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New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Day. Time for rest, relaxation and resolutions.



I’ve always been confounded by this concept. Just because the calendar turns to a new year, why does a goal suddenly become more important?

Isn’t your desire or dream just as relevant on May 12? Or July 21? Or September 17?

Resolutions make for entertaining articles this time of year.  But, rather than ask if you’re going to make resolutions this year, a more important question to ask is:

What are you committed to?

I asked myself that question last month. One idea that kept coming back is my failure to complete my new instructional video course on public speaking skills. I’ve been resolving to create the course for a few years, but it wasn’t close to being finished.


Excuses. I had plenty of them, but the bottom-line is that I wasn’t committed to the project. I had the vision. I had the knowledge. But, I kept telling myself that I didn’t have the best equipment, the right graphics, the timing wasn’t good, etc.

I was finding reasons not create the program. I had forgotten the lesson of the chicken and the pig on your breakfast plate.

An Ages-Old Business Fable

If you’re not familiar with that old tale, it’s about commitment to a project or cause. When producing a meal consisting of ham and eggs, the pig provides the ham which requires his sacrifice.  The chicken    provides the eggs, which are not difficult to produce.

Thus the pig is truly committed to that dish while the chicken is only involved.  Yet both are needed to produce the meal.

I had to move past being interested and barely involved, and find my commitment.

Three Steps to Commitment The first step

I was reminded of the wisdom of my friend and mentor Darren LaCroix. When writing speeches or creating products, one of the biggest challenges people face is perfectionism. They want the finished product to be flawless.

Because of this, most people never finish their projects. In fact, most never start because they convince themselves it’ll never be good enough.

Years ago, Darren taught me that: 

Done is More Profitable Than Perfect.”

Every speech that’s ever been given, every product that’s been released, every innovative idea that’s been shared was flawed in the beginning. The creators understood that the key to success is getting the product out into the world. If it’s 75% effective, that’s far more beneficial than a pr0duct that’s 100% effective, but never released.

The second step of the commitment process

Remember your why.

I’ve acquired an incredible level of knowledge about presentation skills from my mentors, some of the best speakers in the world.

If I don’t produce this course, I’m hoarding that knowledge – keeping it to myself. That is selfish.

I’m committed to lifting others to a higher level of accomplishment. If my knowledge can help others, I owe it to them to create and release this course.

The third step of the process

Set a ‘hard date’ for completion. Recently, I read about the value of 90-day planning. This time frame is effective because it’s not too far in the future for you to procrastinate. It gives you enough time to complete the project, with some level of time pressure.

This type of pressure can be an ally. To quote Thomas Carlyle, “No Pressure, No Diamonds.” Time pressure will keep me focused on producing the best possible product, but not a perfect one.

My target date for release of this course is March 31. Publicly stating your goal is another type of pressure that deepens your commitment to an objective. Now you can hold me accountable!

As you look forward to the new year ahead, are you ‘resolving’ because it’s  what everybody does? Or, are you committed to your greatest goals?

I urge you to choose one objective for the first quarter of 2018. Know your ‘why?’ And set a firm time frame.

Do this, and you can realize a higher, more meaningful level of accomplishment.

Happy New Year!

Recommended Resource

Are You Committing the 7 Deadly Storytelling Sins?

The ability to tell business stories that inspire action can be your most valuable business asset. World class presenters use storytelling ‘tools’ that are subtle, but make a huge difference in how you experience their narratives.

On the other hand, it only takes a few minor mistakes to deliver a forgettable storytelling experience. There are seven common storytelling ‘sins’ that are difficult to spot, but easy overcome.

To discover these common mistakes, download your complementary copy of the report: ‘Are You Committing the 7 Deadly Storytelling Sins?’

To receive your copy, click here.

© 2018, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post Forget the Resolutions! It’s About Commitment! appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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What is Your Main Goal When Speaking?

After you are done speaking, what is the reaction you want to receive from your audience:

A. Polite applause, and then they rush out the door?

B. Enthusiastic applause, and then they stay around after to tell you the impact of your talk on them?

C. A standing ovation, and then they walk out the door?

Before you respond, keep in mind there is no right answer. This question will help you determine the best outcome for each presentation.

When I speak, my preference is always ‘B.’

Why You Shouldn’t Care About Standing Ovations When Speaking

Not choosing ‘A’ should be obvious. You never want people to walk out with no response, feeling like you made no impact.

I don’t choose ‘C’ because standing ovations are one of the most overrated aspects of speaking. It feels as if they’ve become obligatory, no matter the quality of the speech.

Standing ovations serve one purpose more than any other – to feed the ego of the speaker. I write this as someone who has received more than one standing ovation.

When you receive a standing ovation, you often don’t know why. If the audience walks out immediately after, the good feeling may quickly fade. Were they being polite, or feel obligated to stand?  What part of your speech — if any — resonated at a deep level?

