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Watching a good speaker can be “good” or “bad” for you.

It all depends on how you watch that speaker.

If you look at a good speaker and say to yourself “I can’t do that!” or “Oh, I can’t be like that!” then you are reinforcing a belief that you are not a good speaker. This self-talk will not help you become a better speaker.

In fact, this will be detrimental to your public speaking success and confidence.

If you want to learn from good speakers or the master speakers, then you need to watch them differently.

You need to watch them like a scientist. Break down what they do into small behavioral patterns, understand the reasons behind the behavior, then copy the behavior and apply it.

For example, if the speaker moves to a specific spot repeatedly, then you might want to take note. If they raise their hand every time they ask a question, then you need to take a note of that as well. If they use a story and they come back to the same story later in their speech, then you need to note that also.

And if thoughts like “I can’t do that!” or “this is not me,” come to mind then you need to shake them off and focus on specific behaviors. See what makes a master speaker is the combination of many behaviors on stage.

Once you start looking at good speakers this way, then learning from them will be less overwhelming. You will realize that what makes a good speaker is a set of behavioral patterns that you can copy and use.

The big take away:

Don’t worship the masters, learn from them.

PS: Here are the top 8 masters of 100s I learn from all the time. These Masters have influenced the techniques you learn in one of our Magnetic Speaking Boot Camps.

1. Tony Robbins

2. Bill Clinton

3. Oprah Winfrey

4. Ester Hicks

5. T Harv Eker

6. Steve Jobs

7. Seth Godin

8. Jill Bolte Taylor

Do you have any Public Speaking Masters you admire?

The post How To Copy The Public Speaking Masters appeared first on Magnetic Speaking.

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When I first changed careers ten years ago from a pharmaceutical engineer to a professional speaker, I thought that I had no credibility as a professional speaker (because I lacked the background and relevant experience).

As a result, I started to brag about myself to overcompensate – but as you probably know that rarely works.

A mentor of mine at the time told me that instead of trying to prove my credibility, I should just focus on my message and make my message more credible.

That was a relief at the time, and it is still a relief now.  Once you make sure your message is credible, then you don’t need to prove yourself anymore. You will get credibility by default of the message.


Here are four ways to make your message more credible. Try to use and combine all of them in every presentation you do.

1 – Be specific and tangible with your language

Instead of saying ” Today I will talk about our power plant.”

Say: “Today, I will cover three things about our power plant. One is our upgrade status, two our new safety protocol, three our joint venture partnership with PG&E.”

Notice that the I added more details to make it more tangible and less vague.

2 – Cite internal studies or external sources

Instead of saying that “our technology increases click-through ratio.”

Say “According to an internal study we conducted with 2500 vendors, our Play click Technology increases click through ratio by 23%.”

Notice that I referenced an internal study and also made it more specific from point 1.

3. Use your own experience

Instead of saying “we should use the Nimble Platform for our CRM initiative.”

Say, “I’ve been using Nimble for the past two weeks, and I’ve done more CRM documentation and tracking on it than I’ve done with X platform in the past year. I think it would be a great idea to have all our team migrate to it.”

Notice that I’ve used my personal experience to add value and credibility to my suggestion.

4. Make the message audience-centric

If you read my articles, you notice that I use “audience-centric” a lot, that’s because the audience is what the presentation is about. It is never about you. Isn’t that a relief? It’s always about your audience.

The more it is about them, the more credible the message will get. Because people like to hear about themselves.

Think about their needs, their issues, their language, their level of understanding and explain the ideas so that it’s clear to them and you have nothing to fear.


Of course, there are more than four ways to make your message more credible, but I think these are a very good start.

Even if you use these tips on credibility, you might still get some disagreements from your audience every once in a while. That is fine – it does not mean that the message is not credible and it does not mean that you are not a credible speaker.

Some disagreement is a healthy part of every dialogue and whatever they say is feedback for you to make your message even better the next time you speak.

