Friday, September 29, 2023

Hall-of-Fame Speaker Gives Authors Speaking Tips


What are some of the best practices of some of the best speakers - and how can authors adopt some of these for their presentations?  

“Believe in yourself, your message, and your audience, and in the power of your words,” says best-selling author John C. Maxwell in his newish book, The 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication 

He suggests speakers need to speak to one’s heart, with emotion and connection. Offering hope, humor, and help can also win audiences over. As a litmus test for what he shares, he says: “Any message I want to deliver must speak to me before it can speak to others. If it hasn’t helped me, it cannot help others.” 

Maxwell makes clear what he wants his audience to see (the possibilities), know (their value), feel (empowered), and do (take action). He has an acronym for how he approaches his sharing of stories: 

·         Show: Help them visualize what you want them to see.

·         Help: Explain how this story or information helps them.

·         Amplify: Push them to dream, explore, and expand their lives.

·         Relate: Get them to feel and identify with the story.

·         Enjoy: Make the story fun and unforgettable.  

He notes that the majority of people are visual learners. “About 60% of all people are visual thinkers,” he says. “If you want to engage the imagination of your audience; don’t give them stats, give them images.” 

He also encourages the telling of stories to create an emotional response, to feel invested, to animate them, to captivate, and to entertain.  

Ask questions of the audience, provide context while making bold assertions, promise to help them, say things they’d likely agree with, and appeal to their self-interests. 

His four steps to engagement are to:

·         Sense what the audience feels and validate those feelings.

·         Share how he has felt the same way too.

·         Share what he has found that has helped him.

·         Offer to help them find the way to success. 

“People who focus on themselves seek to gain attention,” he notes “Speakers who focus on content give out information. Communicators who focus on others, make a connection.” 

Essentially, the key to being a great presenter is to focus on the audience's, needs and desires, and to give them your very best.  

“People may forget what you say, but they never forget how you make them feel,” writes Maxwell. 

He adds: “People won’t like you as communicator because they understand you; they will like you because they feel understood.” 

What else should a speaker be? He identifies these areas as important:

  1. Be transparent and authentic.
  2. Be consistent.
  3. Be a good example of what you say. 
  4. Be great at what you teach.
  5. Be trustworthy. 

“Help people reframe their thinking so that they shift their mindset from good intentions to intentional actions,” writes Maxwell. 

Lastly, pause for effect. Don’t speak 100 miles per hour - alter your speed and at times, stop talking. The pause can emphasize what you are saying, give others a chance to catch up to what you are sharing, brings your audience back to you, allows you to reveal emotion, and allows people to hear the room’s reaction to what you just said. 

 “Silence can underline an important statement,” he says.


“Power is based on perception.”

--The Adventures of Herbie Cohen, by Rich Cohen


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  




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