Updated: Jul 6, 2019
Have you ever felt like your public speaking lacked something? Perhaps you've felt like your presentations have become predictable or routine. May I suggest that perhaps you are not fully unitizing your full, "Speakers Utility Belt. Today, I am going to share several key things you should have in your, "Speakers Utility Belt" each time you step on stage.
Growing up I can remember watching re-runs of the 1960's Batman TV series with Adam West and Burt Ward. Each episode the caped crusaders faced a villain that was bent on destroying Gotham City or committing a major crime. At the end of each episode, the Dynamic Duo was caught, trapped, in a near-death situation. The TV audience was left wondering how Batman and Robin would escape. The following week or episode often revealed that Batman had the perfect solution, gadget, or gizmo in his Bat Utility Belt.
Great speakers are like Batman, the prepare and have multiple tools in there, "Speakers Utility Belt". No matter the situation, they are prepared to rise to the occasion and deliver a super talk or speech. Here are several tools you should have in your utility belt ready to help in any situation.
1. A GREAT STORY
Often a great story acts as a hook, grabs the audience's attention and pulls them towards you. Stories may be used in many ways. Learn to mix-up where and when you use stories.
Chop up the story, and use it as a theme that weaves in and out of your overall talk.
Use a story to conclude your talk and illustrate all that you just presented.
(Do you want to learn more about story-telling? Check my coaching videos on Storytelling).
2. A CLOCK
Speakers have two extremes, they either talk too long or too short. Great speakers have a mental clock in their heads. but they also have a real clock that they see or feel. I highly recommend setting a timer on your cellphone set to go off 5 minutes before your talk should end. Place the phone in your pocket, put it on vibrate and be aware of when it goes off.
Leave your client and audience with a wonderful feeling that you did your best while respecting the time and wishes.
3. A BACK-UP PLAN
I can tell you that on more than one occasion I have experienced major technical issues with a venue, or microphone. Often when these technical issues arise, speakers meltdown and blow their talk. I always bring my mic just in case. I have a visual version of my talk ready to go, but if the powerpoint or large screen fails, I can keep going strong with a compelling verbal version not limited by now visuals. Always prepare two versions of your talk if you use powerpoint. Crazy things happen when you talk live on stage, be ready with a great back-up plan...it may save your life.
4. A FEEDBACK LOOP
There is nothing worse than completing a great talk and then not having intentional feedback available. Feedback forms help you improve your presentation. They allow you to create an e-mail or mail database. They also can help you get a next speaking engagement right on the spot. I highly recommend a paper version versus a digital one. Keep it short, simple, and always include clear and easy contact information for you.
Try and give every person the chance to get a form and fill it out right there on the spot.
Information is a powerful weapon, be sure always have a way to feedback flowing between you, the audience and your client.
5. BUSINESS CARDS
Always, I mean always have business cards with you at all times. You never know when that next card may help land you a new gig or connect you with a new client. Carry them with you on stage, off stage, and in your day-to-day life.
Rich "Trigger" Bontrager is a motivational speaker, leadership coach, broadcaster, and Pastor on a mission to help you, "DEFY THE ODDS in life, leadership & public speaking. You can reach Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org