To this day I am still reaping the benefits of my mentor’s advice – Don’t try to force your credibility on people, just make your message more credible, and by default, you will be viewed as a credible presenter.


PS. Having a mentor or a speaking coach is a great thing. It made a massive impact on my skills and confidence. I still have mentors and coaches to this day because it keeps me growing and developing.

The post Four (4) Keys To Public Speaking Credibility appeared first on Magnetic Speaking.

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When confronted with public speaking fear or anxiety – working on your most valuable asset – your confidence- becomes essential.

Your confidence is the foundation of your delivery skills and content.

It doesn’t matter if you know all the content in the world or if you are practiced in all the delivery skills possible, and you can’t stand in front of the room and share with an audience if you lack confidence.

I had to deal with public speaking fear myself. I know that sometimes you feel powerless. I felt that way too once.

That’s why I am writing this post to share with you what worked for me, and what has worked for my close one-on-one coaching clients.

Through research and experimentation, I found that public speaking confidence rests on four pillars

1- Your Identity

Your identity is how you see yourself. Most people see themselves as the job they hold (engineer, project manager, product designer, account manager, etc…), or as one of their roles in life (father, mother, family man, big sister, etc…).

The problem with holding your identity as one of these two categories is that you are limiting yourself.

For a long time, I felt insecure about being a professional speaker, because on the inside I saw myself as an engineer and not as a professional speaker.

That’s when I decided to change my identity to a “Leader” instead. Notice that I did not change it to a professional speaker (Because that’s just a job). I wanted something more encompassing.

Choose a grand and encompassing identity – like a leader, mover, and shaker, entrepreneur, magician, etc. (feel free to experiment until you find something that fits). 2- Your beliefs

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right,” said Henry Ford. It applies to public speaking as well.

If you believe that you can’t do public speaking, If you believe that it’s hard, If you feel that you are not good enough, not old enough, or too old, then that will cause you uncertainty when you speak.

Some beliefs I consciously adopted to increase my confidence are the following:

  • I am good enough
  • I am a great speaker
  • I am old enough
  • Public speaking is easy
  • Public speaking is like one-on-one speaking
  • Public speaking is an innate ability to human beings

I constantly keep tabs on my beliefs to make sure they are aligned to give me confidence instead of anxiety.

One note about beliefs is that they are not necessarily truths. If they were the truth, then they would be called truth. A belief is an assumption we make that helps us operate in the world. Most our lives and society are built on these assumptions.

Since these beliefs are not truths and just assumptions, then we might as well adopt beliefs that serve us instead of hinder us.

Your Past Experience

Our brains assess new experiences by comparing them to something similar in the past. If you had bad public speaking experiences from the past, then every time you speak your brain is going to bring these experiences to the front. That will make you anxious.

These experiences can be few big bad experiences or a collection of smaller ones. Either way, you have to deal with them or counterbalance them with good experiences.

To deal with my bad experiences, I used Neuro-Linguistic-Programing (NLP). I studied NLP and applied what I learned to myself.

I also counterbalanced the bad experiences with good ones by speaking at Toastmasters and other groups. The friendlier the group, the better – it allowed me to accumulate a new set of positive public speaking experiences.

I believe that the second way worked better for me. Dealing with past experiences helped, but adding the new positive experiences helped even more. This is why we keep our classes and training programs fun, interactive and approachable.

Your Conditioning

A lot of times you might think that there is no logical reason for you to be anxious anymore.

You are right; anxiety is not logical, especially, if it’s a conditioned response.

If for a while you felt nervous every time you presented, then your body gets conditioned to feel nervous every time you present.

Even if you build your identity, if you change your beliefs, and correct all your past experiences, anxiety can still be triggered because it is a conditioned response.

The best way to get rid of the conditioning is to start associating fun with public speaking. You can do this by doing outside the box things to express yourself like take acting classes, stand up comedy or do a full day intensive training on public speaking and presentation skills.

