provides wonderful exposure. The discipline of being limited to 18 minutes ensures a tight, well constructed speech. There is professional coaching for all speakers.

Since taking over TED in the early 2000s, Chris Anderson has shown how carefully crafted short talks can be the key to unlocking empathy, stirring excitement, spreading knowledge, and promoting a shared dream. Done right, a talk can electrify a room and transform an audience’s worldview. Done right, a talk is more powerful than anything in written form.

Many people have shared their understanding of the magic behind TED talks, Carmine Gallo especially.

And now we can all share in the secrets behind the speeches. I guess it will be disappointing to some that there is no formula, but heartening, nevertheless since we become inured of formulae. No two speeches should be the same.

As Sir Ken Robinson said,

Is there a single recipe for a great speech? Of course not. But there are some essential ingredients, which the TED team sets out here with concision, verve and wit (which are also some of the ingredients). An inspiring, contemporary guide to the venerable arts of oratory. Sir Ken Robinson

'Nobody in the world better understands the art and science of public speaking than Chris Anderson. He is absolutely the best person to have written this book' Elizabeth Gilbert.

He coached her, along with the other TED speakers who have inspired us the most, Sir Ken Robinson, Amy Cuddy, Bill Gates, Salman Khan, Dan Gilbert, Mary Roach, Matt Ridley, and so many more,and has shared tips from their presentations.

Anderson lists his five key techniques to presentation success: Connection, Narration, Explanation, Persuasion and Revelation (plus the three to avoid). He also answers the most frequently asked questions about giving a talk, from 'What should I wear?' to 'How do I handle my nerves?'.

The promise ...

For anyone who has ever been inspired by a TED talk…

...this is an insider’s guide to creating talks that are unforgettable.

I suspect that it very well might be and look forward to reading it.

You can buy the book from Amazon, The Book Depository , Fishpond

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What to do when you present in a boring, repetitive monotone – follow TED speaker Robert's example

This is a TED Talk by Robert Ballard, deep-sea explorer.

If you can, watch it without listening to the words, just to the pitch of his voice, especially about half way through the talk, at about 7.30.

The majority of his speech is incredibly monotonous.

He gives the impression that he is ashamed of what he is saying, that his audience will find it boring and that it needs to be hurried, get it out of the way as soon as it can be done.

There were times when I thought I would stop watching.

It was that bad!

I didn't stop watching.


Because ...

he compensated with some fabulous, very successful strategies that had his audience engaged despite the monotony.

What were these strategies and can we use them ourselves?

There were six that I noted, and all of them are powerful - they needed to be!!

1. The message is simple and strong

He has a very simple, well articulated message. Why are we spending so much time and money on space exploration and so little on exploring our oceans? It is repeated. The whole presentation supports it. And the fact that it is regularly stated as a question keeps it hooked into his audience's minds and hearts.

2. He uses the unexpected

Several of his statements stand out for me but there are others. The first that aroused my attention was the one about how everything he learned at school in his field was wrong. The second was about the map. Normally when we see a blank space on a map we assume it is just an area of similar topography. A space like that on a map of the sea is blank because it is not mapped. Life under the sea exists in ways no life should. Water is upside down. Volcanoes work in ways volcanoes shouldn't. He sets his audience up and hits them regularly with the unexpected and each point made that way hits strongly.

3. He uses images.

There are 57 image slides in this presentation with no words. There is no conflict in his audience's minds between spoken and written words. The images reinforce what he is saying and his audience is more likely to remember a point made and supported by an image than one that is only made verbally. I can still see in my mind's eye the little girl with her mouth open in amazement.

4. Humour

He's not exactly a humorous speaker, nor a comedian, but he uses subtle humour, and again often the unexpected. There is self effacing humour, and his use of the name Easter Bunny, the statement "I would not let an adult drive a robot. He doesn't have the gaming experience." just three examples. And the audience laughs. But they laugh and they are acknowledging the humour but they are also being drawn to the point he is making at the time. The humour simply highlights it.

5. Clever use of Pause

Robert uses pause to highlight a particular point and his uses it powerfully, interspersing it between questions and single words.

He also uses pause as an antidote to a long session of fast-paced narrative. And that is powerful too.

6. Repetition

He repeated the main message. He repeated his main points. He repeated his humorous "Easter Bunny" statement. And it wasn't saying the same thing over again. It was calling back to it, later in the speech. It's a powerful technique, puts the segment just completed, monotonous though it may be, into perspective and creates support for the point he is making, or the idea he has introduced.

7. Passion

This man believes in what he is doing.

He is excited by it.

