Archive for June 14, 2011

Customizing Programs

hat can your speaker do to create an impactful presentation? How about offering them the names of at least six of the attendees for them to interview? It will be one of the best methods for your presenter to create the best possible speech. You might suggest a few of your decision makers who will have a better insight as to what they want the attendees to hear.

Years ago I heard a very well paid professional speaker who showed up at a keynote presentation and began delivering his canned presentation and after he was done, the event organizer told him they had announced the previous week they had laid off twenty-five percent of the workforce. His presentation was all about how positive their work environment was and how lucky everyone was to be working at the company.

In truth, it was the event planners responsibility to have approached the speaker and inform him there had been a drastic change in the corporate environment. But the real responsibility was the speaker’s.

And to be fair to the speaker, who could possibly imagine a company would have a corporate event when they had just laid of a quarter of their workforce. One of the things I suggest all the event planners do even as close as the day before the event is to contact the speaker and make sure there is an update in case they need to change their presentation. It will save everyone from going through embarrassing situations.


The first and only time I went to a Toastmasters group they had me get up and talk for 5 minutes on what travel would be like in the year 2010. That was 20 years ago. The only reason I went to the Toastmasters was my mentor Ed kept telling me I had to get over my fear of speaking and I thought the group might be helpful. It wasn’t!

Then I went to a National Speaker’s Association meeting and I was so intimidated by the stories the members told about their level of success I didn’t return for about five years.

One of my Elite Leads members agreed with me about the lack of professional speaking programs and we started our own group. It was great! We brought in people who had an expertise in various areas like creating back of the room sale materials; getting PR; interviewing on the radio, etc.

Eventually I started my own SpeakEasy group where there was actual structured curriculum. I’ve probably taught more than 100 Elite Leads members how to develop their own professional speaking techniques.

And rehearsing is one of the most ignored techniques of becoming a great speaker. One of my speaking coaches told me when I had delivered my presentation at least 50 times, I would no longer look like I was rehearsed.

When you’re able to deliver your presentation and make it sound spontaneous, you’re well rehearsed.