Depending on how deep and long the conditioning, the process of de-conditioning your anxiety response might take some time.

Public speaking is important for your career, and it’s important that you build your skills and content on a solid foundation. The foundation of public speaking is your confidence.

Hope you found this article useful – please share your thoughts, ideas, or questions in the comments below – I always read all of them.

The post 4-Pillars of Public Speaking Confidence appeared first on Magnetic Speaking.

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Your confidence is your biggest asset as a communicator. If you don’t invest time and energy to protect it, it will erode over time.

Before you invest in building more confidence, start plugging the leaks in the foundation. If you don’t plug the holes, the confidence you add will leak out. I work with private coaching client’s who have spent 20+ years speaking in front of large groups and executives, and all of a sudden started to develop speaking anxieties. Even though the anxieties seem to appear suddenly, the cause had built up for years.

This article is going to help you build the immunity to protect your confidence. Because, if you are not are aware of it yet, there are things you do that allow your confidence to leak and erode away.

Here are three behaviors that might be eroding your confidence, and how to stop them.

1. Practicing public speaking while nervous.

You have heard the saying: practice, practice, practice and then your anxiety will naturally go away. Not true. I believe if you practice public speaking when you are nervous, then you are also practicing anxiety. Sure if you practice, you will get good at public speaking, but you will also get good at feeling anxiety.

I believe that practice in a safe, friendly and fun environment is the best way to build and protect your confidence. I built my confidence doing fun improv and acting classes, and that’s why I incorporated that in all of our training.

The next time you are rehearsing for a presentation make sure that you are relaxed and comfortable. Because without realizing it you are also practicing your ability to be comfortable.

2. Practicing in front of the mirror

Initially, I found practicing in front of the mirror to be very helpful for building my skills. Then, two years after I started speaking for a living, I began to feel too self-conscious and anxious every time I was in front of a large group. Working with my speaking coach, I realized that my practice in front of the mirror was training me to be self-conscious. Since then, I changed the way I practiced and started seeing improvements in my speaking confidence right away.

I now practice by imagining my speaking audience in front of me. I speak to them, I see them react, and I hone in on my message. This has trained me to be an audience-centric presenter, instead of self-centric. I noticed that aside from improving my confidence, having an audience-centric approach, helps me come up with better messages.

3. Thinking that public speaking confidence is an isolated factor

So many people tell me all the time that their content is great, only if they can build the confidence to say it. I don’t buy it.

I believe that your confidence is not an isolated factor. Your delivery skills and how you structure your content has a major effect on your confidence and vice versa. If you structure your presentation well, it will have a positive impact on how the audience receives it and in turn positively impact your confidence. If your presentation is not well-organized, or structured, it will cause a negative audience reaction and in turn, negatively impact your confidence. The same can be said about delivery skills. Makes sense?

If you don’t, then your lack of skills will degrade your confidence over time.
If you start thinking about your speaking confidence as an asset, you will begin to protect and build it faster than you ever imagined. Before you know it, your speaking confidence will spread into all areas of your life and enhance it.

It all starts with stopping the leaks and the erosion in you’re confidence’s foundation. What causes your speaking confidence erosion? Please share in the comments below. Would love to read and respond to them.

The post Three Things That Erode Your Speaking Confidence appeared first on Magnetic Speaking.

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Imagine, being able to confidently give presentations anywhere and anytime.

Imagine, being viewed as a respected leader in your field.

Imagine, having no fear, no hesitation, no anxiety – you ask for what you want and get it.

How will this affect you life? How much freedom will that give you? How many career opportunities would that open up for you?

Seriously, what do you feel when you read the above sentences?

Is it inspiration? fear? anticipation? or curiosity?

You feel something because the word “imagine” at the beginning of each sentence forces you to picture what’s being said. Once your brain generates an image, you react with an emotion in the body.

This is a big deal because you, like most people, make decisions based on your emotions and so does your audience.