The Power of Audience Feedback AFTER Speaking 

I’ve experienced ‘B’ much more often than ‘C.’ It is a more insightful and rewarding experience.

One of my coaches — Craig Valentine — has great insight into this topic. Hesays, “You should always speak for standing invitations, not standing ovations.”

What does he mean?

When you speak, one of your goals should be an invitation to speak again in the future. You have one best opportunity to make this happen — provide value to the group.

Whenever I speak, I’m usually approached by several attendees afterwards. They often have something nice to say.  I appreciate these kind words, yet, they typically don’t give insight. They don’t tell me the specific benefit I’ve provided. Phrases like “Nice job!” or “That was great!“ or “That was a good speech” are niceties.

Please don’t misunderstand, kindness is always appreciated. But if I don’t dig deeper, I don’t know the value of my talks. And I can’t improve. I miss an opportunity to better understand how to repeat the best parts of my message for future audiences.

The Secret To Capturing Your Best Feedback

If you want to capture the ‘gold’ in your message, use this simple technique every time you speak. After you conclude, don’t turn off your recorder. (I know you record EVERY speech, don’t you?)

The recorder will capture your conversations with audience members.  When they say “I really like your speech” — or some variation — ask them a question:

“What part in particular helped you the most?” Or, “What part did you hear that you can immediately put to use?”

This requires the other person to think about what they’ve just heard and how it applies to her. She’ll then tell you what was most valuable. Now, you have specific feedback about what part of your speech most resonates.

This is how your audience helps you adjust the material in your speech. They tell you which parts are most important and meaningful.

This will increase your impact with future audiences.

The great speaker Patricia Fripp says “It’s not what we say, it’s what they hear.” There is no better proof of this than the post-speech conversation with your audience.

As you prepare your next speech, and envision your impact on the audience, don’t focus on receiving an ovation that makes you feel good. Focus on crafting a message that provides value and benefit to them. That will greatly enhance your talk, and increase your odds of being invited back.

Recommended Resource

‘Improve Your Speeches with Secrets from World Class Speakers’

Have you ever sat in awe of a speaker who held an audience in rapt attention, keeping them on the edge of their seats? 

Have you ever wished you could do that when speaking? 

Guess what? 

You can!  Contrary to popular belief, great speakers are not born, they are made.

Since 2001, Michael has studied and worked with World Champion and Hall of Fame speakers, individuals who now serve as his mentors. They have taught him how to create and deliver world class caliber speeches.

Michael has packaged the lessons he’s learned into a series of audio lessons and books that can save you years of trial-and-error and thousands upon thousands of dollars.

Invest in this program, and you’ll quickly develop the skills that make you:

  • Feel more confident
  • Become better known
  • Attract more opportunities
  • Advance your career faster
  • Earn more money
  • Free up time
  • Enjoy the process of developing and delivering speeches
  • and much more!

To immediately begin diving into these world class ideas, click here.

© 2017, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post Are You Speaking for the Best Reason? appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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Are You Speaking For The Right Reasons?

Have you ever received bad advice about speaking?

My prospective client Mr. Stevens did. He wants to become a paid speaker. A speech coach told him, “You should find a hot topic, one that people are paying good money for. Build your business around that.”

This is bad advice.


Doesn’t it make sense to speak on a topic that others will pay for?

Yes. But, with one condition. To create long-term success in speaking, you have to be an expert on your topic. Organizations today want presenters who can do a deep dive into their topic.

To sustain yourself through the ups-and-downs of the business, it helps if you enjoy your topic, too.

Speaking on the ‘subject-of-the-day’ isn’t an effective — or proven — long-term strategy. Fads come and go. Hot topics typically last a year or two, or even a few months.

If you follow this strategy, you’ll always be chasing new topics. And you can’t predict which ones people will pay for.

There’s a bigger problem with this approach. Speaking just to receive a paycheck is insincere. Audiences today are perceptive — they sense lack of authenticity. And you will not positively impact them.

This isn’t why you want to speak, is it?

How do you solve this dilemma?

A Proven Business Formula For Paid Speaking

Follow the advice of Alan Weiss, leading business consultant, author and speaker. These are four conditions he suggests when pursuing paid speaking engagements:

CONDITION #1: Understand the value you can bring to others

CONDITION #2: Research to determine who needs what you offer

CONDITION #3: Find those people

CONDITION #4: Discover if they can pay you

This is a simple formula, but it’s not easy to execute. It will take time, energy and persistence. But, it’s a proven process that has worked for many successful speakers who are well-paid.

As your speaking career evolves, be selective about the advice you follow. Consider the long-term implications of suggestions you receive. Well-meaning individuals can send you down a path that sets you back years. They may even ruin your opportunities for success in the speaking business.

Follow Alan Weiss’s four-step model and you will “stack the deck” in your favor. Meeting planners and organizations will seek you out. Your impact will resound long after you speak. And, you’ll enjoy speaking more than ever.


‘Go Ahead and Laugh: A Serious Guide to Speaking With Humor’

What is the right type of humor to include in your speeches?

