Are Your Presentations Good Enough? Really?

How to make your presentations stand up and stick out in a crowded market.

As a motivational speaker, comedian, and speaking coach, I see speakers making the same mistake over and over again. They focus so much on selling the product that they neglect the product. As a speaker your speech is your product. The experience is what you are selling – not the content. If they just wanted the content they would buy the book and not bother paying you to come deliver the information in person. So your speech is your product. And your competition is fierce. There are easily thousands of other speakers delivering the same message. Maybe you have something original to say, but once you’ve given it out to thousands of people it’s not so original anymore is it? It’s never what you say that makes you stand up and stick out in a crowded market – it’s how you say it. So how are you saying it? Are you good enough? Honestly? Many of you think you are good enough and you aren’t. I know because I’ve heard you speak.

The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you are good enough to be in front of an audience – to be charging the fee that you do? Really good enough. How do you know? You know by the comments you get from attendees and clients. You know by how often you are asked back. You know because you get booked over and over. You know because they stand up and clap when you are through. You know when they don’t move the entire time you speak – when they stop texting and making phone calls – when no one gets up to use the rest room. You know when people come up and ask you to show them how you do what you do. You know when you watch yourself on video and like it. If you don’t know, hire a coach or find someone who will give you honest feedback. And don’t be discouraged by what you hear. We are all bad before we get good. It’s not an overnight process. Dust yourself and get better. So you do you do it?

Put the work into it. If you aren’t willing to spend hours and hours on your product – the same amount of hours Michael Jackson spent planning a concert down to every move and every sound and every gesture – the same amount of hours a star basketball player spends practicing his jump shot –if you aren’t willing to spend hours then you will never be stellar. Period. Constantly “up your game” by adding new elements to your presentation – new stories, new jokes, fresher points, new ways of delivering it. The key is not just to come up with something new and better – but to come up with something different. Authenticity and Unique are key words to standing up and sticking out on stage. Try something new every time you give a presentation –even if it’s something as small as one new joke or standing in a different place on stage. Constantly bring yourself out of your comfort zone.

Watch game film – clips of yourself in action. All of the top motivational speakers do this. I know, it’s painful. But you have to do it. That’s when you’ll notice those annoying habits like pacing too much or pulling at your hair. You’ll also see what works. Game film is crucial – and you’ll have demo clips to use from it. Practice, practice, practice, and then practice again. I can’t stress this enough. I have spent an entire day working on one line – giving emphasis in different parts, looking in different directions, trying different things with my hands. Practice until you know that piece like the back of your hand. That is truly the difference in good and unforgettable.

And have fun! If you lose the passion for what you do, so will they.


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