𝐒𝐨𝐜𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬 said, “𝐊𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐲𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟.”
Patricia Fripp (that’s me!) says, “Put your words under the magnifying glass.”
𝐈𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞 all of 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬, just follow these simple steps.
If you have a video of a presentation that you felt went really well, sit down and watch it. However, change your perspective.
Imagine you are a high-priced speech coach. Pretend that ‘this speaker’ is not you. When we focus on ourselves, we have a tendency to get distracted by a wrinkle in our jacket or that strand of hair that is out of place. Then, look at ‘that speaker’ and think, “What is that speaker doing superbly well?” You must find something. Did they have a good grasp of their content? Did they move well on stage? Did they smile at the audience?
Next ask yourself, “As a high-priced speech coach, what would I tell that speaker to do to improve that performance?”
Do you have solid suggestions? If so incorporate them in your next presentation.
Go back and watch the video of ‘that speaker’ again with the sound off.
How is ‘that speaker’ moving on stage? Are the movements smooth? Can you tell when they stand and deliver, in other words, deliver the key ideas? Are the gestures out of synch with the delivery? Are their gestures repetitive?
This exercise may give you a new perspective for your next presentation.
In my experience, there have been times I have walked off stage feeling that I had delivered a magnificent presentation. The client said they were thrilled. Later when I reviewed the presentation, my speaker high made me feel better about the presentation than I was watching on the screen.
The best way to improve your presentations? Review your videos and pretend you are me! Yes, a seasoned speech coach who has also spoken on thousands of stages.
Recognize where you are. How good do you want to be?
Here is another simple and powerful suggestion.
Often I work with seasoned professional keynote speakers who believe they have perfected their signature speech. The speech that is most requested. The speech that made them famous. The speech that is built around their book.
These are the speakers who are used to standing ovations and hearing, “You are the best speaker I ever heard.” These are the speakers who walk away with a handsome check
However, many of these speakers ask, “How can I improve?”
What we do, can work for you. My first step is to have their presentation transcribed. Then I analyze the script of exactly what they said. My goal is to find ways they could use more ‘you’ than ‘I’ language.
Discover non-specific language, over use of words and phrases. Identify where there are too many ideas in one sentence. This makes it more difficult for an audience to remember what the speaker said. Even if it sounds good at that time.
The next step of my process is to watch the recording a couple of sentences at a time. We analyze what works well and why it worked. Very often we naturally incorporate techniques that are effective. However, many of my clients do not realize why they work. When you understand why you make it a consistent part of your speaking.
Naturally, we also find ways to improve.
Often it is, “You would have been more effective if you stood still for that line.” “After you make that statement pause for 1-2-3 before you speak again.” Or, “After you deliver that line, take two steps forward on silence for dramatic effect. Do not do that more than 3 times or it will look like a technique.”
When it comes to presentations, the difference between good and great, great and world-class, is dozens of tiny improvements, practiced consistently until they become second nature.
That is when your audiences say, “I always thought you were the best speaker I ever heard. However, that was amazing!!!!!”
As Sir Laurence Olivier said, “The art is hiding the art.”
“The leadership of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices first heard Patricia Fripp deliver a two-and-a-half-minute tribute at the celebration of life for one of our dearest friends. We thought, “I wonder what she could do with 50 minutes.”
We were not disappointed. From her opening line, Ms. Fripp’s presentation was positively provocative. Her innate ability at storytelling immediately drew us in and everyone wanted to go along for the ride. She mined the nuggets of information we asked her to include, all while intertwining audience participation.
Many professional speakers present in grand sweeps of concepts. Patricia drilled down to disrupt many preconceived notions our sales professionals had about how to effectively communicate with their clients and prospects. Thank you, Patricia, for a productive and powerful presentation.”
Timothy Rush, Chief People Connector, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Would you like Patricia Fripp as your personal speech coach 24/7?
“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, New York Times Best-Selling Author
Join FrippVT today!
Expert Perspectives to Improve Your Presentations
These are just a few of the many complimentary resources on Fripp.com to help you improve your presentations:
- Help! How Do I Deliver a Great Presentation? Lose Your Sloppy Language
- Do You Want to Lose the Irritating Non-Words When You Speak?
- Edit to Make Your Presentation Powerfully Pithy
- Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.
Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.
When you say, ” I encourage you to *script* your opening lines” (to be 100% certain that you’ve chosen the absolute best words, phrases, and opening examples), I couldn’t agree more.
There aren’t very many speakers, coaches, or consultants out there who tell you to *memorize* your opening statements (and your closing statements) word for word. But that’s exactly what a lot of speakers need, since it can give them the confidence AND strong opening that they need in order to grab their audience’s attention and gain instant credibility.
Thank you for the post. Dan.
Thanks for your comment and of course for reading! Fripp