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Your Brand is the Key to your Success as a Speaker

Your Brand is the Key to your Success as a Speaker

As a speaker, your brand is the key to your success and what sets you apart. Starting out as an emerging speaker can be tough.

You have the subject matter and a desire to change the world with your message, but you may not have considered the creation of your brand or how it will determine the future success of your business. 

Knowing what I now know about starting a business, defining a personal brand, and getting started in the world of professional speaking, I would say this to those starting out: don’t waste too much time and money on creating a logo, business cards and a website. Instead, develop your brand and focus on getting it to work for you. 

Create a recent, professional-looking profile page on LinkedIn and capitalise on this social platform to build relationships and share valuable content so that people will be able to find you. People will be drawn to your story and find it easier to relate to you as a result. A business card or logo is pointless unless you have a following. 

So, how do you get started building a brand?

” A brand is much more than a logo. It is a way of being, what you stand for and how you make a difference in the world. “

This can be tough for people entering the speaking business. According to Lois Creamer, an expert in the speaking industry, the US Meeting Industry Association reports that inquiries for speakers have increased by 5% in the last twelve months. Whilst this may be cause for optimism, it means that competition among speakers vying for platforms will also have risen and will become as challenging as ever.

A simple Google search for keynote speaker or professional speaker will produce thousands of results from which to choose. If you are a speaker who has a broad topic of expertise (e.g. leadership or culture), then creating a stellar brand and consciously positioning yourself will set you apart from those thousands of others. 

So, how do you construct a personal brand that enables you to carve out a niche, create a reputation, and make a positive difference with your message?

” It takes nothing to join the crowd. It takes everything to stand alone” – Hans F Hansen

If you have only a bland or static brand, you will blend in and be hard to find. You will get lost amongst numerous others out there, despite the importance of your message.To construct your brand needn’t be expensive or seem gimmicky. Your brand should be authentic; it is your essence, and it constantly evolves. That’s why I love the concept of the brand tree.

Introducing the brand tree

The brand tree is such a simple and wonderful metaphor to use to describe an approach to building a brand as a speaker. 

Consider your brand as having the same essential components as a tree: roots, trunk, branches and leaves. If you invest time and energy in the different parts of the tree, it will, at the right time, thrive and become easily differentiated within the forest of trees, whilst others, left untended, will wilt and wither.

Brands, like trees, depend upon a healthy seed and root system. This is the foundation from which everything springs. This solid foundation is required to support the life and growth of your brand. If a good seed (your ideas and purpose) is planted and well-nurtured, it sprouts and develops roots which, if strong, will take hold. Conversely, a weak root system will result in a weak brand. 

What is your purpose?

Your purpose is the brand’s seed. This is where your story begins to take shape. This is the human element behind your brand. People are fascinated about your why, and so your purpose becomes the essence of your brand’s personality.

What are your roots?

Your vision and your values make up part of the root system. This is the heart of your brand. Take the time to define each of your personal values and use those values to guide your decisions. Once the roots are established, the rest of the tree begins to flourish. In other words, the purpose and personality of your brand must be communicated and understood. 

As you begin your speaking career, be clear on your purpose and your values, because when things get tough, you need to be willing to persevere, to be prepared for setbacks, and to do the hard work. There is the skill of speaking and stagecraft to consider, but there is also a lot to learn about business. 

Your values are the compass that guides your brand as a speaker

Begin by identifying your values because they will be the compass that guides you. 

When roots become anchored in soil, the trunk of the tree then forms. The trunk gives the tree its structure, strength and shape. The trunk of your brand is your positioning; that is, how you differentiate and set yourself apart from other brands. This part of your brand will shift, evolve and adapt to better fit the environment. 

The trunk is can be understood as the how. It is your methods and processes and the way you act to consistently achieve results for yourself and your clients. Your processes and methods should be versatile and adaptable. 

As a speaker, you will need to adapt and to evolve at all stages to avoid becoming stale and irrelevant. Understand what is going on in the market. There is an abundance of speakers, and there are self-appointed experts who appear; unfortunately, there are also people who may copy your ideas. Don’t be disheartened – a copy-cat will not be able to copy your essence, as that is unique to you. There is no need to lose sleep over it. If someone copies you, create something new and better. 

