Preparing an Engaging Signature Talk

This is Part 1 on preparation focusing on creating an engagement talk. Follow these 3 easy steps below to lay the groundwork for preparing an engaging signature talk. Let's get right to it!

Your FIRST step includes two primary ingredients for preparing an engaging Signature Talk: expertise and passion. When you combine your enthusiasm (passion) and your experience (expertise), 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 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, I promise) – 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 in preparing an engaging signature talk is to create your objectives for you and for your audience.

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.

I recommend making at least some, if not all, of these your objectives:

1) engage your audience,

2) get more speaking gigs,

3) grow your community of followers (email list),

4) make an (irresistible) offer, and

5) gain clients.

But your objectives are just half of the equation.

Doing your homework on your audience beforehand and coming up with 3 take aways for them is the other half for an engaging signature talk.

What are the 3 things you want your audience to get from your presentation?

These 3 things will satisfy the objectives for your audience.

The objectives for you will center around building relationships with your audience (such as, connecting with them on social media, adding them to your mailing list, enrolling them for your services, buying your book, filling your retreat, getting booked for another speaking opportunity, etc.).

When an engaging signature talk, you want to include both objectives for 1) your audience and 2) for you in your introduction and close. Your ability to keep your audience engaged and providing value will go a long way to ensure you have buyers at the end of your talk.

The third step for preparing an engaging signature talk is crafting your talk. It’s best to create an outline of your Signature Talk each time you are going to present it. Why? Because researching and learning about your audience and customizing your talk just for them is super powerful! Tailoring your talk to your audience helps them relate and resonate with you/your talk.

Be sure to include quotes and anecdotes to draw in your audience. 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 preparing an engaging signature talk and improve on it as you go. The main thing is to get started! 

Be sure to read Part 2 on Audience Analysis, crucial to any talk and Part 3 on the Speaker Request Intake Form.

About the Author

Hi! I'm Pam. I teach entrepreneurs to be fearless & compelling speakers online and in person and how to easily promote and run their own online workshops, webinars, and online courses. 

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