Sunday, 21 October 2007

The FAQ book on Public Speaking

I don't normally do third party endorsements on my blogs, but this one I could not resist. Not only is it a great book on public speaking, but as I helped put it together, I thought that I should let my readers know about it.

Below is an ad written by my colleague Eric Feng. It is a great book with heaps of practical tips for any type of presentation. It is great value too. It has been put together by 3 of Asia's best speakers. While the English is not "Australian English" the message is clear and the advice sound.

Have a read of what you get and place an order at the bottom.



"Finally… A Book That Answers Your Most Burning Questions About Becoming A Popular And Respected Public Speaker..."
You "The Star" Of Your Next Presentation - Guaranteed"

The FAQ Guys present:
"The FAQ book on Public speaking"

You might be asking, who are these FAQ guys anyway? Before I continue, I believe I need to give you some background on how the name came about. You see, I was having coffee with Andrew at Starbucks one day and he dropped me this question"If you get to spend one hour with world class speakers for a one-on-one, personal consultation for public speaking from each of them, what would you ask?"
Lots and lots of questions...

I thought about it and an idea popped up in my head. "What if we asked other people who are equally concerned about their public speaking journey?"So we tried that and to our surprise, truckloads of questions came pouring in. Apparently, even though with so many public speaking books out there, there are still lots of unanswered questions in your minds.
Questions include...

How to I make my speech interesting with greater impact?
Are there times when the audience does not react or respond the way you want them to, and how do I deal with them?
How do you salvage the situation when you fail on stage?
How do I kick fear and insecurity out of myself when giving a speech?
I’m often distracted by thoughts of not being good enough to be “up there” talking. I lack confidence on stage. What can you advise me to do?
What advice can you give to a novice speaker?
How do we discover our own style of speaking? One that we can claim as our own?
How do you “Be Yourself” to the audience? We all heard that so many times but how EXACTLY do you do it.
What are all the ways to draw the audience into your speech, hence connecting with them?
Could a person with a poor command of English be able to speak well like other people do?
When I give a presentation, I will switch to "presentation mode". I become monotonous, lifeless...It's a subconscious habit now. It's so hard to change...How do I change…………
And much, much more!

So without any further ado... Ladies and Gentlemen, Presenting...The FAQ Book On Public Speaking!

To compile this book, Andrew and I went on the hunt for the answers to public speaking excellence. We looked for 2 real successful speakers in each of their field and demanded them to spill the beans behind their successes so you can learn from them and become a phenomenal speaker yourself. We drained their brain of every last tip, tactic and technique for crafting and delivering successful speeches and you'll get to devour them all when you own your copy of this book.

So what do you get when you throw in Asia’s top 3 speakers, 70+ burning public speaking related questions and hordes of people who want quality answers?Well this is what you get...
The 3 most important attributes the audience looks out for in a speaker
How to maximise speaking effectiveness and accelerate your growth exponentially as a speaker.
How to find and cultivate your very own style of speaking that no one can duplicate

Discover every single trick, tactic, shortcut, formula, jealously-guarded secret and psychological hot-button used by truly successful public speakers
The little known secrets to capture the attention of the audience
Why you should speak to your audience as though they are your friends and how you can actually speak to them at ease
The truth behind making eye contact
Don’t send the wrong messages with your body language
Why pauses are necessary in your speech and how you can totally eliminate pause fillers and don't let them haunt you again
The exact steps and system behind humour and how it is so easy to follow these steps and garner laughter from the audience
How to ensure 100% participation from the audience
How to make your speech interesting and impressionable.
How are you *present* with the audience, *be* the audience and really *know* the audience

What to do if the audience does not react enthusiastically when you want them to. Tried and tested formula to salvage the situation!
How to counter fear and nervousness and "eradicate" them totally from your public speaking career
How to convert your fear into positive energy you can use to make your speech much stronger and “fool” the audience into thinking that you are very confident and comfortable on stage
What are the steps you need to take to prepare a speech
How can you sustain your passion in public speaking and finding out what motivates you
Your unfair advantage as a presenter
How to measure your speaking success
Taboos you must absolutely avoid in a speech
Why numbers and figures can be interesting instead of boring and how it can help enhance your speech
How to differentiate yourself from the rest of the speakers- Finding Your "Purple Cow"
What to do if your jokes bombs
How to turn your love of speaking into a springboard of success
3 ways for beginners to develop their speaking chops
Why you must videotape (or audiotape) every single presentation or speech you give
The right mix of substance, style and humour in your speech ow to find the riveting story only you can share
Speaking too fast? Learn how you can slow down.
Is having cue cards really that bad?
What you should do with your cue cards and how to leverage on them effectively.
A tested system for organizing and delivering your speeches so you will never go blank in the middle of your speech again
How you can break the rules of speaking and get away with it
Eliminate pause fillers altogether
3 ways to make the audience participate
Who says a technical presentation is boring?
How to make your technical presentation interesting and understood by all And much, much more!
The book is only US$29.95, and you can get it here.
Darren Fleming
Australia's Public Speaking Coach
& Eric Feng & Andrew Zhan
The FAQ boys

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Marketing your public speaking skills

This blog was not created to show people how to become wealthy public speakers. There are plenty of public speaking blogs out there that can do that.