The final component of your brand tree is the leaves.

Think of the leaves as the decoration or the first appearance. This is what people see and what draws them in initially. Although they are highly visible, unless the leaves have a solid structure and root system, the overall brand tree will be unsustainable. Shiny, perfectly formed leaves may catch attention as they blow in the breeze, but without the solid foundation and support structure of the other components, the leafy visual brand will soon fade. You must be able to back up style with substance; there must be more to what is seen on the surface. 

The leaves include elements of your brand’s appearance, such as how you dress, the way that you present and handle yourself, the level of service you provide, the value and content that you deliver and the materials you use, such as brochures, slides, cards, images and social pages, etc.

Now, picture your brand as a tree. What sort of tree is it? Does it blossom and bloom? Is it resilient to environmental changes?

The seed and its roots determine the health of a tree. The same goes for your brand, so lay a solid foundation. This part cannot be hurried. Tend to the roots and be patient while they take hold. 


About the author

Lisa Evans helps leaders and entrepreneurs to craft compelling business stories and become exceptional speakers. Lisa is a certified speaker coach, TEDx speaker coach, four times author, NLP practitioner, graphic recorder, sketchnote creator and improvisational actor. 

She has coached thousands of leaders across a range of industries, including resources, banking, finance, engineering, retail and sales as well as not-for-profit and community associations. 

If you wish to access a complimentary session in order to chat about how you can become an exceptional and successful speaker with a stand-out brand, then use this link to book a time to chat.

My services include: 

Business Storytelling Coaching – together we can get started to create your suite of stories. A minimum of three sessions is recommended 1:1 in person or virtually via Zoom.

Executive Speaker Coaching – if you have an upcoming guest speaking opportunity, funding pitch, conference talk or you want to be an outstanding speaker, we can work together on your technique. You will see the results after one session.

Storytelling for Leaders Interactive Workshops – I can come to you, or we can host a workshop offsite for your team. From half-day to two-days immersive, this customised workshop is an ideal way to kick start your business storytelling strategy and get the whole team telling stories. 

Keynote/Guest Speaking at your next conference or event – I have several topics to choose from ranging from a 30-minute talk up to a 90-minute interactive session.


How to give a TEDx talk

How to give a TEDx talk

TEDx refers to independently organised events held in the community under licence from TED.

You may be considering applying to speak at a TEDx event, or you may have been invited to give a TEDx talk.

TEDx talk

Even if you’re not an aspiring TEDx speaker, this short style of presentation is popular among event planners. Having a line up of more speakers giving shorter talks, with a minimum or even no slides, is becoming more common in place of longer keynote presentations.

Features of a TEDx talk

  • One big idea is the premise of each talk.
  • Delivered without notes.
  • Minimal or even no slides. If slides are used, they are highly visual and the images are high quality.
  • TEDx talks are concise. Any superfluous information is removed so that the talk gets to the point.
  • Every second counts. The aim is to keep the audience wanting more, not wishing you’d hurry up and finish.
  • TEDx talks take the listener on a journey often with a narrative style.
  • The best TEDx talks tell a story, evoking the imagination of the audience and allowing them to experience the talk with salient sights, sounds, textures, tastes or smells.
  • The speaker is not afraid to open up and show their human side.

TEDx talks – Where can speakers go wrong?

Too many slides or too much information
TEDx is not the time for Death by Powerpoint. If you choose to use slides, keep them simple. A clear, high-quality image with minimal words works well.

Too much information
The timing of a TEDx talk is capped at 18 minutes. Speakers often increase their pace so they can fit more in. Practice so that you can stick to the allocated time.

Lack of practice – a “wing it” mentality
TEDx is not the time to wing it for the sake of spontaneity, you can still be natural and authentic with preparation and practice. Allow enough time to practice.

A lack of vocal variety and changes in energy
In order for the audience to stay with you, offer them some vocal and visual highs and lows. If you speak at the same rate, tone and pitch for the whole talk or have a consistent energy level it gets uninteresting after a while.

