Monday, March 21, 2016

Being Relevant and Relatable to Your Audience As a Professional Speaker

I'm not mountain climber, marathoner, or military veteran with a heroic or inspirational story of overcoming the odds, pushing through personal physical and mental barriers, or cheating death.

Nor am I someone who has faced tremendous personal struggles due to physical, health or financial issues.

As a professional speaker trying to make my way in the speaking industry transitioning from breakout session seminar level to keynoter it can be pretty intimidating to sit in the back of the room and hear those stories.

Often, I find myself thinking, "I haven't come close to having to deal with something like
Skip Weisman, professional speaker delivering a keynote address in California
that," or  "I have no interest in consciously putting my intestinal fortitude and physical limitations to the test like that

Every time I'm on the speaking bill with one of those speakers the “imposter syndrome” kicks in and I question my right to appear on the same stage.

Yet, my speaker ratings at conferences and specific feedback and testimonials from both audience members and meeting planners inspire me to keep going.

I must be delivering value beyond those other speakers.

What it is, is that I continually strive to learn every time I step off the stage, from my audience members:

Here are some audience member quotes that inspire me to keep going and keep getting better:
  • "Skip, your talk was a perfect combination of practicality and inspiration!"
  •  "Skip, your presentation drew out the confidence in me that was lying dormant!
  •  "Skip, the energy and enthusiasm you brought to our audience along with the practical communication strategies, tips and techniques, exceeded our expectations in kicking off our event!"

There are 3 reasons I believe these comments continue:
  • Most of the people in the seats at the events at which I speak are more like me than those I identified at the beginning of this article.

    Only a small percentage of the audience is, or was, a long distance runner (or similar) and even fewer have the military experience to relate to the soldier's story.

    For that reason, despite the fact that the learning points from those speaker experiences can be connected to every day life in the workplace, it is difficult to make the connection.
  • Virtually everyone struggles with daily communication to connect with a co-worker, boss or significant other. So my message may feel more relevant.
  • The way my presentations are structured consciously sets out to ensure that the practical, relevant connection is made for as many people sitting in the audience as possible

Few speakers do this well enough.

Their stories, although interesting, intriguing and inspirational, often fall short in making the connection they could.

Their stories are too loosely crafted.

The connection to a relatable, relevant learning point is too hard to find and often non-existent.

Too many speakers think their story is good enough and people should be able to make that connection back to their own situations.

That’s making the audience work too hard.

As speakers, we need to sell the audience on the relevance of our points to their specific situation. 

And, the cool thing is we don't even have to know what their specific situation or environment is, because they do. 

We just have to ask the right question at the right time allowing the individual to make that connection themselves.

That's why the framework I use as a World Class Speaking coach works!

Regardless of whether you are just making a presentation to your small office team of four, leading a worldwide global project team, or trying to inspire an audience of hundreds from the main stage, the World Class Speaking strategies and format works, and will have you making the sale every time.

If you'd like to explore how you can create a powerful presentation that influences, inspires and impacts your audiences from one to one million, use this link to schedule a private, complimentary, strategy session with me.

Skip Weisman is The Workplace Communication Expert and a member of an elite group of international World Class Speaking Coaches.

Skip works with aspiring speakers to improve their presentation skills and programs around content, organization and delivery, while also working with the owners and CEOs of small businesses with between 6-60 employees to improve communication in the workplace.

The work Skip does with his small business clients can transform work environments in as little as 90-days to create a championhip company cultures that are more positive, more productive and even more profitable.

For more tips on making your speeches even more dynamic go to