He is passionate about the possibilities it offers and about creating excitement in his audience and in the world, about his project.

And it shows, when he allows it, in his use of pause, in his enthusiasm, and in his energy.

These are not rhetorical devices he just inserted into his speech. They are the result of his enthusiasm and dedication and excitement.

He left the best for last when he talked about being able to ignite that same enthusiasm and excitement in middle-schoolers, when he talked about "creating the classroom of the future" and how you "win or lose a scientist by 8th grade".

This is what we want.  This is a young lady not watching a football game, not watching a basketball game.  She's watching exploration thousands of miles away and it's just dawning on her what she is seeing.  And when you get a jaw dropping, you can inform, you can put so much information into that mind ...

This is what we want. This is a young lady not watching a football game, not watching a basketball game. She's watching exploration thousands of miles away and it's just dawning on her what she is seeing. And when you get a jaw dropping, you can inform, you can put so much information into that mind ...

And he had a standing ovation.

Monotonous, maybe, boring no!


[Quick Public Speaking tip] Accepting an award? Shift the spotlight


It's very gratifying to be given an award ... or to win, to be given first prize.

The spotlight is on you - your achievements - your win - your prize - your award.

Shift that spotlight.

Humility is called for here, not crowing.

Obvious, isn't it?

You can thank the other team or the losers. Thank your parents, your friends, your dog, your kindergarten teacher.

Where is the spotlight?

On you, still. On you, surrounded by all your helpers to whom you are grateful, certainly.

Shift that spotlight.

Turn it right around and on to the presenter and the organisation or group or business that is presenting.

Be grateful to them. Laud them. Highlight their value and excellence. Establish your sense of belonging to them, but highlight them.

You have successfully established humility without any falseness, or compromising of your value.

You have created a valuable sense of community.

And you have made them feel good.


[Public Speaking Quotation] The success of your presentation

"The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives."
-- Lilly Walters


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Three vital elements of story for speakers


5 Places you can use Story to Grow your Business (besides public speaking)

This is a blog about public speaking ... and yet ...

Right now, under the banner of a business called Pivotal Public Speaking, I am teaching small business owners about story - story for speakers? ... not altogether ...

If you are speaking to grow your business, then story is vital. It gives you credibility. It creates a deep engagement with your audience of potential clients. Most powerfully, though, it allows you to take a potential client into your business with you so that they feel, and hear, just what it is like to work with you, just what exactly it is that you do for them.

That is "if you are speaking ..."

The stories that you choose and tell, about your business, though, can then be used and re-used elsewhere with exactly the same power.

1. You can use them on the "About" page of your website/blog/web presence. They give that same level of engagement, credibility and awareness, that will have your web visitors clicking through to find out more.

2. You can use them on your sales pages. Let your prospective buyers know that you understand their pain and problems. Let them see your product in action. This is word of mouth marketing - online!

3. You can use them in conversations. You connect at a networking event. What more natural and yet powerful way of deepening that connection is there, than story? People arrive at your product display. Conversation, and story, will give them the human face of your business, your product, your service. And people do tend to buy people first. We know that, though often instictively.

4. You can use your story/stories in your social media marketing. On the surface this means sharing stories about your business - regularly. Facebook loves stories. Distill them down for twitter into tiny conversational pieces. Give them "corporate" style, if you need to, for LinkedIn. Under the surface, though, your brand story drives all that you do in social media. Confine all that you do, say and share to that defined specific story and you establish a strong brand presence.

5. Finally, you can use your stories when you are teaching. Many speaking engagements revolve around teaching about something in your business. Many businesses revolve around teaching something. Here the power of story is perfect for you because it creates engagement, it helps overcome objections to new ideas and it is a vital tool in the integration of brain function so necessary to successful learning.

So in "teaching" story, I am excited to be giving people far more than just a speaking tool, though it is certainly that.

If you are interested in learning more about story, either simply as a speaking tool, or as a tool to grow your business, why don't you join me?

You will learn

How to use stories for different outcomes.

How to draw an audience into your world or your business using story.

4 of the basic types of business story and where to find the ones in your business/life that will be more effective when you speak.

Story structure - the elements and processes of story and how to apply them and which ones work best in different situations.

How to integrate story into your speaking - how it fits into the structure of your presentation, how to use your voice, stage and stage presence to greatest effect and how to remember it.

Integrated into the program is a thread of how you use story to propel your personal growth, the growth of your business and your vision for the future/blockquote>

This is small group workshop format. In all of my workshops I find people learn much from each other, as they are learning from me, and I intend to maintain that.