SCORE a TEDx talk

S –  Simplicity
One idea. What is the one thing that you want the audience to take away as a result of your TEDx talk? Stick to that one theme.

C – Clarity
A simple message told simply works best. Clarity of message, of voice and of any slides you may be using is essential. Have a clear structure and transitions, so that the audience can easily follow along.

O – Outstanding
Aim to make an emotional connection with your audience. Ordinary speakers present facts and information. Outstanding speakers evoke emotions in the audience. Be yourself, prepare well and practice, practice, and practice more. This is your time to shine.

R – Relevant
A good talk exceeds the expectations of the audience and the talks that we resonate with are the ones that are of relevance to us. When you are preparing your material, make sure it is audience-centric. Leave your ego behind.

E – Entertaining
People want to hear a great idea presented by a confident and credible speaker. Aim to add humour and personal stories wherever you can to make your talk memorable, entertaining and engaging.

This image is of Conor McLaughlin TEDx UWA speaker and myself, at TEDxUWA 2018


About the author

Lisa Evans helps leaders and entrepreneurs to craft compelling business stories and become exceptional speakers. Lisa is a certified speaker coach, TEDx speaker coach, four times author, NLP practitioner, graphic recorder and visual storyteller, and improvisational actor. 

She has coached thousands of leaders across a range of industries, including resources, banking, finance, engineering, retail and sales as well as not-for-profit and community associations. 

If you wish to take advantage of a complimentary session in order to chat about how you can become an exceptional and successful speaker with a stand-out brand, then use this link to book a time to chat.

Here’s how I may help you

Whether you have a hidden story of your feet, or you want to nail your next presentation, I can help you.

My services include: 

Business Storytelling Coaching – together we can get started to create your suite of stories. A minimum of three sessions is recommended 1:1 in person or virtually via Zoom.

Executive Speaker Coaching – if you have an upcoming guest speaking opportunity, funding pitch, conference talk or you want to be an outstanding speaker, we can work together on your technique. You will see the results after one session.

Storytelling for Leaders Interactive Workshops – I can come to you, or we can host a workshop offsite for your team. From half-day to two-days immersive, this customised workshop is an ideal way to kick start your business storytelling strategy and get the whole team telling stories. 

Keynote/Guest Speaking at your next conference or event – I have several topics to choose from ranging from a 30-minute talk up to a 90-minute interactive session.

Boost your visibility as a leader with public speaking

Boost your visibility as a leader with public speaking

How to improve your public speaking as a leader

What skill can you work on that will improve your performance and success in multiple areas? I believe that improving your spoken word communication, will help you develop and excel in many ways including – boosting your confidence, raising your presence and visibility, enhancing your personal brand, developing your charisma, and building your credibility and leadership influence.

As a leader you want to be visible, self-assured and a great communicator. You have got a message to share, and an opportunity to share it by giving public speeches. Whether your message is about business, a cause you care about, or some other type of communication—your message won’t be well-received if you don’t present it well. If you’re not already an excellent public speaker, or you consider yourself to be ordinary, why not master the art of public speaking to become outstanding?

All the world’s a stage – William Shakespeare

Three ways to get better at public speaking

Speak More

Say yes to every opportunity to speak, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Be proactive and strategically seek out opportunities to speak. Don’t wait to be asked or until you feel you are more experienced. Do it now! Speaking is serving, and there are people who will benefit from hearing your message.

Get a coach and be coachable

If you want to fast track your spoken word communication, then work with a coach. I recommend you choose a coach who is not only a skilled teacher of the craft but also is in the public speaking arena themselves at a professional level. When you are coachable you are ready to do what it takes to excel including, putting in the work to self-review, prepare and practice. You are open to listening to feedback and willing to take a look at your own performance in order to improve it. When you commit to the work and you have the right coach you will get results and experience a transformation.