How do you include funny material without taking away from your message?

If you’re not a naturally funny person, how do you make people laugh in a speech?

In ‘Go Ahead and Laugh, A Serious Guide to Speaking with Humor,’ presentation expert Rich Hopkins breaks down 11 speeches and helps you understand how to uncover the humor that exists in your stories. After reading this one-of-a-kind book, you will know…

– The difference between humor and jokes [there is a HUGE difference]

– How to use your stories to make audiences laugh

– Techniques to deliver your funniest material with maximum effect

– Using humorous self-deprecation to increase your likability

…and much more!

Once you’ve learned how to create more laughter within your speeches, you’ll find that, your speeches improve and you’ll become a much more in-demand presenter. 

To order, visit:  http://speakingcpr.com/go-ahead-and-laugh/

© 2017, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post Avoid This Costly Mistake – If You Want to Be Paid For Speaking appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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(Even if you’re not a sport fan, please play along with this opening scene. It relates to speaking……..)

A Tension-Filled Sporting Event

Picture the scene. It’s the last few minutes of the Super Bowl — THE biggest sporting event in America. There’s a tie score. The score has been close for the entire contest. People who were previously engaged in lively conversation now sit with their eyes transfixed on the game.

You can feel the growing tension as the seconds tick off, and the teams battle for the victory.

Why is there so much emotion tied to the result of a sporting event?

Before you answer consider this. It doesn’t have to be the Super Bowl. It could be a World Cup soccer match (to my friends outside the USA — I know, I know. Soccer IS football!) It might be the Olympics.

As a matter of fact, it doesn’t have to be a sporting event. It may be a movie, a political contest, a book. They can all create these strong feelings.


Humans Are Wired For Curiosity

Because the human brain loves a mystery.

Don’t you enjoy the tension of not knowing the outcome of an event or a story? This creates curiosity, and our brains are hard-wired for this emotion.

Consider an article on the HuffPost website on September 14, 2016. Authors Vivian Hemmelder and Tommy Blanchard point out that ‘when people are curious about the answers to trivia questions or watch a blurry picture become clear, reward-related structures in their brains are activated.’

How Can This Help Your Speaking?

What does this have to do with speaking?


When you give a presentation, you are competing for your listener’s attention. You’re up against countless sources of ‘noise.’ 

People are bombarded by commercials, mobile devices, TV, etc. all day long. 

How do you to stand out?

How can you create the desire to hear your words?

Four Ways To Create Interest When Speaking

Open with a question. (“What would you do if half of your retirement account disappeared overnight?”)

A starting statement. (“Tom, come home! There’s been an accident!”

Powerful facts. (“According to some studies, the world will run out of oil by the year 2067!”)

A compelling story. (“Turning away from the light, I looked over at four people seated next to me. They were four of my speaking heroes — my mentors — and I was sharing the stage with them. I never could have predicted the road that led me to that stage…)

These can immediately create questions like:

‘I’ve never thought about that. What would I do?’

What happened?

How does this apply to me?

How can that be?

How did he get himself into that situation?

When these types of questions enter the minds of your audience, you have their attention.

How to Ensure You’re Creating Interest

One of the most important questions you can ask yourself, or anyone evaluating you is:

Do I create curiosity in my talk? 

Do you have question?

The second important question you must ask is:

“Do I answer all questions by the conclusion? 

Creating curiosity and questions can set you apart from others. But, not answering them will also set you apart. People will think of you as a presenter who lets the audience down because you don’t complete the picture.

Ask your evaluators if you’ve satisfactorily answered all questions.

You may not be presenting to audiences as big as the Super Bowl, World Cup or Olympics. However, you can appeal to the human need to experience uncertainty. Craft presentations that compel people to sit up and take notice. Your more likely to keep their attention. And, you have a better chance of keep their interest to the end of your talk.


‘Sell More With Stories: Sail the 7 Cs to Sensational Storytelling’

Sell More With Stories: Book 4 – Sail the 7 Cs to Sensational Storytelling

Salespeople all over the world are selling more products and services using storytelling. They’ve mastered the craft using 7 foundational tools. You can pick up these essential keys in the book:

“Sail The 7 Seas to Sensational Storytelling.”

You may be thinking, “Storytelling is a skill you’re either born with or you’re not.” Nothing could be further from the truth. If you’ve struggled to develop and deliver stories that get results, you simply need to implement these seven steps. Use this repeatable process and watch people take action on your message.