However, I recently came across this piece of advice from Patricia Fripp, a San Francisco based public speaking coach. They points are great and should be spread. You can get more of Patricia Fripps insights here.

Everything in life is about marketing. Weather you are trying to sell an idea at work or your services as a speaker you need to understand what you have to offer others. Below are some points that will help.

Successful marketing means that you identify prospective clients and position yourself in the market so they choose you over your competition. When I sit down with clients who want to position their marketing, I seek the answers to four basic questions:


Who wants to buy or could be stimulated to want to buy? Who is in a position to buy what you sell? What geographical and financial factors affect this ability? A good way to identify future clients is to listen
-- really listen -- to those you have now. Their comments, especially negative ones, will help you tailor both your product and your approach to other prospects.


What emotional and physical factors will influence them? I just worked with an east coast psychiatrist who ran a practice with ten other psychiatrists and wanted to position herself. Our conversations quickly disclosed that her community was predominantly upwardly mobile professionals. Many of the women had delayed having children. Due to fertility drugs, a high percentage of families had twins, triplets, or more. We decided to focus her practice on these families, the first practice in the area to do that. How did we do this? First, we realized her potential audience was geographical, that is, in her community rather than regional, national or international. These prospects had distinctive demographics. By appealing to a unique aspect, we hit on her core group. She's now hugely successful in her practice.

3. WHAT ANGLE SHOULD YOU TAKE? How is your product or service unique?

Why is it perfect for your target audience? How is it different from everyone else's? How will it fulfill your core group's needs in a way that no one else can? This is positioning yourself in the market.
(Remember how Avis advertised, "We try harder.") As an example, when other advertising consultants do presentations, they talk about budgets, print versus TV, soft versus hard sell. I position myself by emphasizing that you start by targeting your audience, positioning your product, and creating distinctive selling propositions. Lots of mom-and-pop businesses, confronted by super stores, can't compete or even survive unless they find a unique niche to fill.


We all know people with great ideas, products, and inventions. They spend a fortune developing this product, but it sits there because they have no idea what to do with it. Is there a system in place to put your product in the customers' hands and return their money to you? Or do you need to create one?


Darren Fleming
Australian Public Speaking courses

Monday, 30 July 2007

Tips for an Effective Presentation

Tips for an Effective Presentation - This article originally appeared in American Chronicle on July 30 2007. The original extract can be reached here

Ellen Dunnigan
Accent On Business founder and CEO Ellen Dunnigan is a nationally-recognized and proven coach with specialized training in voice, speech, and English improvement. She holds a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and has been certified as clinically competent by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.
In addition, she has spent several years in corporate settings as an operations leader and strategist. Ms. Dunnigan has devoted 17 years to helping people improve their personal and professional voice and speaking skills.
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Ellen Dunnigan
July 5, 2007

Uh oh, it’s happened again. You’ve been able to avoid it for the last 3 years. Now here it is again…the dreaded presentation. Ever been in one of these situations?
• You've been invited to make a key presentation at a Board of Directors meeting.
• Your dream job just opened up and you will need to interview for it.
• You have one single opportunity to have lunch with a prospective major account client.
• You have three months to prepare your 25th high school class reunion’s keynote address.
• You've been asked to fill in for a colleague in teaching a training session to senior management.
• Your company is in the peak of a crisis or incident and you need to speak about it live on television or on radio.
• You volunteered on a mission trip sponsored by a large company in your area and are now required to tell the mission story to large audiences as part of the sponsorship.
The list could go on indefinitely and you can probably cite many of your own examples. The common theme here is that YOU will be in the limelight and will need to communicate effectively, putting forth your best skills in the art of speaking. For a small percentage of the human race, this will be taken in stride and will be just another task in the course of your day.
However, for the majority of us out there, these examples can create a host of reactions such as breaking out in a cold sweat, heart palpitations, nausea, lack of a voice, and an overwhelming desire to run and hide. All kidding aside, fears related to speaking in public, whether it be in a small or large group, have been said to be a fear greater than death for many. If indeed you are among those who shy away from any of these activities or view them as dreaded events, you're in luck because there are many techniques that can ease your discomfort. So, try some of these on for size…maybe you’ll even volunteer next time!
Tips To Increase Your Confidence when speaking:
1. Obtain as much information as possible about your audience and ensure that you know who they are and what their expectations are. Know what problems of theirs you can solve. Get to know what “pains” they have that you might address. Know what’s on their minds. Not only will you address what’s important to them, you’ll feel more confident and prepared.
2. Prepare an outline or notes to organize the information you need to convey, so you stay on topic and within the allotted time-frame. Jot your notes on index cards and try to use them to prompt or cue you with main points. It’s important not to read them; speak from your heart and from your head.
3. There’s just no substitute for practice. Practice not only helps you sound more convincing; it gives you greater confidence. Practice out loud, or even into a tape recorder, while standing in front of a mirror. Play the tape back and note what changes you want to make as well as what you did well. Then make another recording implementing the changes.
4. Sound more credible and give a little “oomph” to your voice by planting your feet firmly into the ground whenever speaking (and especially during your practice).
5. Scan your audience as you speak. Look for people who are nodding their heads and/or smiling. Return to them when you feel vulnerable. They already have let you know they like you and your message. Maintain eye contact with them and they’ll keep you feeling confident.
6. Have easy access to a glass of water, and take small sips to keep your throat and mouth lubricated when speaking for an extended period. Avoid caffeine. Stay away from dairy products and items with mayonnaise during the meal before your presentation as these may cause you to want to clear your throat while speaking.
7. If you are speaking to more than 20 people, use a microphone. This will help you avoid vocal strain and shouting. It also helps the 20% of the population over the age of 55 with hearing impairments who might be in your audience.
8. Always face your audience. Don’t turn away to read from your projected slides. Whenever you turn you distract your audience and risk them not hearing or understanding you.
9. Walk purposefully. Don’t pace the width of the audience. Use movements sparingly to support your message.
10. Make your message memorable by varying the pitch of your voice, the rate of your speech, and your vocal volume. These adjustments will emphasize a key point you're trying to convey. Holding the listener's attention is essential and often this is a function of how you say something vs. what you are saying.
So, whether you're interacting with someone one on one, providing training, participating in a small meeting or making a public speaking presentation, speaking confidently is one of the most powerful tools. Remember that effective communication is at the heart of professional, organizational and personal success. You can get yourself on the road to speaking to others with Vocal Charisma®