Practice often

There are no shortcuts to practice. It takes time to become masterful at public speaking and it requires dedicated and targeted practice. The 10,000 hours rule coined by Malcom Gladwell was taken out of context and is widely misquoted. It’s quality practice rather than the time spent doing something. When I wanted to learn to play golf, I couldn’t find a left-handed coach. I practised and practised but still didn’t improve. When I eventually found the right coach, my technique improved. I had been putting in the hours but I had been practising the wrong thing.

Not sure if a public speaking coach is right for you? I am happy to have a chat with you to find out what your current level of speaking is and what your goals are. Book a time to chat here or drop me an email lisa@speakingsavvy.com.au


About the author

Lisa Evans helps professionals to craft compelling business stories and become exceptional speakers. Lisa is a certified speaker coach, TEDx speaker coach, four times author, NLP practitioner, graphic recorder and visual storyteller, and improvisational actor. 

She has coached thousands of leaders across a range of industries, including resources, banking, finance, engineering, retail and sales as well as not-for-profit and community associations. 

If you wish to take advantage of a complimentary session in order to chat about how you can become an exceptional and successful speaker with a stand-out brand, then use this link to book a time to chat.

Here’s how I may help you

My services include:

Business Storytelling Coaching – together we can get started to create your suite of stories.

Executive Speaker Coaching – if you have an upcoming guest speaking opportunity, funding pitch, conference talk or you want to be an outstanding speaker, we can work together on your technique. You will see the results after one session.

Tailored Workshops – I can come to you, or we can host a workshop offsite for your team. From half-day to two-days immersive, this customised workshop is an ideal way to kick start your business storytelling strategy and get the whole team telling stories.

Keynote/Guest Speaking either in person or via virtual means at your next conference or event.

Confident Public Speaking with Perth Public Speaking Coach

Confident Public Speaking with Perth Public Speaking Coach

Ready to start 2019 with a commitment to learning to improve your public speaking?

Are your public speaking skills mediocre?

Your success as a leader depends on your ability to market yourself and your ideas. Speaking is such a powerful marketing tool and will help your business stand out from your competitors.

What if you could be more confident speaking to any group?

How about if your presence and energy could be felt by your audience as you take the stage?
Would you like to give a talk that could make such an impact it will be fresh on people’s minds long after you speak?

If you are ready to transform your public speaking and business storytelling skills so that you can be a high-impact presenter and to inspire and entertain others with your stories, then I’m here to help you.

As a professional speaker and trainer who knows what it’s like to be afraid of speaking up, I can help you turn those butterflies into incredible energy and give you strategies that help your confidence soar so that you relish your time in front of a crowd and you look forward to having the opportunity to speak.

As a business owner you are the face and voice of your business

If you are a business owner, then you are the brand. You also need to be the face and voice of your business.

As one of Australia’s leading public speaking coaches, I have trained hundreds of executives, leaders and business owners how to deliver a powerful presentation with a compelling business story.

Are you ready to share the story of your business?

Everyone loves a good story, and when you go out and speak and share the story of your business, it allows people to connect with you. And people do business with people, right?

The opportunity to be a guest speaker is a valuable part of your marketing toolkit. For those who find public speaking nail-bitingly intimidating, you are doing yourself and your potential clients a disservice by not sharing your expertise with others.

When all eyes are on you as you step up to speak, be confident that your presentation will leave your audience with a stand out message.

My workshops and masterclasses are typically a small group up to 12, as the format is highly interactive. You will not only learn strategies, tips and tools, you will present to your peer group, and receive instant feedback and guidance and a practical plan of action to improve. You can even take home a recording of your talk in front of the group.

The next workshop in Perth

In this workshop you will:

  • Discover how to create a presentation from scratch with my ABC formula.
  • Learn how to find your authentic voice to project and speak with confidence and sincerity.
  • Maximise your executive presence and charisma.
  • Discover how to balance logic and emotion in your message, so that people are moved to action.
  • Learn how to use PowerPoint effectively to add value and avoid noise.
  • Discover tips on how to handle Q & A sessions effortlessly.
  • Get instant feedback and coaching on your presentation style to help you identify opportunities to improve.
  • Take home a video of you speaking to your peer group, to help you hone in on the skills you can improve.