Imagine Being Able To:

– Create Interest With Your First Words

– Develop Emotional Buy-In to Your Message

– Keep People on the Edge of Their Seats From Start-to-Finish

– Present a Foundational Concept That People Remember Long After You Talk With Them

– And Much More

In this 4th book of the “Sell More With Stories” series, you’ll pick up insider secrets on how to create memorable stories that sell your product, service or idea more quickly. If you want to stand out from a crowded field, and sell more in less time, get your copy of ‘Sail the 7 Cs to Sensational Storytelling.’ To get your copy, visit: http://amzn.to/2kPKxEJ

© 2017, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post How Are Sporting Events Like Public Speaking? appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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A Last-Minute Speech Request
Imagine this scene:
You’re called into the office of your manager. She says, “I have a huge problem, and I need your help. Bill is sick. He can’t give his presentation to the Board tomorrow. I want you to step in and give a 30-minute talk.
“I know this is a lot to ask, but I also know that I can count on you. I trust you to get the job done!”
What are your immediate feelings?
When asked this question, most people answer with words like “anxiety” or “stress” or “terror!”
This is not unusual. Being asked to speak at the last minute can be a scary ordeal.
A Proven Speech Process Comes to the Rescue
But, it doesn’t have to be this way. What you need is a proven repeatable process. One that can minimize your stress level and maximize your speech impact.
If you’re ever in the situation, remember to:
  1. Step back
  2. Take a breath
  3. Consider these facts:
– You were specifically asked to do this because you are trustworthy and dependable.
– You have an expertise in this subject. Otherwise you wouldn’t have been asked to speak.
You have the ability, even if you can’t see it.
Once you’ve calmed your mind, it’s time to get to work.
How do you craft an impactful speech in 24 hours?
Stick to the basics:
1. Begin with a Foundational concept.
This is a one sentence premise. It summarizes your entire presentation. For example, I may present to a sales team about storytelling. My theme could be ‘Double your sales with stories.’
All supporting material in this speech must support that main point. Otherwise, leave it out.
2. Plan around your timeframe.
Use the 10:1 Rule of Thumb. This determines how much support material to include. The rule states that for every 10 minutes of speaking time, use one supporting point. If, for example, I’m given 30 minutes to speak, I will use – at most – three supporting points.
Note: With this formula, remember to account for your opening and conclusion. Three is your maximum number of support points for a 30-minute talk. You might consider using only two.
For my “Double your sales with stories” presentation, my support points could be:
– Research that proves people are more likely to buy after hearing a story.
– Create curiosity and desire in your buyer with the most powerful storytelling formula
– My improved sales results from storytelling in my sales presentations
3. Determine how to best open your presentation.
Four excellent options are:
– Open with a startling statement. For instance, “You can double your number of sales in the next 90 days with no more effort.” This will get the attention of sales managers.
Use a statistic. For example, “You may benefit from a recent study from the London School of Business. They discovered that people are 14 times more likely to remember your presentation when you tell stories.
– Start with a question. For example, “How much better would your life be if you doubled sales in the next 12 months?”
– Jump immediately into a story.
Opening with a story is my favorite method. Properly structured, it immediately engages the audience. In my case as a storytelling coach, it also proves my point about the power of stories.
4. Conclude your speech.
The conclusion is where you summarize what your listeners have heard. At this point, they should have a new perspective on your subject.
An excellent method of concluding is to review your supporting points. Use one sentence for each.
Next, circle back to your opening – whether you used a statement, statistic, question, or story. This is where your listener will see the opening in a new light.
Two important points to remember when concluding your speech. One, do not introduce new material at this point. This is certain to confuse your audience.
Two, don’t end with Questions and Answers (Q&A). If you’re going to allow Q&A, create a few minutes before your concluding statements.
The key to a strong conclusion is that “last words will be remembered – IF they’re memorable.” They should remind the audience of your main point.
If you’re asked to give a speech at the last minute, don’t sweat. Don’t panic. Don’t give up. You can do this.
Remember, you’ve been asked for a reason. Use the formula above. You’ll create a meaningful and memorable message. And, it will leave a positive impact on the audience.

Complementary Webinar: ‘How to Increase Your Impact, Influence & Sales with Business Storytelling‘

Want to become known as an EXPERT in your field?

How about creating more opportunities to QUICKLY ADVANCE your career or business? 

Or is EARNING MORE MONEY and FREEING UP extra time more appealing to you?

Whatever drives you, mastering the art of business storytelling will get you there faster. Pick up the foundational tools to this skill in the FREE one-hour webinar ‘How to Increase Your Impact Influence & Sales With Business Storytelling.’ 

Tuesday November 7, 2017 at 9:00pm EST

To secure your seat, visit: bit.ly/2fRtaQF

If you have questions, contact Michael Davis at mike@speakingcpr.com or 513.315.6825.

© 2017, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post How to Create a Meaningful Speech in 24 Hours appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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Are you overloading your stories?