Think of this: you can say just one sentence using the word “imagine,” and that sentence will create thoughts in your audience’s brain, the thoughts create an emotional response, and then the emotional response influences their decisions. Which means you can influence their decisions with words.

If that’s just with one sentence, then what’s possible with a whole presentation? As a presenter, you have a lot more power than you think.

How to use the magic word “Imagine”

Through testing and experience, I found that using the word “Imagine” three times in consecutive sentences work best. Yes you can use it once, you can use it twice and you can even use it four times, but the most effective is going to be three.

Try it out for yourself and see. When I say effective, I mean it will generate the most emotional response (I measure this by looking to see how intensely people are paying attention to me).

Here is the imagine formula:

  1. Imagine,___Benefit #1______________
  2. Imagine,___Benefit #2______________
  3. Imagine,___Benefit #3______________
  4. Reflection Question (s): ____________________

A reflection question can be: How would that make you feel? How would that affect your life?

You can use one, or few questions. Use your judgment.

Example (other than the one at the top of this blog):

  1. Imagine, being able to create modern presentations with impressive speed.
  2. Imagine being able to create presentations that are fun and easy to follow.
  3. Imagine, knowing what to say, how to start, how to structure your points and how to close with power.
  4. What would that do to your confidence? What would that do to your career?

Where to use this in your presentations?

You can use the Imagine Formula to start or end your point.

Here is how you would start your points using the Imagine Formula:

Start with the Imagine Formula

Imagine, being able to create modern presentations with impressive speed.

Imagine being able to create presentations that are fun and easy to follow.

Imagine, knowing what to say, how to start, how to structure your points and how to close with power.

How would that make you feel?

Transition into your point: That’s why I am here today. I am here to show you how to build and structure modern presentations to influence your audience and grab their attention.

Here is how you would use it at the END of your point:

Start your point: One of the boot camps we offer is called the Magnetic Blueprint Boot camp. It teaches you how to structure and craft effective presentations so that you can wow your audience.

Transition into Imagine Formula

Imagine, being able to create modern presentations with impressive speed.

Imagine, being able to create presentations that are fun and easy to follow.

Imagine, knowing what to say, how to start, how to structure your points and how to close with power

How would that make you feel?


Your words have power and some of your words have more power than others. One of the most powerful words I know is the word “imagine.”

When you use the word “imagine”, you force your audience to picture what you are saying which evokes an emotional response that hooks them to your presentation. Einstein once said that “imagination is more important than knowledge.” I say that both are equally important to you as a presenter. Use imagination to hook your audience so that they appreciate the knowledge you give them.

I hope you try the Imagine Formula and put it to use. Please share your comments below because I always look forward to them.

The post The One-Word That Hooks Your Audience Every Single Time appeared first on Magnetic Speaking.

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This blog is a continuation of the “How to Start a Presentation Effectively” series.

As a professional, you speak to influence.

Whether you educate, sell, inform, or update, your primary focus in business presentations is to influence a decision or a direction.

That’s hard to do when your idea is out of the box. When the idea is foreign to your audience, the audience might mistrust it, and as a result, refuse it. To bridge the gap between inside and outside the box, you can use an analogy. The analogy will serve as the bridge between something your audience knows to the new content you share with the audience.

Here are some example of analogies:

– Public speaking is like acting (True or not, it does not matter)

– Distribution channels are like indoor plumbing

– Software development is like construction work

– An analogy is like a bridge (remember this from earlier in the article)

Notice that to have an analogy, you relate something to another by using the word “like.”

Now here is the formula to use an analogy to start a presentation.

1. Say analogy

2. Relate analogy to your topic

3. Explain more if you need to

Here are a couple of examples: I will use the “tree roots” analogy and fit it to a couple of topics. First, I  will use the analogy to relate to “confidence,” then I will use the same analogy to relate to “people in a community.”

Tree roots with confidence

1. Say Analogy:

When you look at a tree – the bigger the roots, the stronger the tree.

