The National Speakers Associations’ first president Bill Gove told me, “Fripp, the written word is for the eye. The spoken word is for the rhythm.”

Understanding the difference between the written word and the spoken word was just one sign of Bill’s brilliance as a speaker.

Imagine you are having a conversation with a friend, and you make a statement.


In a conversation, the friend would likely respond with a question. Your audience would recognize that as a conversation, even as you are delivering a speech to them. Important: The secret of making an emotional connection is to speak to the audience as if you were having a conversation with one person––50 or 100 or 300 times.

In other words, what if you said to your audience, “How often have you had the experience . . .” Or “If you had met me when . . .” Or “I don’t know what your experience is, however….” Everyone in the audience would feel that you were talking to them. No, a speech is not a conversation, but it needs to sound conversational. This principle is exactly the same in a recorded message.

Mary, the principal of a very exclusive girls’ school, came to me and said, “Patricia, help!

Every year I send a video of welcome to the parents and an introduction to the year ahead. I just watched my performance from last year, and I was very disappointed. Can you help?”

I asked, “Have you prepared a script?”

She answered, “Yes.” With a short message, every word counts. As her message was prerecorded, that was a great idea.

After looking at her script, I explained, “I can tell that you are a very good writer. However, your script is written, and it doesn’t sound spoken.”

We went over what she had written with the goal of making it sound more conversational.

For example, she thanked parents for responding to her survey. I explained the power of delivering the dialogue, not reporting on the dialogue. My advice was, “Why don’t you speak as if to one person in your office? Then use the parents’ own words from the survey as if they were speaking them. Use quotation marks to highlight their comments. This will make your presentation sound conversational. With shorter sentences, it is easier for the audience to reflect and remember what you have said. In the brief pauses, you are able to breathe and the opportunity to smile.”

We shortened Mary’s sentences. One idea or thought per sentence. When she looked into the camera and teleprompter, she felt more relaxed, better prepared, had fun, and on the third take it was a wrap!

Bottom line, you may be a brilliant writer, but do not assume you’re going to be a brilliant speaker.

Effective speaking involves more than a script.

On the other hand, you may be a great speaker but not necessarily a great writer. You might transcribe what you think you want to say, and then enlist the services of an editor to look better on the page. Use the technique you’re most comfortable with, learn to adapt it, and reach out for help if you need it.

Knowing the difference between the written and spoken word will make you a better communicator.

The best, easiest, and most convenient way to become a great speaker is through Fripp Virtual Training.

Fripp Virtual Training

“I wanted a super bowl-quality coach, and I was lucky to be introduced to Patricia Fripp. Her help in coaching and scripting was world-class. With Patricia Fripp on your team, you can go places.”
– Don Yaeger, Long-Time Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated magazine, Award-Winning Keynote Speaker, 11-Time New York Times Best-Selling Author

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Make The Spoken Word Work for You

Just a few of the many complimentary resources on Fripp.com to help you deliver powerful presentations:

Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with those who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.

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Shep Hyken is the host of Be Amazing Or Go Home. Enjoy his interview with Patricia Fripp.

Memorable messages are now more important than ever, especially in today’s virtual world. What techniques can lead you to the results that you want? Patricia Fripp is one of the world’s foremost speech coaches working with executives from the Fortune 100 and the top professional speakers on how to make more powerful presentations, and Patricia joins us now in the studio to talk about how to get amazing results from your next presentation. Welcome to Be Amazing  Or Go Home.

Shep Hyken: I’ve got a number of questions, first of all, yes, you are the speech coach to the stars, both in the corporate world as well as the professional speaking world. Hall of Fame speakers, speakers that have won awards have come to you to get their coaching, … including myself, I’m a proud client. I hope I’ve done you good service. Let’s begin with this.

Why are good presentation skills so important to business?

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Patricia Fripp on PBS Side by Side with Nido Qubein

Any Reasonable Person Might Despair

But hope is unreasonable and love is greater even than this.

These simple and powerful words are from my brother, Robert Fripp.

This is an apolitical message to remind us all that while we may struggle to improve our business, presentations, and lives, others fight for theirs.

Recently, I had the honor to be a guest on the PBS show Side by Side with Nido Qubein.

Dr. Qubein is the President of High Point University, a great speaker, corporate advisor, author, and past president of the National Speakers Association. He asked me, “Can anyone become a good speaker?” “Why do so many fear public speaking?” “What is important to know about putting together a speech?”

When you have 25 minutes you can listen to my answers.

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In a recent interview, I was asked, “What advice do you have for virtual meetings?