When crafting your stories, do you know the answer to these questions:

How much material should you include?
How much is too much?
Excess information is a common problem in business storytelling. That’s because audience attention spans are shorter than ever. Too much detail is like overloading a truck; it slows down your process, and puts you at risk of losing progress.
As a result, it’s imperative that you grab their attention as fast as possible.
Once you do that, you need to keep their interest until the end of your story. That is, if you want them to take action on your message.
The first step to opening your stories
Create an opening which establishes the scene, but doesn’t get bogged down in details. For example:
‘The night I met Patti, I was attending a Chamber holiday party. It was a festive atmosphere; people were talking excitedly, and you could feel the joy of old friends re-connecting. I was standing by the dessert table, taking in the sweet scents of cake, pastries and cookies. It was so strong I could almost taste them.
‘While I was enjoying the moment, I noticed a woman quickly walking toward me, almost running. She wore a beautiful tailored business suit, had nicely cut hair, and jewelry that sparkled from the lights above. Not gaudy or ostentatious. This was a woman of means.
‘But, the expression on her face betrayed her appearance. She walked up and said, “Michael, i understand you’re a speech coach!”
‘After glancing at her name tag, I said, “Yes, Patti, I am. Can I help you?”
‘She said, “I hope so! I’ve done something really stupid……”
One minute to capture interest in your stories
In 140 words, the scene has been established. The main character is introduced. Your senses have been engaged. In one minute, the listener is drawn in, and they’re curious about what is coming next.
The key to this opening is that you’re immediately intrigued and interested. This is a commonly-used  technique in Hollywood.
Long, drawn-out openings will lose audience interest and attention. Most speakers don’t understand this. They believe they have to over-explain their scenes. They want the listener to understand everything before introducing the action scenes.
This information may be interesting, but doesn’t add to the emotional connection of the scene. If you offer excess information, you’ll probably bore the audience.
Is there a “right” amount of details?
No. But a common number that works best is three. This number is common in speaking. That’s because it creates a rhythm that feels comfortable to the audience.
There are three examples in the story above:
“It was a festive atmosphere; people were talking excitedly, and you could feel the joy of old friends re-connecting.”
“I was standing by the dessert table, taking in the sweet scents of cake, pastries and cookies. It was so strong I could almost taste them.”
“While I was enjoying the moment, I noticed a woman quickly approaching me. She wore a beautiful tailored business suit, had nicely cut hair, and jewelry that sparkled from the lights above.”
Notice the natural flow of the narrative to describe the scene. Three details for each part of the scene is typically enough.
Want to capture the attention of your audience, and keep their interest? 
Quickly describe your scene, and get to the introduction of your key characters.
Use the tips provided here, and you’re well on your way to accomplishing this.

Sell More With Stories: How to Create Interest in 60 Seconds

For many salespeople, one of the biggest challenges is quickly attracting new clients


Because old school methods don’t work – they fail to quickly break down barriers and earn trust.

If you’d like to double, or even triple, your number of new clients, then the new Kindle series ‘Sell More With Stories‘ is for you. In the first book of the series – How to Create Interest in 60 Seconds – you’ll pick up tools that help you:

– Become better known in your company and industry

– Create more opportunities

– Work with more qualified prospective clients

– Enjoy the process of attracting new business

– Work only with people you want to

– Feel more confidence and satisfaction in your work

To gain these benefits, invest in Book 1 of the ‘Sell More With Stories‘ series: How to Create Interest in 60 Seconds. Visit: http://amzn.to/2kPzJXg

© 2017, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post How to Avoid Losing Audience Interest in Your Stories appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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Are you Willing – And Able – To Throw Out Your Speech Script When Necessary?

The introducer stood at the front of the room. She said, “Because the program has gone over time, our featured speaker only has 15 minutes with us.” She then introduced Tiffany, who confidently strode to the front of the room.

Tiffany Largie then did something that immediately grabbed my attention. I took off my “coaching hat” and was transformed into an enthralled listener…

“I know I was scheduled to speak to you about the “5 Steps to Get to ‘Yes’ in Sales.” But, after talking with some of you one-on-one, and listening to many of your comments during lunch, I’m going to change up my message.”

She then pivoted to a brief, but powerful talk about using your personal story to best sell your message. As a storytelling coach, she hooked me. As a business owner, she reminded me that your one differentiator in the marketplace is your story.

Why Change Your Speech at the Last-Minute?

This isn’t a blog about storytelling. It’s about your ability to change when conditions warrant.

What Tiffany did was pay attention to her audience before she spoke to us. She picked up on a need for to change up her supporting ideas..

This is not a rare circumstance. Meeting planners usually know the right message for their group. A skilled professional has the ability to ‘take the temperature of the room.’ Audience needs can change at the last-minute.  Skilled speakers realize their prepared remarks might not be best for that group.

She understood that a change was needed for maximum impact.

Note that Tiffany didn’t deviate from the overall theme of her advertised talk. She was there to help us increase sales. What changed were her suggested ‘tools’ to accomplish this.

To paraphrase an admonition in many TV programs, “Don’t try this at home. Only a skilled professional should attempt this.” Tiffany is a skilled pro.

Six Steps to Change Your Speech Like a Pro

Do you want the ability to read an audience and change your message when necessary? 

Follow these steps:

Six Steps to Pivot to a More Impactful Speech #1 – Know your material so well you don’t have to think about it

If you haven’t mastered your topic, don’t bother with the other five steps. It will only end in diaster.