2. Relate analogy to your topic: (topic is confidence)

I am here today because, just like a tree, your confidence has roots. The stronger you make those roots, the stronger your confidence will get

3. Explain more if you need to

In fact, your confidence has three sources. One is your self-image, Second is your conditioning, and third, is your experience. We will go over these in this presentation and show you how you can cultivate them to build an unstoppable confidence.

Now let’s use the same analogy for a different topic:

Tree roots with community

1. Say Analogy:

When you look at a tree – the bigger the roots, the stronger the tree.(notice this is the same analogy from before)

2. Relate analogy to topic: (topic is community)

I am here today because, just like a tree, a community has roots. The stronger you make those roots, the stronger the community will get

3. Explain if you need to

The roots of the community are the people who live in it. I am here today to go over different ways to invest in the development of our people so that we build a great community.

These examples sound great, don’t they? Imagine if you do something similar for your topic and start your presentations this way. You don’t have to use the analogy I used above; you can come up with your analogy and just plug into the formula with your topic.

Doing that to start a presentation will hook people into your topic, get them excited and help them understand your ideas better. Ultimately, you will have a better chance at influencing them. The more your thoughts are outside the box, the more you have to use analogies to relate them to people.

The post How to Start a Presentation Effectively Using A Simple Analogy appeared first on Magnetic Speaking.

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Your ability to kickoff cross-functional team meetings is a key to your success.

A Project Kick-off meeting is where you form your project team and where you set the tone of all future interactions. The purpose of the meeting is to have the group meet, set expectations, learn about project background and get on the same page with the client.

To ensure success, you need to include three distinct elements:

  • An introduction
  • A formal business discussion
  • A fun team building activity
Introduction to a project kickoff meeting:

The purpose of the introduction is to frame the kickoff meeting and get everyone on the same page. The opening has three main parts:

1. The welcome message from the leader to break the ice
2. The agenda so that people have a clear idea of the meeting
3. The team introductions so that people learn about each other

The welcome message:

It should be short, sweet and to the point. The purpose is to break the ice and reassure people that they are in the right place and then remind them of the big WHY of the project.

Here is a good formula to use for a welcome message:

“Hi everyone, welcome to the kick-off meeting of project X! I am excited about this project because it will _________ (fill in the benefits this will get the department, company or end user).”

The big WHY is very important here because it will give the team a bigger purpose when doing their job. If you don’t know how to articulate the big WHY then check with management. Simon Sinek argues that great leaders always start with Why because your job as a leader is to make the team feel that they are working on something bigger than themselves.

Start with why -- how great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek | TEDxPugetSound - YouTube

Kickoff Meeting Agenda:

One slide that will outline the bucket of information you will cover in this meeting. The agenda will set the exceptions and frame the timing and discussion points. If you don’t include an agenda people will feel that the meeting is unorganized.

Even though every project is different, some fundamentals have to be covered in the agenda. Here is a sample Kickoff Meeting Agenda from one of my clients (Modified a bit to hide sensitive information):

As you can see from the slide above, The meeting is divided into three sections: Team members introductions, Expectations and finally the first milestone and a team building activity. Notice that times are assigned as well for each part.

After the agenda is covered, you need to go into team introductions.

Team Introductions:

Team members share about themselves.

The team introduction portion will provide an opportunity for each team member to introduce themselves to the rest of the team. Remember: Many of the team members may be working with each other for the first time.

Provide a structure for the introductions so that each person shares, at a minimum, their background, current project load, and what they consider as their strength.

To reduce formality, you can consider adding a “fun fact” as part of the introductions.

I have a client from a big biotech company who starts the introductions by having people go around and share 6 things: Name, Role, Number of years at the company, and other projects they are currently working on.

For added fun have the team members also share a small and interesting thing about them.

Other examples of fun shares:

1) Share something unique about you.

2) Share something no one knows about you.

3) Share two truths and one lie and then the team will try to guess what is a lie. (The last one is my personal favorite because it gets everyone involved).