Not sure if a public speaking coach is right for you? I am happy to have a chat with you to find out what your current level of speaking is and what your goals are. Book a time to chat here or drop me an email lisa@speakingsavvy.com.au

Upcoming Public Speaking and Business Storytelling workshops in Perth. If you’d prefer to host an on-site session for your team, call me to chat about customised training.

Feb 5 – ONE PLACE REMAINING Cedric Street Stirling 9:30 – 4:30 Public Speaking & Business Storytelling for Leaders includes lunch and 1:1 follow up 60-minute coaching session find out more

Feb 13 – Joondalup 9:30 – 12:30 Introduction to Public Speaking for Business find out more

February 16 – 1 – 4:30 pm Perth Storytelling Workshop find out more here

March 19 – 9:30 – 4:30 Public Speaking & Business Storytelling for Leaders includes lunch and 1:1 follow up 60-minute coaching session find out more here

March 24 Stories From The Heart© is a regular live storytelling event with all profits going to charity. Tickets are on sale for the next event here

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How can I help you?

Lisa Evans is a professional speaker, spoken word consultant, and business storytelling expert.

If you are looking for a keynote speaker for your next event I speak on communication and business storytelling.

If you would like to work with an experienced certified speaker coach to help prepare for your pitch, award acceptance speech or conference presentation then let’s chat about working together.

If you’d like a complimentary analysis of your speaking style and content then send me a message.

As a Certified World Class Speaking and Storytelling Coach, I’ll help you mine, refine and deliver captivating stories for your business or brand. Whether it is the boardroom, platform, podium or stage, I will help you craft a powerful presentation with compelling business stories that are hard to forget.

Would you like a complimentary chapter of my book Speaking Savvy: The Art of Speaking and Storytelling? Send me a message.

Are you interested in being featured in a multi-author book in 2019? Stories From The Heart© reached #1 in several Amazon categories when launched last month. I am seeking heart-centred business owners who are interested in getting published for the next in the series.

If you are an aspiring female speaker who would like to get visible, get booked and get paid what you are worth, then you may be interested in my exclusive mentoring program She Speaks. The program is for women who are serious about speaking professionally. You can find out more about the program here

Image: Lesy Juarez Unsplash

So you want to become a professional speaker?

So you want to become a professional speaker?

In my role as a professional speaker and public speaking and storytelling coach, I meet many people who would like to get paid to speak, or aspire to become a professional speaker.  I love helping people in their journey towards that dream.

I fell into a speaking career by accident when I could no longer work as a midwife. Before this turning point, I had worked for over 20 years mostly in the specialist area of neonatal intensive care.  When a virus destroyed a significant amount of my hearing that was the end of my clinical career.

I became interested in public speaking during the intensive rehabilitation in learning to use the cochlear implant. I became fascinated with the art and science of public speaking and I sought out training and mentoring from some of the best speakers in the world.

In 2014, despite the naysayers declaring my madness in wanting to leave a secure job, I began the transition from employee to entrepreneur. It was a huge leap in making the decision to leave a well-paid job into the unknown world of small business.

What does it take to become a professional speaker?

Like many things we want in life, becoming a professional speaker requires a solid strategy. Before you go and hit the pavement as a speaker, think about your intention, and how you plan to leverage speaking as a tool to help you grow your business.  If you are like myself and many other speakers, you may have multiple strands to your business and speaking may be one of them. If you are a business owner and speaking is not currently one of your strands, then I encourage you to start speaking, or speak more if you are already dabbling. Appearing as a guest speaker is an essential part of your marketing strategy.

Whether you are at the beginning of your speaking journey, at a crossroads, you are seeking to redefine and refresh your message, or you are ready to get paid as a speaker, consider the following four areas as part of your speaking strategy.

so you want to become a professional speaker

Become a Professional Speaker – Your Message

What is it that you want to say to the world? What is the topic that excites you and one that you have a vast amount of knowledge and experience? How would you sum that message up in one short sentence, and what is the one-word theme?

If your talk were a bumper sticker, what would it say?