I have been coaching people virtually for at least 10 years. Even before Zoom was invented, I had my own virtual studio.

Although I still speak professionally, my major business now is helping other people with their presentations, whether they are executives, salespersons, engineers for technology companies, or other successful speakers and experts.

Many of my large Silicon Valley clients engage me to prepare their technical experts to speak at their customer conferences. Last year and this, they are virtual. In future years, I predict they will have both online and in-person conferences.

Patricia Fripp interviewed on how you enjoy and win in virtual presentations.

Here is my advice.

If you do not understand the technology, nothing else works. Certainly, Zoom is a popular platform; learn how to use it. You must up your game. It’s perfectly fine to work from your office, but I advise my clients to straighten out all the books on their bookshelves. It might be a bit busy, however, you need to make it tidy,

Everything we do adds to or detracts from our message.

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Patricia Fripp introducing a guest speaker.

The purpose of a speaker’s introduction is to establish their credentials, to create interest from the audience, and often to sell the importance of the subject to that audience at that time.

Recently at a client’s conference, one of my roles and responsibilities was to introduce other speakers, all of whom I had recommended. A couple of them spoke multiple times to the same audience.

The toughest slot of the day is that of the concluding speaker before the cocktail party and buffet at the hotel’s trendy nightclub.

Imagine sitting in the audience in a large ballroom in a fabulous Las Vegas hotel. You have been locked at home for almost two years. Not far outside the ballroom door are shops, shows, eateries, bars, spas, slot machines, and games of chance. Even walking to your comfortable hotel room is an adventure for watching exotic-looking people you do not see in Iowa. It is 4 pm and you have been in the ballroom since 8 am.

My introduction of the concluding speaker had to keep them in their chairs long enough for the speaker to engage them. I began,

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Patricia Fripp
Hall of Fame Speaker & Executive Speech Coach, Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE

How to Introduce A Speaker and Set Them Up for Success

My friend and fellow speech coach Sim Wyeth is the author of Persuasive Public Speaking. We were discussing how to help our clients eliminate boring presentations. Here are some practical suggestions on what to do, and not do, when introducing a speaker.

First, you must be brief.

Avoid all stale and stilted phrases such as,  “It is indeed an honor…,” “A man who needs no introduction…” and “We are gathered here tonight…”

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I introduced my long-time friend, Nacole Schapiro before her speech to the Golden Gate Breakfast Club. Although she is a professional keynote speaker who often presents on negotiation and change,

I knew our group would love to hear her personal story about growing up under communism.

Her family lived in fear that they would be shot if it were discovered that every night they would go into their basement and read a book about America.

Every Sunday her mother would take her young children on a long walk towards Austria.

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Robert Fripp performing with King Crimson.
Robert Fripp performing with King Crimson.

The Next Time You Sit Down to Dinner Reflect

Earlier in his career, my brother Robert Fripp enjoyed international acclaim with his band King Crimson. He later felt a great need to leave that world and spend time on spiritual self-reflection. Brother went into a retreat with philosopher J.G. Bennett. That experience made a significant impact on Robert and is still reflected in the way he lives his life and influences others, including me.

At the retreat before meals, which they prepared themselves, they said grace. Many decades later, we both enjoy sharing it with friends and gatherings of all faiths.

“All life is one, and everything that lives is holy.

Plants, animals, and people all must eat to live and nourish one another.

We bless the life that has died to give us food.

Let us eat consciously, resolving by our labors to pay the debt of our existence.

Amen.”

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There is nothing more exciting for an executive speech coach than to help craft the words of a well-intentioned leader who has an exciting message to deliver and is committed to the collaborative process.

Finding Opportunity in Adversity – A Timely Message

Delivered by Tabassum Zalotrawala, Chief Development Officer, Chipotle


Finding Opportunity in Adversity

Growing up in Muscat, Oman, my brother and I were always enthralled by my father’s stories of his journey from Mumbai to Oman.

Imagine how he felt at age 20, stepping onto a boat to make the arduous seven-day voyage to Oman. He arrived in a country that had no real roads or electricity and began the adventure of creating a new life.

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Patricia Fripp can help you drive more sales by perfecting your important sales conversations.

Are you confident your sales presentations are more consistently compelling than your competition’s?

When I work with sales teams to help drive more business, we look at every communication in the sales process.

What I have observed is that when several sales team members deliver formal presentations to the prospect, they miss out on a couple of valuable opportunities.

When you master the subtleties of delivering a group presentation you will gain a competitive edge.

Here is a credibility-building tactic that is far too often overlooked.

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