Formal Business Portion of a team kickoff meeting:

After introductions, you transition to the formal business portion of the meeting. This is where the team covers all key project-specific details.

This portion should account for ~ 60% of the overall meeting duration.

At a minimum, you should cover the following items:

1. Background on the project.
2. Agree on future meeting frequency, duration, and location.
3. Establish rules of engagement for meetings (e.g., arriving on time, no interrupting, etc.)
4. Agree on communication guidelines – internal and external to the team.
5. Align on the decision making and escalation processes.
6. Outline key project deliverables and target timing (if available).

Typically you will have a slide for each one, and you go through them and check for alignment with the team.

The final piece of the business section you cover the project charter. A project charter is one page that answers the why, what, and who of the project. The why is the reason for the project, the what is the background, the scope, and outcomes, the who covers the stakeholders. It is a one-page slide that summarizes the most important details.

Here is a template you can use:

Why or vision of project?

What is the scope of the project?

What is the background:

What are the major outcomes?

Who are the stockholders?

The last part of the meeting is the activity:

Lastly, you should end the meeting with a team building activity. The objective of this exercise is to allow the team to build rapport and learn more about each other in an informal setting.

Choose the activity carefully so that it provides insights into business-related skills – such as communication or problem-solving – as well as team dynamics.

For example, “Colourblind” is an activity that forces the team to communicate verbally (while blindfolded!) and solve a problem together as a team.

At the end of the activity, a debrief session allows the team to reflect on their successes as well as the area for improvement. Document and reference these learnings during future team interactions.

Colourblind | Improve Teamwork and Communication Skills - YouTube

Covering the three meeting components described above ensures a successful and memorable project kick-off meeting that will set your team on a positive trajectory.

Remember to send your team a “Thank You” note for taking the time to participate in the kick-off and include all critical insights from the meeting. As you plan your project kick-off meetings, feel free to reach out to me with any questions; I’m always happy to brainstorm approached and provide suggestions. Good luck!

The post How to Run a Project Kickoff Meeting Successfully appeared first on Magnetic Speaking.

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So you muster every ounce of courage you have, and you ask your audience a question.

And no one answers.

What do you do? Do you give up and go back to giving a boring presentation? Or do you try again in a smarter way?

Today’s Tip-Tuesday will give you professional comebacks to use to bounce back from an anxiety-inducing audience response.  This will help you motivate people to engage with your question, even if they are not typically responsive.

Let’s say you have one of these questions as part of your presentation:

  1. Show of hands question (ex. How many of you know who Oppenheimer is?).
  2. Open-ended questions (ex. What do you think about space travel).

If you know that the audience is open and receptive then just ask them.

If you sense that your audience is hesitant or apprehensive, use the following strategy before asking a question:

1- Prime their mind: say something like “I have a question for you,” “I would like to ask you a question here,” or  “I would like to do a little survey.”

This usually primes your audience’s minds for participation and foreshadows the way you expect them to respond throughout the presentation. As a result, they will be more prepared to participate.

2- Lower the risk  

Reducing the risk means that you put your audience at ease by framing the act of answering a question in a positive and non-defensive light. People, usually don’t want to be embarrassed or be viewed as weird. Your job is to make them look good and remove the risk for them.

You can lower the risk for your audience using one of these frames:

1.  No mistake frame: People usually don’t want to make mistakes, and that’s why they don’t answer. Say something like: “there are no mistakes here,” “There is no right or wrong answer here,” or  “there is no judgment here, feel free to share what comes to your mind.”

2. Humor frame: Humor disarms people. If you want to lower the risk of the answer, make a joke about it: Say something like “I promise I will not share the results with management.” I know humor could be challenging so I would recommend that you take standup comedy classes or hire a standup comedy up coach.

3. Benefits frame: people are more likely to do something if they can see an advantage. Say something like this: “ Your answer will help me customize the presentation for you.