You must know your topic so well that you can present it from many perspectives. Tiffany knows the five steps to increasing sales. She also knows other ways, such as ‘the power of storytelling in selling.’

#2 – Arrive early

This is a critical step to understand the concerns and questions the audience may have about your topic. Be present for as much of the event as possible. Be around as many people as you can to understand the breadth of issues they may be facing.

#3 – Listen to conversations around you

This step is not easy, as many people will want to talk to you, ‘the speaker.’ There is one proven way to turn those conversations around. It allows you to pick up vital information and be respectful of others. 

What is this magic method?

Ask questions. Encourage the attendees to talk to you. Ask specific questions about what is on their minds. Take note of the emotion behind their responses.

#4 – Ask yourself if your prepared message is still relevant

Listen to the tone and topics of the conversations you are hearing. Determine if your prepared remarks will provide the greatest benefit to the audience. If not, consider what would better suit them.  Tiffany did this when she changed from ‘five steps’ to ‘storytelling.’

#5 – Stay true to your overall theme

Again, she didn’t deviate from the theme of “increased sales.” Her speech wouldn’t have been effective if she’d altered the main message. For instance, changing from ‘Increased Sales’ to ‘How to Improve Administrative Support.’ The audience would’ve felt frustrated, irritated or even angry.

#6 – If necessary, adjust your supporting material 

Go through the first five steps. Trust your instincts. If they tell you that your material should change, have the courage to adjust.

Because you haven’t prepared for this change, your speech will not be as smoothly delivered as the one you rehearsed.

That’s OK!  To paraphrase Patricia Fripp:

“It’s not about perfection, it’s about connection.”

Do you want to increase the odds of creating a deeper connection with your audience?

Speak from your heart, with the best message each group needs to hear. Follow Tiffany’s example. Use the six steps. And, when necessary, adjust your message. You’ll leave a lasting impact long after you leave the platform.


‘THE Book on Storytelling’

Want to tell business stories that give you an edge, make you stand out, and increase your chances of getting the business?

This step-by-step guide shows you how to craft and deliver stories that:

  • Increase your confidence
  • Attract more qualified clients
  • Inspire others to act on your message
  • Help you accomplish more, faster
  • Create deeper levels of trust, in less time
  • Have more fun when you give presentations

Learn how the best speakers, storytellers and leaders develop and deliver stories that immediately grab audience attention, keep them on the edge of their seats, and inspire them to act on your message.

2000 World Champion of Public Speaking, Ed Tate, CSP says about this book: “This book is outstanding! It will be my new #1 storytelling resource.”

For more details, visit: http://amzn.to/1BaNf62

© 2017, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post Are You Giving Your Audience What They Need in Your Speech? appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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Speech Lessons From a Jigsaw Puzzle
When I was a kid, my Mom and I enjoyed putting together jigsaw puzzles. We’d open the box, and dump the 500 pieces all over the kitchen table, and go to work.
It is a cherished memory. Little did I know at the time that Mom was laying a foundation for how I would create speeches later in life.
She was an excellent teacher. Being young and impulsive, I wanted to start putting any part of the puzzle together, just so we’d get going.
Mom helped me discover the value of creating a plan. This started with the picture on the box. It was always present to serve as our guidepost.
One of us would gather the edge pieces.
The other would create different piles of pieces that had the same colors or patterns.
We then put together the outline.
Following that, we’d each work on a specific pile.
Section-by-section, a mess of pieces began to take shape.
The picture on the box was an important part of the process. This guidepost kept us focused on the big picture. It saved us time. We could refer to it to ensure we weren’t wasting time putting incorrect pieces together.
Working together, with a plan, we created beautiful pictures. And we did it in a reasonable amount of time.

What does this have to do with speaking?

A process for speech creation
It’s a terrific model for writing your speeches.
As you craft your presentations, do you have a process?
Or, are you like I was, the over-eager kid?
Do you want to get going, putting pieces together in haphazard fashion?
When most people write their speeches, they start at the beginning. They create an opening, then they might add their foundational concept.
Then they throw in a few points. They may also add data, statistics, or a story or two.
Finally, they add a conclusion. This is usually a question-and-answer period.
Is this bad, or wrong?
No, but it is not an efficient way to create a memorable and impactful presentation.
A more efficient method of speech creation
A better way is mom’s jigsaw puzzle process:
Start with the ‘picture on the box.’ What’s your objective, your ‘foundational idea?’
Then, create your outline, like we did it with the edges of the puzzle.
Add your supporting points for your foundational concept.
Next, determine how you’re going to support those points. Use a mixture of stories, activities, acronyms, and analogies.
Now, it’s time to create your opening. Make sure it orients your audience to your foundational concept.
Then, craft your conclusion. Use this to summarize your message. For lasting impact, avoid closing on Questions and Answers.
Lastly, include transitions. Ensure that one thought or idea flows smoothly into the next.
One of my speaking coaches, Craig Valentine, says that “a message is a mess with age.” Without a picture on the box, or a plan of action, a jigsaw puzzle is a mess that will take ages to complete.
If you want to efficiently put it together, it helps to have a plan like the one my mom taught.
When you follow the method outlined above, you’ll save time and energy.
You will also be spared a tremendous amount of frustration.
Thanks mom! Neither of us could’ve known the long-term lesson you were teaching me back then. I appreciate you influencing a terrific method of speech creation.
Recommended Resource

’52 Storytelling Tips’

52 Storytelling Tips

How much would your business improve if you could become at least three times better at storytelling than you are today?