One of my early mentors’ world champion speaker Ryan Avery challenges emerging speakers to think about what short message they would share if they had one day left on this earth. This exercise allows you to get focus on what matters and to find that ‘big word’.

At this stage, your message may be a high-level concept, but choose a topic that you can immerse yourself in, as you will speak about it, write about it, live and breathe it, as you are the credible expert.  You don’t want it to be a topic you are going to get sick of talking about!

You may have several similar messages that you can tweak for a particular industry but to start with, pick one overall theme.

Once you have decided on your theme and idea, it is time to get to work creating your keynote or signature talk and your marketing materials.

This may be the time when you are honing your craft, practicing often and testing out your content (often for no or little payment). It’s a time for review and refinement. Here is an article I wrote about the importance of practice and how to review and improve your speaking while being kind to yourself.

Aim to speak to many different audiences and always be learning.  Wherever you are on your speaking journey, there is more to discover. Think about your message as the problem that you help others solve, and how you can serve others.  While your topic may not be unique, your version is original, and the opinion you share will come from your life experience and knowledge.

Become a Professional Speaker – Your Market

Who will fill the seats in the auditorium? Who will be on the other side of the screen watching your video, what type of person will buy what you have to offer? Your topic must be marketable and so do you, as your audience and prospective customers are keen to get to find out about the person behind the message.

When deciding on a topic you may consider a narrow niche and pick a well-defined ideal client, or you may cast your net wider. But most importantly you want a topic that is sellable, a talk or program that offers exceptional value, and a market ready to buy the topic and your unique perspective as a subject matter expert. If there is a flooded market with many others speaking on the same issue, ask yourself what can I say that is different?

If you are starting from scratch, you can begin by brainstorming organizations, groups and people who may be interested in your topic. Have a one-page speaker sheet that you can send out, and some testimonials and photos of you speaking.

Avoid cheesy stock images, or photos of you posing as a speaker in a studio with a microphone! You want real and natural footage and photos of you speaking to an audience. You cannot expect to be paid to speak without this marketing collateral so if you don’t yet have these things, perhaps you can speak pro-bono with the aim of getting photographs, feedback, testimonials and video footage.

Get comfortable with rejection, as not everyone will be interested in what you have to offer. Mastering the art of sales conversations is predominately about having the confidence to ask, and even if you are not getting paid you need have a handle on having sales conversations.

Most speakers fail because they don’t understand the business of speaking even, though they may be good at the craft and have an interesting topic.  You may have heard a speaker before and thought to yourself “I could do that just as well (or better!)”, the reason why they are up on stage is because they understand that speaking is a business and they are competent at marketing themselves and their offer.

When you are considering what price point you are aiming for, consider what outcome you can help your clients and audiences achieve, as well as an understanding of what current market trends are. Now may be the time to work with a mentor who understands the world of professional speaking.

Become a Professional Speaker – Your Medium

When we think of speaking it is often the image of a stage or auditorium and a large crowd. There are many other ways that you can touch others’ lives with your message. For many people the idea of standing in front of a large group is exciting, the lure of international speaking may be part of your grand plan. For others, the thought of spending multiple nights in hotels away from loved ones may not float your boat, and that’s ok as there are many more options.

Perhaps you can speak virtually in the form of webinars or live streaming, or you may be interested in talking on television or making videos (every business owner should make videos to allow people to find out about you and the person behind the business).

You may be interested in radio.  I think that chatting on the radio is as exciting as standing on stage; you may be speaking to one other person in the studio but think of all those listening in the car. Podcasts are growing in popularity, and as a speaker, you can offer to be a guest on others’ podcasts, or consider starting one of your own.

These are some of the many forms of speaking, and you may be keen on one, or many, or all!

Become a Professional Speaker – Your Method

What type of talk do you want to offer?  Would you prefer to be a keynote speaker offering a traditional 45-60 minute presentation that is primarily delivered at a conference? Do you see yourself as a trainer or facilitator rather than a speaker, or are you all of these things?

Is your chosen topic one that you can modify for a webinar, a training workshop, masterclass or seminar? One talk can have many different uses so that you can reach more people.