4. Cost of the alternative frame: You can make the risk of not answering bigger than the risk of answering. You can do this by saying “I know you are smart people and not lazy, so please don’t be lazy.” I have never used this frame and I probably never will use it, but I thought I would share it with because it has value in some scenarios. 

Here is an example of this used by Gary Vaynerchuk: go to 8:30 in the timeframe.


As you can see, there are many ways to ensure your audience replies to your questions with positive engagement. The best way to become more comfortable in doing this is to practice asking questions and setting the frame continually.

I encourage you to try this at your next company meeting, presentation, or your next Toastmasters speech. Would love to hear your thoughts, please let me know what you think in the comments below.

The post How to React to an Unresponsive Audience appeared first on Magnetic Speaking.

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Do you want to be more influential when you present?

Here is the naked truth about influence:

Having all the influencing skills and techniques in the universe is not going to help you a single bit if you are not likable.

A 2008 study in Management Science demonstrated that people watching a presenter are more influenced by the likability of the speaker than by the quality of the speaker’s arguments.

That’s shocking, scary, and true!

One of the best ways to become more influential is to become more likable.

The good news for you:

You can learn to be more likable, and give yourself an advantage in the workplace – imagine having both: good arguments and be likable; that would make you unstoppable.

With knowledge and a little practice, you can become more likability (Even if you are likable already).

Likability doesn’t only help with your presentation influence; it’s also one of the biggest keys to becoming a great leader.

But what is it exactly that makes great speakers so likable and successful, and how can others command this same likability?

Here are the top five traits of well-liked presenters that you can integrate into your presentations to become a more influential public speaker.

Be Authentic

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” Brené Brown

Authenticity is very simple yet very hard to pull off. It’s simple because all you have to do is be the same person on stage and off stage. It’s hard because we have been trained since childhood to believe that public speaking is a formal affair. So to be formal, we try to be someone we are not.

I used to do it too…

… Off stage I am personable, I meet people and casually chat with them. But it used to be that when I was on stage, I became Mr. Robot.

Do you do that too?

I learned from acting classes (of all places) that my audience crave to see the real me. When you go to a show, you want to see a natural and authentic performance; you don’t want to see fake laughs, cries, or gestures. The same applies to your audience when you speak.

Now, I don’t try to be too formal on stage; I just be myself. If it means a few “ah’s” and “um’s” will slip in, then so be it. This has made my life much easier because it means that I don’t have to rehearse over. And it made the response I get to my speeches much better.

Here are actual reviews from actual audience members:

This is early in my career when I was trying to be somebody else: I know it’s brutal!

I cringe when I re-read this review, but I want to be open and transparent with you. I keep it to remind myself not be fake anymore.

The following was later in my career when I was more authentic- Much better, right?

Notice the energy level is still high, and it is still very interactive, but now it’s authentic. This is the same exact course but one year later.

If you want to be likable, you need to be genuine. No one likes a fake presenter. It’s hard to connect with someone when you don’t think they are real. To be more trustworthy and relatable, be more real.

Be passionate.

Be passionate about what you’re talking about. Sometimes when giving presentations at work it’s hard to be passionate, but if you can find a few things in your presentation that excite you, draw on that excitement and use it throughout your speech.

Also, get passionate about your life in general, and that will help you leak some of that passion into your presentations.

“You must be passionate, you must dedicate yourself, and you must be relentless in the pursuit of your goals. If you do, you will be successful.” – Steve Garvey

Passion is contagious, and by finding and increasing your passion, you will bring that same energy to those listening to you. When I was in college, I was a biochemistry major and one day my chemistry teacher was talking about the field of Chemical Engineering and how exciting it is. I could sense my teacher’s genuine passion for the field. Because I was not sure about Biochemistry as a major, I left the class that day, and I changed my major to Chemical Engineering, and that’s the degree I finished college with.

If passion can convince me to chose a college major- you can imagine what effect delivering a passionate message will have on your audience.

