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Once upon a time … My Favourite Story Opening

Once Upon A Time ... Change how you think about public speaking

Today I wish to change how you think about public speaking. It’s not a chore to be feared; it’s an opportunity to be grasped.

I dislike anything to do with Excel and Accounts. I keep putting this type of work off until the last minute and then do it under pressure, increasing my distaste for the task at hand.

Lots of people have a similar dislike for speaking to groups, be they 5, 50 or 500. It leads to dissatisfaction afterwards as they know they could have done better.

If you lack confidence in yourself or your skill set, people may overlook and undervalue your contribution to the team or organization.

In my experience, it’s always the best presenters that get promoted!

How not to Prepare:

Preparation is not opening the previous slide deck, changing the title slide, and presenting the same deck that will bore you and your audience.

How to Prepare:

When answered well and truthfully, the following three questions will simplify and shorten your preparation time, while forming the basis of an engaging, exciting, and entertaining talk that will lead to a successful outcome.

1.  Who is your audience?

To be very specific, there may be quite a few people in the room, but usually, there is one decision-maker; this is the person you need to persuade to act.

What do you know about this person?

You must inform yourself about this person by reading the company website, LinkedIn profile, and press articles which will provide valuable insights.

Ideally, you are looking to discover some connection with people you both know. For example, previous companies they worked for, maybe your clients, Colleges they attended etc.

Do not leave the research to chance. This preparation will help you stand out from the crowd while creating the building blocks to forming a lasting relationship.

2.  What is the problem you solve for your audience?

In asking the question “What is the audience’s problem?”, I assume you provide a product or service that solves a problem for people.

Far too often, the first reaction of the speaker is to assume that their audience is aware of the problem that you believe you can solve for them.

Often, skipping over this critical step and move immediately to bore their audience by talking to them about themselves and their business.


Start every presentation by engaging your audience in a conversation about their problems before trying to sell them your solution.

In answering the question, “What is the Problem?”, there are two possible answers.

a.  They do not realise that they have this problem, which is highly unlikely.

b.  The second is that they have lived with the Problem for years while trying to find a solution without success.

In a short story/case study, tell the audience the problem you can solve for them.

3.  Remind your audience how they will be better once your solution is implemented.

Here are some examples of closing comments my clients have used:

“You can leave the plant on a Friday afternoon safe in the knowledge you won’t be called out over the weekend to deal with a production issue.”

“You can pay anyone, anywhere, anytime, immediately- it’s money reimagined.”

The one I use:

I help you capture your story and give you the confidence to tell it or sell it

First Meeting:

Here is the conversation template I recommend for a first meeting.

  • Connect:

Create a headline in twenty words or seven seconds if you wish to capture your audience’s attention.

  • Win the interest of the audience by speaking about their Problem?

Do this by telling them a story that reminds them of their problem.

  • Who are you?

Introduce your business and tell your audience what you can do to solve their problem.

  • Close: How is the audience better?

Remind your audience how they will be BETTER as a result of your intervention.

  • Agree on Next Action:

The number one failing of all meetings is not agreeing on the next steps.

Here is the next action I would like you to take.

Sign up for my next FREE webinar entitled

“An Elevator Pitch in 45 minutes”

 Details below:

An Elevator Pitch in 45 minutes

Wednesday 20th July, 2022 at 14:00 Dublin time

Join by clicking this Zoom link

Meeting ID: 843 4591 0442
Passcode: 591533

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