First, congratulations are in order. If you’ve followed the steps outlined in our Public Speaking Training 101 Series, you’ve just accomplished something incredible!
“One of the greatest discoveries a person makes is to find they can do what they were afraid they couldn’t do.”
You’ve learned how to perform with authenticity.
Of course, there’s always more to do, but first, take a moment to relish both in your progress and the product you’ve created in your presentation.
Only you know what this looks like for you, so we won’t belabor the point. But don’t skip this step! Treat yourself.
You’ve earned it through your investment in learning, practice, feedback, and finally presenting. You now have the intellectual and emotional gear needed to start your journey to world-class public speaking.
Handiest among those tools? Confidence. You saw what it took to reach your goal; you’ve reached it, and now you’re ready for even greater future accomplishments.
I’d say that’s worth celebrating, wouldn’t you?
PREPARE FOR FUTURE GROWTH
We find, after our own speaking engagements and public speaking trainings, that we always have the most insight in the 24 hours following a speech. That’s the best time to take what you’ve learned from your presentation and give yourself some frank feedback.
When did you feel most alive during the speech?
Was there a moment where you let loose your inner superhero?
What one physical movement felt most effective?
What’s one thing that needed improvement?
What’s your biggest takeway?
Tuck those notes away — or better yet, log them in a presentation journal — and review them as you prepare for your next speech.
The lifespan of most speeches is only as long as the presentation itself, and we at Moxie think that’s a shame. We’ve found that speeches are infinitely adaptable for other media: blog posts, op-eds, shareholder letters, and so on. (If you’d like more ideas along these lines, we hope you’ll get in touch — one of our gifts is finding new outlets for proven messages.)
Don’t let your words go to waste. Revise and repackage your message to give them life long after you’ve left the stage. They can pay dividends for years to come.
CONTINUE THE JOURNEY
Having made it this far, you’ve learned what powerful presentations require. And the steps in this series are just the first!
Where do you go from here? Onward and upward, as we like to say. Maybe that means pairing with one of Moxie’s Master Trainers to lock in your progress or learn more advanced techniques. Or maybe you’ve seen how much your whole team could gain from an on-site workshop or public speaking training. Either way, use the momentum you’ve just gained to carry yourself — and those around you — forward.
HAAAAVE YOU MET TED?
We’re convinced that every business leader should know how to deliver a TED talk, even if they’ve never set foot on a stage.
That’s for two reasons. The first is that you might, in fact, want to give one someday.
There’s no better way to position yourself as a thought leader than delivering a TEDx talk that’s ready to be viewed by millions on the web.
But the second reason is no less important. Even if you never end up taking to the TED stage, the lessons you’ll learn in public speaking training preparation will help you with every presentation you’ll ever give.
TED talks are famous for a reason—they’re the big leagues of public speaking these days. That’s why we’ll look at the skills you’ll need to prepare for your first TED talk and why those skills are required regardless of where you speak.
Reason #1: The TED stage forces you to know what a good talk requires.
Over the years we’ve learned that when most folks think of a great talk, they think of a dynamic delivery—the sort of delivery for which the MOXiE Method is famous.
But talks don’t start with delivery. They start with the words being delivered.
The folks at TED know this, which is why TED Talks—the book by Chris Anderson (who runs TED) about the best talks—spends the bulk of its pages dealing not with delivery, but with content.
Why? Because a TED talk can’t even get off the ground without a few key parts:
- Having a compelling narrative.
- Using something personal to make the talk unique.
- Being shorter than 18 minutes.
As it turns out, each of these is essential for every presentation.
What’s the Big Idea?
We’ll keep this short, because you should too.
Nearly every speaker who comes to us wants to say too much. It just… happens! You have so many good ideas! The audience should hear them all!
Choose one. Only one.
Choose your big idea—the one that’s unique because of your personal narrative—and center your talk around that.
Working toward TED will train you to cut the flabby parts of a talk to find the real meat of your message.
That’s where your power lies.
Reason #2: TED prep dramatically levels up your delivery.
TED talks are, in a sense, immortal. Once they’re recorded and put on the web, they’re out there for good.
That means the delivery has to be stellar.
The good news is that there’s nothing mysterious about getting to the big leagues of presentation skills. You can learn and use the same techniques.
And what’s more: those same techniques will boost all of your presentations, giving you confidence and clarity, whatever the venue.
These steps will help get you started.
Use your Heart
Let’s start with the least obvious essential: authenticity.
You may have seen the talk by Elizabeth Gilbert. Gilbert would probably admit that she’s a writer, not an orator. The technical stuff of persuasion isn’t her strong suit.
And yet there’s magic in her talk—unsurprisingly a talk about practical magic—that comes from the passion she infuses into every word.That’s because Gilbert isn’t just speaking. She’s drawing deep to share something that’s core to her entire being.
