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Preparing a Successful Signature Talk

Preparation Series: #3 Creating Your Signature Talk


These are the EXACT same steps I used to position myself as an expert and profit from speaking in less than 6 months.

September 23, 2018 0 comments
Signature Talk, Public Speaking, Creating Your Signature Talk

Preparing a Successful Signature Talk

The two primary ingredients in a successful Signature Talk are expertise and passion. Believe it or not, when you have enthusiasm and experience, your public speaking skills will 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. 


Where to begin? First create a Signature Talk. This is the talk that you either will be come known for or are already known for. It’s the one that delivers your expertise and your passion. A signature talk aligns with your brand.


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.


Suffice to say, to create your Signature Talk, select something you are passionate about and where you have expertise (duh!). Simple enough, yet powerful. Once you have decided what your Signature Talk topic is, you are ready to work on your objectives for you and for your audience. This is Step #2.

It’s pretty easy to figure out James Veitch’s objectives: to make his audience laugh and to get more comedy gigs. Basically, those are good objectives for any public speaker.

You can change the objectives around a bit to 1) engage your audience and 2) get more speaking gigs.

Do your homework on your audience beforehand and come up with about 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.

Now identify the 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. 


Once you have your introduction and close done, work on the content or body of your Signature Talk. This is Step #3. You can do your storytelling and anecdotes for content, but create no more than 3 main points. You can create as many sub points as time will allow. If you just have one story to tell or one main point, that’s even better.

I find that it’s best to create an outline of my Signature Talk each time i am going to present it. Since the audience changes each time, I like to customize it for each audience and you should too. Once you have your outline done, then practice. Doing 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!

Other related blog posts that you may be interested in:

Speaking Request Intake Form
Audience Analysis
Key Ingredients for a Killer Introduction
The 4 P’s of Public Speaking – Passion
The 4 P’s of Public Speaking – Power
The 4 P’s of Public Speaking – Preparation
The 4 P’s of Public Speaking – Practice

Pam Terry
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These are the EXACT same steps I used to position myself as an expert and profit from speaking in less than 6 months.