The Successful Speaker’s Mindset
“The energy level of the audience is the same as the speaker’s. For better…or for worse.” – Andras Baneth
“You Become What You Think About!” Earl Nightingale told us these words in 1956 in his million dollar best selling LP Program, “The Strangest Secret.” He was not the originator of the words. They have been said by sages throughout recorded history.
If you think about becoming a nurse, you will become a nurse. If you think about becoming an engineer, you will become an engineer. If you think about becoming a successful speaker, you will become a successful speaker.
To become a successful speaker you must have the Successful Speaker’s Mindset.
So what should be your thoughts be to possess the Successful Speaker’s Mindset?
In this newsletter, I explore three answers to this question:
Think you have something to say your audience wants and needs to know
Think you have the expertise and experience in your topic area
Think you have the confidence your audience will receive your message correctly and act on it.
Something Your Audience Wants and Needs to Know
If you proceed to talk to your audience and you do not know what they want to and need to hear about your subject, you are like in a rowboat in a lake without a “paddle” and without a “rudder on the boat.”
This is a recipe for an unsuccessful presentation.
Try finding out as much as you can about your audience before you decide what you will talk about and at what level. So, how can you do this.
There are many ways to find out what your audience knows about your topic and how deeply they know it. Try the following:
Talk beforehand to people who you know will be in the audience. How can you find this out. Ask the event organizer. Ask colleagues. Ask anyone and everyone who knows people in the audience
Find out the publications your audience reads and read them
Once you find out by name who is going to be in the audience, read their profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook. There is a wealth of information about people and their backgrounds in LinkedIn and Facebook.
While knowledge of your audience is necessary to possessing the Successful Speaker’s Mindset, you are only part of the way there. Expertise and experience in your topic area are also necessary.
Expertise and Experience in My Topic Area
Two requisites that are necessary to speak successfully on a topic is expertise and experience in your topic area. These are two different skills.
Expertise means you have been educated and/or trained in your topic subject. This is theoretical.
Experience means through your work, you have knowledge of how your topic subject works in the real world. This is practical.
Concerning expertise, as an example, if your topic is about Nuclear Physics, a baccalaureate, graduate, or maybe even a doctoral degree in Physics is essential for two reasons. One, it gives you the technical knowledge to intelligently and confidently talk about your subject and, two, it provides greatly fosters your credibility with your audience.
Concerning experience, working, doing research, and authoring technical papers in the area of Nuclear Physics gives you will also increase your credibility with your audience and will pique the interest in them to learn the latest breakthroughs in this area.
While knowledge of your audience and expertise/experience in your topic area are necessary to successful speaking, they are still not sufficient to possessing the Successful Speaker’s Mindset.
Having confidence your audience will receive your message correctly and act on it is also essential to possessing the Successful Speaker’s Mindset.
Confidence Your Audience Will Receive Your Message Correctly and Act on It
Remember, you become what you think about. Having confidence your audience will receive your message correctly and act on it is vital to being successful as a speaker.
So, how do you become confident in this respect? Confidence is increased through preparation. Carefully preparing the words you will say and your supporting material to build on what your audience knows will greatly build your confidence. Talking in the vernacular of your audience is key.
The majority of speakers focus on their delivery when they should start by being focused on their audience. Your audience is the only reason you are speaking. It is not about you. It is about them. They are your “rudder.”
In knowing who your audience is, you should use their terminology, their expertise, and their experience to guide you. You won’t be able to convert all audience members to your way of thinking or increase their knowledge of your topic. However, without the audience fully understanding your presentation, there will be no chance to convert or increase the knowledge of anyone.
Remember, your presentation should be prepared and delivered with your audience foremost in your mind. They are your “rudder.”
The knowledge you have of your audience, your expertise/experience in your topic area and having confidence your audience will receive your intended message and act on it all contribute greatly to the Successful Speaker’s Mindset.
Follow these three ways of thinking and you too will possess the Successful Speaker’s Mindset!
Call to Action
Discover and use what your audience’s wants and needs as your guide to preparing your presentation
Use your expertise and experience in your topic area to expand your audience’s knowledge of the subject
Prepare and deliver your presentation with your audience foremost in your mind to maximize your audience receiving your message clearly and acting on it
“A talk is a voyage with purpose and it must be charted. The man who starts out going nowhere, generally gets there.” – Dale Carnegie
DiBartolomeo Consulting International’s (DCI) mission is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence colleagues and other technical professionals through improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence.
Contact DCI at
Office – (703) 815-1324
Cell/Text – (703) 509-4424