Hurrah! Why Being an Entertaining Speaker Doesn’t Have to be Hard Work

Do you have to be funny as a speakerRiddle me this: Do you think you need to be funny or entertaining to be a better or more popular speaker?

The hackneyed, ‘ba-dum-ch’ refrain to this question at professional speaker conferences around the world is always a resounding:

“Only if you want to get paid!”

And there’s myriad anecdotal evidence that these words ring true. Speakers who combine being entertaining with an ability to deliver demonstrably valuable and actionable ideas are in short supply and regularly get paid more for their services.

Of course, that’s hardly surprising. They make event organisers look good by pleasing both event attendees and the clients who pay to run events. In short, they make everyone feel like a winner.

Groovy. But, there’s an elephant in the room. What happens if you’d like to be a more in-demand speaker but you’re not very funny (and I’ll let you into a secret, most people fall into this category)? Does that mean that you’re out of luck and destined to play second fiddle to those who can amuse?

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How President J F Kennedy Used Public Speaking Craft to Inspire Audiences (And You Can Too) – Podcast 70

President John F Jennedy Public Speaking CraftMore than half a century after his untimely and cruel death, President John F Kennedy is still remembered and lauded today as one of the most compelling public speakers in history.

But that wasn’t always the case.

According to historians/journalists and authors Robert Dallek and Robert Caro, John F Kennedy was far from being an engaging or effective public speaker when he first took to the political stage in the late 1940s. Rather, many found him to be a ‘dull, uninspiring, lacking in wit, and forgettable’ speaker!

Wow. Does that surprise you? Makes you wonder what he did to become a speaking colossus, right?

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Is Your Speaking Helping You to Stand Out From the Pack? Podcast 64

Do You Stand Out From the PackFor most folks, most of the time, in most situations, it can seem easier to stick with the pack than to stand out from the crowd. Whether at work, in social settings, or even at home, choosing to get along and to follow rules or ‘norms’ tends to lead to a life with a lot less bother.

And let’s face it, as humans, we’re a fairly risk averse lot – conditioned to fear how others may judge us and the prospect of being shunned should you be deemed different.

But there’s a problem with sticking too close to the herd.

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Create Content That’s More Likely to be Shared: An Interview with Mark Schaefer – Podcast 48

Content Shock - Why The Price of Attention is Rising Speakers, are you creating content that’s likely to be shared? Here are 3 simple content sharing appeal ‘after the fact’ tests you should regularly assess:

  • How did your audience feel about what they heard?
  • What did they remember? And
  • What actions did they take subsequently?

The Content CodeAnd if you want to up your results on all counts – in addition, of course, to working on your speaking skills – take the trouble to dig into the recently published ‘The Content Code’ by digital marketing consultant, educator, author, and blogger, Mark Schaefer. Here’s why:

Although this book is about what it’s going to take for online marketers to break through the tsunami after tsunami of information being added, year after year, to the web – at a time where the ability to absorb more online has long since been saturated…

…Mark’s research, observations, and advice have many applications for your speaking too.

After all, you’re seeking to inspire and influence the same beleaguered, distracted, and frazzled audiences.

Plus, truth be told, the lines between where your communication begins and ends offline and online are not distinct; these days they need to be joined at the hip, seamless, and integrated for greater impact.

And without stealing any of Mark’s thunder in our expert interview today (or indeed his book, which I encourage you to put on your must read list this year), here’s a quick set up thought to ‘wet your whistle’:

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