Don’t believe me? Close your eyes about midway through the talk and just listen.
That’s the sound of intensity.
And you can see it as the talk unfolds: whatever nervousness she feels gets translated into excitement for her subject.
Not every talk needs that level of passion; in fact few do. But every presentation needs the same level of vulnerability and authentic urgency.
That, more than anything, is what draws us in.
Use your Body
All the authenticity in the world, however, won’t matter if the audience can’t hear you, if they’re distracted by your movements, or if your body doesn’t mirror your message.
What goes into bodywork? A lot: enunciating your words, projecting your voice, using your breath to give your words power and strength. All with the aim of thrilling your audience and delivering with confidence.
The top TED speakers have ironed out most of the wrinkles that could undermine their talk, and that lets them use their physical presence to excite and to emphasize the power of their message.
There’s so much to say about bodywork, but the takeaway is that speaking with TED-like force means bringing all of your physical self into your talk.
Use the Stage
Pretend as you’re watching that you were actually in the room while Tony Robbins delivered his ridiculously popular 2006 talk.
How would you feel? How would you relate to Robbins on stage?
What’s always impressed us about the talk is the way Robbins utterly owns the stage. He walks, he stops, he talks to those on the ground and those in the cheap seats.
He works the room from the stage as if he’d been born there.
Commanding the space means treating the stage like it’s your own.
Your personal domain for 18 minutes.
It means using every responsible inch of the stage to help you talk to every member of the audience. And above all, it means using the space to magnify your leadership, your message, and your voice.
The lesson for those of us who aren’t fire-walkers? Don’t cower behind a podium and don’t shrink when the lights go down.
Stand proud, move with purpose, and take ownership of the time and ground you’re given.
Reason #3: TED is becoming required for leaders.
TED is quickly becoming table stakes for maximum effectiveness in business and thought leadership. In this final section, we share why this is and how your career will benefit.
It builds connections.
TED talks exist in two spaces.
They inhabit real space at the TED and TEDx events, and they inhabit a timeless digital space that’s available to nearly every human who’s living or yet to be born.
You want to make it to the TED stage, then, for two sets of connections. The first is those connections you’ll build at the TED events themselves.
We’ve been lucky enough to work backstage with TED speakers and organizers for years now in San Diego, and we can’t count how many new friendships and business partnerships we’ve seen blossom and grow.
Whenever so many intelligent, curious, and interesting people are pulled together under one roof, magic just seems to waft through the halls.
But the digital life of the best TED and TEDx talks also means that you’ll be building connections with folks you’ll never meet. It’s free advertising for your firm or organization, for your personal brand, and for the cause you feel so passionate about.
Media advertising in the U.S. is a $200 billion industry, and it’s largely spent so that some small slice of the population will come around to a certain way of thinking.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could accomplish the same thing for free? Where the audience is not only willing but happy to hear what you have to say?
That’s the power of the TED stage.
It builds executive presence.
At Moxie we could talk for hours about the importance of executive presence… we usually do! It’s vital not just for unforgettable public speaking, but it’s required for leadership of any kind.
How you show up shapes how your people show up.
TED prep is like boot camp for executive presence. Long before the lights go up on stage, the long process of readying the talk shines a spotlight on the strong and weak parts of your self-presentation.
How do you carry yourself? How well do you manage change? Are you confident and clear and compelling in your communication?
Preparing for the TED stage reveals the answer to all these questions. It’s the best way we know to identify your professional strengths and weaknesses, and then make real strides in bettering them all.
Why are we at Moxie so passionate about the TED format? (It’s not like we’re getting paid by the bigwigs at TED!) We’re passionate because we’ve seen it change audience lives, and just as importantly, we’ve witnessed the transformation it offers speakers themselves.
Every leader in business—if they truly want to lead—should start planning how to bring their message to the TED stage.
We think there’s no better platform on the planet for personal growth and social change, and we think once you’ve culminated your public speaking training by starting on the TED journey, you’ll feel the same.
No matter what you choose, we hope you feel more prepared to get up on any stage or to speak in any boardroom with all your MOXIE.
Love it? Want more tips on avoiding stage fright, how to take a fear inventory, and tips on creating a warm up ritual and for during your speech to fight fear? Download our Rehearsal Checklist.
Still writing your speech? Check out, Public Speaking Training 101: Content and Preparation Before Your Speech.
So nervous you can’t catch your breath? Read all about how to Breathe Deeply to Speak Powerfully.
Want ALL the info immediately? The ideas shared in this article are excerpts from our Speak with Moxie e-book. To get the full action-packed book immediately at your fingertips, you can find it here.
Fia and Gregg Fasbinder
CEO and President