This is a great article about public speaking. It has some great tips on how to present effectively and how to keep your nerves under control. Most importantly, it has great points about how to use notes. Most coaches will tell you to try and memorise your speech. This article offers great advice on speaking from the heart and the head. This will see you win hands down every time.

The only way that this article could have been improved was to mention Toastmasters. But then again, I suppose she has her own courses! :)


Australian Public Speaking courses
Australia's public speaking coach

3 Myths about Public Speaking

This article appeared in the Charlotte Observer on Sunday July 22 2007. the original copy can be found here

Keys to overcoming fear easier than you think
If you are one of the estimated 15 million Americans suffering from a phobia of public speaking, take heart. The trick to overcoming your fear may be as simple as re-examining your basic assumptions about public speaking, say Harrison Monarth and Larina Kase, communications coaches and authors of the new book "The Confident Speaker."

Here are three public speaking myths:

• Myth No. 1: Everyone can tell I'm panicking!

Your feelings are harder to read than you think. No one but you knows your heart is racing, so take a breath and try to calm down.

The lesson: You're probably doing much better than you think.

• Myth No. 2: People are judging me.

Many of us mistakenly believe that nervousness automatically counts against us. But most audiences respond better to speakers who exhibit discomfort. "Most people have some level of worry about speaking in public, so when they see your nervousness, they may empathize with what you're going through," Monarth and Kase write.

The lesson: The audience is probably on your side.

• Myth No. 3: Postmortems will help me improve.

Those of us who suffer from a fear of public speaking are our own worst critics, write Kase and Monarth, and we tend to use the postmortem as an opportunity to ruminate over our missteps, which only exacerbates the problem.

The lesson: Skip the post-game analysis.

While I generally agree with this article, I must take point with the Myth Number 3.

Even if you hate Public speaking, it is vital that you at least debrief with yourself about how you went. This will help you improve endlessly. Even if you have no intention of doing any more public speaking because you stuffed it up, it is better to work out why you stuffed it up so you can avoid the mistakes in future situations, or similar events.


Darren Fleming
Australia's Public Speaking Coach
Australian Public Speaking courses


Great Public Speaking: Public Speaking : On Stage Tips

Here are some great tips about public speaking from one of Americas self proclaimed experts on Public Spekaing. Check out his website and you will see copies of cheques that he has been paid!

Great Public Speaking: Public Speaking : On Stage Tips


Darren Fleming
Australian Public Speaking courses
Australias public speaking coach

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Great Public Speaking: Public Speaking: Top 10 Ways to Make Money

I have often been asked by clients, what is the best way to make some money from public speaking? There are a lot of people out there making lots of money with public speaking, and it would be great to be part of that action.

While this blog generally isn't about showing people how to make money from public speaking, I'm not averse to making money from public speaking or showing us how to do it.

The first thing you need to have, if knowledge. Not just any sort of knowledge, but knowledge, others are willing to pay full. What sort of knowlede are people willing to pay for? Anything that can show others how to improve their situation. Once you have this knowledge that other people are after, there are a number of ways to go about marketing yourself and making money.

I came across a great blog that shows you how to do this and the link is below. Have a look at it and it will give you heaps of ideas on how to make money with public speaking. Great Public Speaking: Public Speaking: Top 10 Ways to Make Money

til next time,


Darren Fleming.
Australia's public speaking coach.
Australian public speaking courses.