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The Journey from Novice to Maestro: Learning the Art of Professional Speaking

In the world of professional speaking, I have learned that success often hinges on meticulous preparation, a profound understanding of the audience, and the ability to seamlessly blend professionalism with authenticity.

In a recent presentation, supporting an event called “Conquering The Market of NOW” the goal was to help the audience with articulating their value proposition, how to handle current market objections and closing the gap on critical conversations as well as how to build relationships faster and deepen the ones that we currently have with our network.

Let’s dive into the moments that made this presentation a great learning experience.

The Importance of Punctuality: Being Early is on time

Arriving early to gauge the mood of the room and understand the audience’s personality was an integral part of doing the “work before the work”. The commitment to showing up two hours early and obtaining pictures of the event space prior to the event minimized potential hiccups and ensured a smooth presentation.

Investing in Professionalism: Pegs in the Board

The investment in a professional videographer was a wise spend as I have recognized the power of visibility and credibility. This decision to hire a video expert not only added a layer of professionalism to the event but also allowed real time recording of testimonials. as well as magic moments with the crowd.

Opening with Impact: Know Your Words

Memorizing the first 1-2 minutes of the speech made a strong initial confident impression and shook off the nerves as an “up and coming” speaker. The borrowed technique of turning a keynote into a workshop from Phil, with an invitation for active participation, set the stage for audience engagement.

Building Crowd Buy-In: Dialogue versus a Monologue

The presentation was initiated with encouraging attendees to reflect on why they were present at that moment. This tactic not only created a sense of connection but also provided valuable context for tailoring the content to the audience’s specific needs and got their buy-in immediately.

Guide Support: Practice and Feedback:

The commitment to rigorous practice with multiple guides helped develop a layer of confidence prior to the event as a new speaker. The content was heavily practiced with an experienced facilitator (Robyn), as her honest feedback and constructive criticism contributed to routinely refining the presentation to its highest standard prior to delivery.

Facilitation Moments to Master:



I used an inclusive approach and considered the different levels of experience of audience members and this established a safe learning environment (grey, messy area to learn).  There was a whiteboard that was used for audience input and addressed the potential challenges in the industry. This allowed for an adaptive facilitation style and gave the leadership team insight to the content where their sales professionals were struggling.


Leveraging Humor:

The incorporation of humor throughout the presentation added a touch of levity, making the content more engaging and relatable. The ability to balance seriousness with moments of lightheartedness contributed to a fun experience for the audience (and the presenter).


Working the Room:

Reflecting on the presentation style, weaving through the audience paired with interactions established a more intimate connection with the room. However, hindsight brought a realization that a forewarning to the videographer about this approach might have been prudent. Despite this oversight, it turned out that the videographer was able to capture many key moments with the crowd. This videographer was able to showcase the synergy between the presentation and the audience, which ultimately contributed to the visual impact of the recorded content.


The Presenter's Fresh Perspective:

Despite being the one at the “front” of the room, I realized that we are not just a presenter but an individual who has to convey that they have a relatable connection to the audience as well as the content. Being relatable and showcasing vulnerability out of the gate bridged the gap between presenter and participant (“us” versus “it.”)

The notion of showing up for a professional keynote to “make new friends, facilitate a discussion, and have fun” is the mindset that was much needed as an up and coming presenter to calm the nerves. The ability to maintain relatability while holding the role of a seasoned professional is a unique quality to master —a genuine connection that extends beyond the confines of the presentation itself.

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