Tips to Make You Look Professional and Win With Your Audience

Recently I had a conversation with author, speaker and consultant Jeff Davidson. Here are a few tips and guidelines we offer to help your next speech be an even greater success.

Fripp’s Top Tips to Win with an Audience Every Time!

  1. Have a personal relationship with the company whenever possible.
    I have been introduced by my bank account number and insurance policy number, or started with a story about doing business with the company.
  2. Spend as much time before and after the talk with the audience. There is more business to be had from the connection with the audience members and contacts from the client organization than the greatest speech.
  3. Tell a story in your talk that was obviously created for this audience. This is easily done if you ask you contact for a person who well illustrates one of your major points. Many of the stories I created for specific groups have become some of my classic ‘signature’ stories.
  4. Make mention of something you read in the client’s annual report and press release.

Jeff’s Top Ways to Turn Off Your Audience

  1. Tap or blow into the mike to see if it’s working.
  2. Take a long time to get to the meat of your presentation.
  3. Spend little or no time researching the audience so that you speak over their heads, or speak down to them.
  4. Make repeated reference to sports, especially football, especially when the audience is primarily female.
  5. Read from notes, or better yet, from a script.
  6. Fiddle with AV equipment in the middle of your speech, because you didn’t check it out to begin with.
  7. Dissipate your nervous energy by pacing even though it adds nothing to your speech.
  8. Give an extended commercial about some products or services you have to offer.
  9. Don’t time your speech, and then run way overboard, or…
  10. Notice that you only have ten minutes left, but still haven’t made half your points, and rush your way through so that the audience feels thoroughly cheated.
  11. Take questions from the audience, but don’t repeat the question for people in the back row or out of audible range.
  12. Put down the questioner because you didn’t like the question.
  13. Close abruptly, and with something undramatic such as “thank you.”
  14. Don’t be available after the speech, maintain the mystique of the hard to reach expert.

…and from Dan Maddux, Executive Director of the American Payroll Association

  1. Have your luggage at the door and run out immediately.