by Michelle Mazur, Ph.D.
There’s plenty of tried and true presentation advice floating around the Internet. If you spend anytime Googling, what makes a successful speaker, you’ll read advice like:
- “Tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em, tell ‘em and tell ‘em what you’ve told them.”
- Make eye contact
- Get your butterflies to fly in formation by breathing
There’s nothing wrong with this type of public speaking, in fact, it’s good solid advice if you’re starting out as a speaker.
But at the end of the day, these are rules to follow. Just because you’re following the rules doesn’t mean you’ll be successful. It doesn’t mean speaking will grow your business. Following the rules doesn’t guarantee you’ll position your expertise.
If you’re speaking to grow your business, it’s time to do speaking differently than everyone else in your industry.
Be different to stand out
Standing out is not easy. You’ve been taught your whole life to fit in. Playing by the rules is the way to get ahead. You follow the done-for-you speech template or the six-figure selling-from-the-stage formulas.
Formulas and templates are not the way to stand out, get noticed, or build your business through speaking
If you follow all the rules (like every other speaker out there), you’ll blend in with all the other speakers.
Being you. Bring to the presentation all of your strange ideas, personality quirks, and all of the life experience that makes you different. Rip up the formula and experiment with what works best for your speech.
That’s the way to stand out.
Rebel speakers are unafraid to express their viewpoints. They’ve got their own ideas about how the world works and aren’t scared to voice those ideas.
In business, they see the status quo and see ways to make improvements upon the current situation.
Rebel speakers understand that what makes them stand out from other entrepreneurs is their ideas and justifiable rants.
Why do you need to express your strong viewpoints? The authors of the book, Rework, say it best:
“A strong stand is how you attract superfans. They point to you and defend you. And they spread the word further, wider, and more passionately than any advertising could.”
Think about your industry? What about it don’t you like? What ticks you off? That’s the key to finding your viewpoint that rebels against the status quo and makes you stand out.
Lead your audience towards a new vision
Speakers are leaders. When you are in front of that room, being who you are, pushing the boundaries of your industry through your viewpoint, you’re a leader.
You’re forging a new path for your audience. You’re expanding what is possible for every person in that room.
To do this, you’re not breaking the rules for fun or to merely be different, you’re creating a stand out speaking experience because you want to open the audience up for the possibility of change.
This should be a change that only you – being you with all of your flaws, foibles, and failures – can bring about for you audience.
Before you write a word of that presentation answer this question:
As a result of hearing me speak, how will my audience change?
When you’ve had a noticeable impact on someone’s life, you’ll stand out. You’ll be remembered. You’ll be trusted. People will want to do business with you, hire you, or join your community because you had an impact.
The tried and true public speaking rules work up until point, but it’s like Pablo Picasso says “Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.”
A presentation that gets remembered, opens up the possibility of a new vision for your audience, and grows your business by establishing you as the go-to expert in your field, doesn’t happen by following a formula.
It only happens when you embrace your inner rebel. And if you’re looking for more public speaking tips that go against conventional wisdom, tune into The Rebel Speaker Podcast.
Michelle Mazur, Ph.D. is the CEO of Communication RebelTM, a boutique communication consultancy specializing in the content development of presentations. To steal a lyric from a terrible Bryan Adams song, she firmly believes “Everything you do. You do it for the audience.” Armed with a Ph.D. in Communication, she has helped hundreds of business leaders and entrepreneurs design and deliver presentations from the audience’s point of view. Her speakers have spoken in front of world leaders, First Ladies, and have raised three times the amount of money than expected for charities.
She believes every presentation should leave a lasting impression and the last words of your presentation are the most important real estate in your speech.
She is also author of the Amazon best-selling book, Speak Up for Your Business: Presentation Secrets for Entrepreneurs Ready to Tell, Sell, and Compel and 3 Word Rebellion.
Michelle lives in Seattle with her adoring husband, 2 obsessive felines, and huge collection of Duran Duran memorabilia. You don’t have to fly to Seattle to hang out with Michelle. Come visit her on the blog for all things public speaking, hit her up twitter @drmichellemazur.