In one year, you can do just that. Every week, you’ll receive a free 5-minute audio tip and downloadable PDF transcription of that lesson. For 12 months, you’ll automatically receive these tips that build one upon another.  Develop these skills and you can:

– Become better known

 – Increase your confidence

– Create more opportunities for your business

– Make more money

– Save time

– Reduce the stress and anxiety often involved with crafting and delivering memorable stories that get results

To register for these free tips, visit: http://speakingcpr.com/52-storytelling-tips/

© 2017, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post Speech Creation Lessons From My Mom appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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Do you speak with clarity, or confusion?

How often do you hear someone speak and create confusion? S/he gives a talk filled with facts, figures or vague ideas. You’re left  wondering, “What in the world is this speaker talking about?”

Have you ever given a presentation like this?

Clearly introducing new concepts to audiences can be challenging. There is the risk of the audience feeling confused and frustrated if you’re not clear.

The negative impact of confusion when you speak

If you leave audiences feeling this way, it damages your credibility. Worse, it practically guarantees you won’t speak for that group again.

What’s the solution?

How do you present your idea in a concrete manner that provides clarity for the listener?

Use the literary device that creates clarity and vivid pictures for your audience.

What is this device?


Similes are figures of speech that compare two different ideas, or things. It creates a clearer understanding of one of the items.

For example, the phrase “I slept like a baby last night.” Usually, this means someone slept soundly and peacefully.  The word “like” is the connector that makes the abstract idea more concrete.

A terrific example of creating a clear picture

Recently, I heard a terrific illustartion of simile. It explained a vague emotional concept.

The speaker, Eunice Varughese, is a microbiologist.

Which means she’s smart

Really smart.

There’s high potential for her to talk over the heads of people who aren’t “microbiologist-smart.”  That includes me.

Yet, when asked to elaborate on the subject of adversity, this was her response:

“Adversity is like a car wash.

“As you drive through, there’s a lot of noise and turbulence. You can’t see far, you have limited vision.

“Then, the air-jet blowers start. That creates a lot of noise, resistance, and more turbulence.

“Then you get to the end, the green light turns on, and you drive out. You feel cleaner and you have a much clearer vision.”


I immediately wrote that down. What a terrific way to describe a vague idea!

Many books and articles have been written to explain this concept. Speakers and trainers build careers to help people overcome this problem. Yet, in seven short sentences – and less than 30 seconds – Eunice created a vivid picture.

The word “adversity” doesn’t create an emotional connection because of it’s vagueness. The imagery of the car wash involves visual, auditory and kinesthetic responses. The audience can now feel the concept of adversity.

This is a textbook simile because it engages the emotions and senses of the audience.

Thanks, Eunice, for providing this terrific simile. It created a vivid picture of an abstract concept. 

Speak with clarity for your next audience

Do you have a difficult idea to get across to others?

Is your presentation filled vague terms, or facts and figures?

Don’t leave ‘em confused. Use similes to create vivid pictures that clarify your points.

Do this and your audience will see idea in a new way. 

They’ll feel they can clearly see your point. Like looking through a freshly washed windshield.

Recommended Resource

‘Improve Your Speeches with Secrets from World Class Speakers’

Have you ever sat in awe of a speaker who held an audience in rapt attention, keeping them on the edge of their seats? 

Have you ever wished you could do that? 

Guess what? 

You can! 

Contrary to popular belief, great speakers are not born, they are made.

Since 2001, Michael has studied and worked with World Champion and Hall of Fame speakers, individuals who now serve as his mentors. They have taught him how to create and deliver world class caliber speeches.

Michael has packaged the lessons he’s learned into a series of audio lessons and books that can save you years of trial-and-error and thousands upon thousands of dollars.

Invest in this program, and you’ll quickly develop the skills that make you:

  • Feel more confident
  • Become better known
  • Attract more opportunities
  • Advance your career faster
  • Earn more money
  • Free up time
  • Enjoy the process of developing and delivering speeches
  • and much more!

To immediately begin diving into these world class ideas, click here

© 2017, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post How to Speak With Clarity for a Confused Audience appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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Writing a Speech or Sales Presentation That Increases Your Impact, Influence and Income

One of the most overlooked aspects of speaking, selling and marketing is the headline you use to promote your idea.