Be Humble

While it’s okay to talk about the things you’ve accomplished, you want to be sure you don’t build yourself up too much. Let those listening attach ideas and meaning to your actions. There’s no need to shout about your accomplishments, simply state them.

If you want people to like you, then don’t act like you are better than them. People will already put you on a pedestal as a presenter, and it’s important that you don’t let that get to your head.

Being humble does not mean you are weak and not assertive. Not at all. It’s important to be assertive and control the room as the speaker but equally important to manage the room with modesty and respect.

Often, if you can make fun of yourself, you will win some points with your audience. Self-deprecating humor tends to have a positive effect on an audience.

Be Approachable

Becoming a likable speaker is all about being able to connect to those that are listening to you. The best way to connect with your audience happens before you open your mouth.

Imagine this:

You go to an event, and you see the speaker standing alone in the corner of the room with a frown on his face and arms folded. Would you approach this person without any hesitation?

Of course not. I would run the other direction.

Being approachable and warm is about body language. I use the simple acronym “S.T.A.N.D.” to help me remember this:

S= Smile

Smile at people. Your smile disarms them and makes them think of you as safe to approach.

T= Talk

There is a concept in psychology called social proof. It says that people like to do what they see others doing. So if you start talking to your audience before the presentation starts, others are likely to see and want to do the same with you.

If you have the opportunity, try to meet with those in your audience away from the podium. Try to talk with them before your presentation begins, or offer to talk with them when the presentation is over.

A= Approach

Get closer to your audience. According to the proximity principle, we are more likely to develop a relationship with someone who is in close physical proximity. It’s easier to relate to someone sitting next to you than with someone across the room.

Make sure you get as close as possible to your audience every time you present.

N = Nice

Be nice to others. Don’t be rude.

Sounds basic right?


Speaking is a stressful activity to a lot of people, and it brings out the worst in them. Notice your behaviors and be nice to everyone at the events you are speaking at.

You need to engage your audience, allow them to participate and respond accordingly. Be sure to respond to your audience’s reactions and be nice about it. No one likes a jerk.

D = Down to earth

Being the speaker does not mean you are better than everybody else in the room. Treat everyone with respect and as equals. This is an extension of being Humble.

Be a Storyteller

Everyone likes to listen to a good story. A great presenter knows that to connect with their audience, they need to tell a story. Storytelling is what persuades and influences people to take action. Stories allow you to connect at a deeper level with your audience.

Even if you’re giving a presentation that’s all about facts and numbers, you should never present with only the intention of transferring information. Human beings are emotional creatures, and to make them care enough to listen, you need to evoke some emotion in them. There’s no better way to evoke emotion than with a story.

When you tell a story, both you and your audience are in essence ‘experiencing’ the story. Because of this, storytelling is a great way to engage your audience and cause their brain waves to sync with your own.

By telling your audience a story, you will make yourself relatable to your audience, thus allowing you to gain their support and act on the information given more easily.

Be Adaptable

When I did process engineering, I learned that the most flexible part of the process ends up controlling the whole process. As a presenter, you have to control the room, but you can’t control it by brute force.

That’s why you have to be the most flexible and adaptable part of the speaking process.

When you’re giving a presentation, things don’t always go exactly as planned. To be a great presenter, you need to be flexible when managing your presentation and be able to change it up when necessary. If your presentation isn’t being well received, you need to know when you should go in a different direction.

The best way to become adaptable is by practicing your speech, but not memorizing it. Memorization tends to cause a hyper-focus on perfection.


Before you work on acquiring more influence skills, work on being more likable. This will boost your influence ability without much effort.

It’s impossible to inspire a group of people to action when you’re not liked by them. So, the next time you have to prepare for a speech remember these 5 Traits of Exceptionally Likable Presenters and try to incorporate them into your presentation so that you can become more an effective and influential speaker.

The post The One Quality You Need To Boost Your Influencing skills appeared first on Magnetic Speaking.

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