7 Speaking Secrets from a 7-Minute Coaching Video

Audiences remember what they see and what you say. As you watch the following video of me coaching another speaker, you will pick up 7 Secrets that will help you…

  • Breathe life into every story/speech
  • Uncover organic humor
  • Make your message memorable


7 Speaking Secrets

Secret #1: Don’t be the hero of your own story (figure out who influenced you)

Secret #2: Move with a purpose so that you don’t step all over your scenes. The main reason for moving on stage is to relate to the action in your story. The action in your story prompts your movement on stage. If your story is about being on an airplane, chances are there is not too much movement. If you do move anywhere, it would probably simulate walking up or down the airplane aisle but it wouldn’t likely be walking side to side. The key is to set up a scene and then bring us into it. If you’re not in it emotionally and physically (re-living it), we will not be in it either.

If you are not emotionally in your scene, we will not be in it either

Secret #3: Use inner dialogue. This helps to build the conflict and the conflict is the hook to your story. If you can let us know how the conflict is growing in your own mind, we will feel close to you and identify with your thoughts. Why? Because, chances are, we’ve had thoughts like those at times.

Secret #4: Never add humor to a speech. Uncover humor within it. Look into the lines of dialogue for the humor. And here’s a secret. It’s not always about the line. It’s often about the look before and after the line that makes it humorous or makes it heartfelt. As my good friend, Darren LaCroix says, “Reactions tell the story.” Where do you find the humor? You find it in the dialogue of your characters.

Secret #5: Don’t tell; ask. Audiences do not want to be told about themselves. For example, you don’t want to say, “We’re all overwhelmed…” Instead, ask, “Raise your hand if you feel overwhelmed.” And, actually, there’s a better question to ask. If you want a more inclusive question, don’t just ask about today. Ask about “ever.” For example, “Have you ever felt overwhelmed?” Or “Raise your hand if you have ever felt overwhelmed.” The word “ever” will get many more hands up because people might not feel overwhelmed today but they’ve most likely felt overwhelmed sometime in their lives. Use “ever” in your questions.

Secret #6: Speak to one but look to all (more on this in an upcoming week).

Secret #7: To be a great speaker, you need to be a great tease. Tease them before you tell them. Doesn’t food taste great when you’re hungry? Make your audience hungry for what’s to come and they’ll appreciate it more.

Your Turn

Which one of these secrets can you use immediately to help you transform your speech and your audiences?

Craig Valentine

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