If you are writing a speech, sales talk, or marketing piece, remember this critical point from best-selling author Mitch Meyerson:

With a good headline, you stand a fighting chance of having anything from minimal to overwhelming success. But without a good headline, your chances of success are next to zero.

(The following article was excerpted from World Class Copywriter David Garfinkel. This is his chapter from Mitch Meyerson’s book ‘Success Secrets Of The Online Marketing Superstars‘)

Where Most People Go Wrong With Writing Headlines

Headlines can make a tremendous difference in the dollars-and-cents effectiveness of any piece of copy.  Changes in a headline can easily double and triple closing rates.  I know one marketer who claims he increased his sales on the same ad 18 times just by changing the headline!

Most people, unfortunately, write really bad headlines.  It’s not necessarily that they use bad grammar or spelling.  The problem is that their headlines don’t “reach people where they live.”  These headlines don’t create interest, desire, and receptivity to taking action.  They don’t do their job, so they’re not good headlines.

Here Are The Three Main Underlying Causes of Headline Problems:

1. The Headline Doesn’t Pass The “So What? Test

A merely factual headline doesn’t cut the mustard, because facts by themselves rarely stir people’s emotions.  Also, when there’s a promise spelled out that the prospect doesn’t instantly see as valuable, then the headline doesn’t have relevant emotional power – and it, too, fails the test.

2. The Headline Is Cute, Clever or Obscure

You see lots of headlines like this.  They include plays on words, sexual innuendo, attempts at humor, or displays of what the headline writer thought was exquisite sophistication.  While this approach may raise a chuckle and even get the prospect reading the rest of your Web page, unless what’s being sold in the copy is directly related to the cuteness up top, a headline of this type never sets the tone and puts the prospect in the mood most conducive for taking action afterwards.

3. The Headline Means Everything To The Business But Nothing To The Prospect

If your company has just celebrated its 25th anniversary, that’s terrific!  Very few businesses last that long.  But a self-congratulatory headline trumpeting that fact has no power to motivate prospects to take action… unless the prospect has a gnawing, burning need to do business with a 25-year-old company, and is already aware of that need before he or she reads the headline.

Most headline problems can be traced to the failure of person who wrote the headline to stand in the prospect’s shoes (mentally), and see things (in his or her mind’s eye) from the prospect’s point of view.  It’s a very valuable skill to learn.  And it’s key to writing good, powerful headlines.

Tip: Learn To Adapt Great Headlines

Here are a half a dozen time-tested headlines from How to Write a Good Advertisement by Victor Schwab.

Note: These headlines, modified for a particular product or service, still work like crazy today!  I’ll give you an example after each one:

1. The Secret Of Making People Like You

Example of Modification: The Secret Of Sleeping Well Without Drugs

2. Are You Ever Tongue-Tied At A Party?

Example of Modification: Do You Ever “Trip Over Your Own Tongue” During A Sales Presentation?

3. How To Win Friends And Influence People

Example of Modification: How To Create A Website And Make Money While You Sleep

Incidentally, you may think of original headline #3 as a book title.  It is; Victor Schwab wrote it for author Dale Carnegie.  But it was also a headline of a very successful ad used to sell the book!

4. Who Else Wants A Screen Star Figure?

Example of Modification: Who Else Wants ‘Killer Abs’ With No Hard Work?

5. Discover The Fortune That Lies Hidden In Your Salary

Example of Modification: Discover The Fortune That Lies Hidden In Your Basement And Attic

6. Here’s  A Quick Way To Break Up A Cold

Example of Modification: Here’s A Quick Way To Get Your Website Up And Running

Here are some key points to notice about all of them:

Each headline points to an end result, and that is what people are looking for most of the time.  Some of the end results in the original headlines:  “People Like You”; “(implied benefit: not being) Tongue-Tied At A Party”; “Win Friends And Influence People”

The headlines are made from short words.  Most are one-syllable words, and in all six original headlines, there’s only one three-syllable word: influence

These headlines both arouse curiosity and stoke desire. The copywriters probably thought long and hard about what people really want before they settled on the final version of the headline, and, they artfully arranged the words to make people reading them wonder “what’s this about?” as they felt an inner emotional tug moving them towards getting the end result.


Your Weekly Dose of Public Speaking Medicine

Pick up weekly tips oh how to create and deliver world class speeches. Michael Davis, the Storytelling MD, has packaged lessons learned from the best speakers and storytellers in the world.

Watch these videos and discover:

  • How to manage your emotions when you speak
  • How to uncover your best speech topics
  • How to craft a speech that captures attention, keeps interest and inspires others to take action
  • How to deliver your speeches in a dynamic style

Incorporate the lessons learned in this video series, and become a speaker that is in high-demand, and leaves a lasting impact on others.

To watch the videos, or subscribe to the series, visit: http://bit.ly/2vs6YSL

© 2017, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.

The post The Secret to Writing Winning Headlines appeared first on Michael Davis - Speaking CPR.

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