Preparing a Successful Signature Talk
Updated: Mar 21
...in 3 easy steps
First and foremost, the two primary ingredients in a successful Signature Talk are expertise and passion. When you combine enthusiasm and experience, your public speaking skills come naturally.
However, whether you’re new or a seasoned speaker, you must keep working on your skills. All the masters continue to improve their skills.
Whether a musician or an athlete, professionals practice and work on the basics. Experienced (and novice) speakers should too.
Take James Veitch, for example. When you google his name, you’ll get this statement from Wikipedia: James Veitch is an English comedian, mostly known for his humorous interactions with the authors of scam emails.
This guy is hilarious. Now, what does he have to do with public speaking and a signature talk? A lot actually.
First, Wikipedia lets us know what he is known for. And, he is known for his signature talk!
You can watch it here (just over 9 minutes and you’ll laugh all the way through) – notice that his signature talk includes:
1) his expertise (and first hand knowledge) with scam emails and
2) his passion/enthusiasm about scam emails.
Your second step is to create your objectives. It’s pretty easy to figure out James Veitch’s objectives: to make his audience laugh and to get more (comedy) gigs.
Those are great objectives for any public speaker.
You can change the objectives around a bit to 1) engage your audience and 2) get more speaking gigs.
But your objectives are just half of the equation. Do your homework on your audience beforehand and come up with 3 take aways for them.
In other words, what are 3 things you want them to get out of your presentation? These 3 things will satisfy the objectives for your audience.
Don't just create 2 objectives for yourself. Identify more objectives for you. Your objectives will center around building relationships with your audience (such as, connecting with them on social media, adding them to your mailing list, getting them to sign up for your services, buy your book, fill your retreat, get booked for another speaking opportunity, etc.).
Both objectives for your audience and for you will be included in your introduction and close.
Third is crafting your talk. It’s best to create an outline of your Signature Talk each time you are going to present it. Why? Researching and learning about your audience and customizing your talk just for them is super powerful! It's what helps them relate and resonate with you/your talk.
Once you have your outline done, then practice. Creating an outline will help you stay focused, and practicing will help you warm up. When you actually give your talk, you will feel prepared, giving you confidence.
A Signature Talk is a public speaker’s calling card, and helps you to create your brand. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it probably won’t be at first. Just get started and improve on it as you go. The main thing is to get started!
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