If you want to branch into offering workshops in your industry, you will need to develop a specific skill set and a solid understanding of adult learning principles and a program and curriculum to meet learning outcomes. I have seen many speakers turn a talk into a training session with no knowledge or skills as a trainer. Despite both involving public speaking, they require different complementary skills. Facilitation and group coaching are another form of speaking.

The skill of speaking is different from the business of speaking.

Get the right help to become a professional speaker

There is plenty to learn about the art and science of speaking but even more to learn about the business of speaking. Working with a business coach or seeking guidance and support from an experienced mentor may be the next step for you. I recommend that you look for a coach or mentor with an in-depth knowledge of the world of professional speaking so that person can help you avoid the pitfalls and navigate some shortcuts along your journey.

Ten years ago, I would never have imagined becoming an international speaker, coach and author. Often the detours we are forced to take in life turn out to be the most scenic routes. These days I enjoy speaking, serving and sharing and as a mentor and coach helping others to reach their speaking goals.

Next Steps


If you wish to take advantage of a complimentary session in order to chat about how you can become an exceptional and successful speaker with a stand-out brand, then use this link to book a time to chat.


About the author

Lisa Evans helps leaders and entrepreneurs to craft compelling business stories and become exceptional speakers. Lisa is a certified speaker coach, TEDx speaker coach, four times author, NLP practitioner, graphic recorder and visual storyteller, and improvisational actor. 

She has coached thousands of leaders across a range of industries, including resources, banking, finance, engineering, retail and sales as well as not-for-profit and community associations. 

Here’s how I may help you

Whether you have a hidden story of your feet, or you want to nail your next presentation, I can help you.

My services include:

Business Storytelling Coaching – together we can get started to create your suite of stories. A minimum of three sessions is recommended 1:1 in person or virtually via Zoom.

Executive Speaker Coaching – if you have an upcoming guest speaking opportunity, funding pitch, conference talk or you want to be an outstanding speaker, we can work together on your technique. You will see the results after one session.

Storytelling for Leaders Interactive Workshops – I can come to you, or we can host a workshop offsite for your team. From half-day to two-days immersive, this customised workshop is an ideal way to kick start your business storytelling strategy and get the whole team telling stories.

Keynote/Guest Speaking at your next conference or event – I have several topics to choose from ranging from a 30-minute talk up to a 90-minute interactive session.

Practice Public Speaking

Practice Public Speaking

How to Practice Public Speaking

Here are five tips for how to best practice public speaking:

  1. Don’t look in the mirror
  2. Use your smartphone to record your talk
  3. Practice public speaking in front of a live audience
  4. Visualise yourself giving a successful talk
  5. Never memorise your talk

The only time you need to look in the mirror is to check you haven’t got spinach in between your teeth as you go on stage.

There is some bad advice around about how to best prepare for your next public speaking opportunity.

A staple yet unhelpful piece of advice is to practice public speaking in front of a mirror.

I hadn’t heard this in a while. I thought perhaps this stale tip had been finally laid to rest – along with the ‘picture them naked’ advice, but this week a client told me he was going to get his old full-length mirror out of the shed and practice public speaking.

It sounds logical. You can see yourself live and you can fix up what you don’t like the look of. There are many books and public speaking coaching tips that will suggest this. I don’t agree with this approach. There is a better way.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for practice. It is essential. Winging it is not a strategy! However, there is a better way to practice public speaking and it is far more realistic.

Here is why public speaking practice in front of the mirror is a bad idea.

1. Your audience will not be that close to you.

If you stand in front of a mirror you will probably be able to see every hair up your nose or how coffee-stained your teeth have become, and that is not helpful. Your audience will be at least a few metres away from you.

2. It may have an opposite effect to the one you want

You thought that by using a mirror you would be able to improve your public speaking by seeing yourself move and gesture. Instead, you have noticed that your hair needs re-colouring, that outfit doesn’t suit your skin tone and so on! This is not helpful because your speech is not about you. It’s always about the audience, so it’s not the time to self-indulge.

3. You will start auto-correcting

When you look in the mirror and you pick up on a particular facial gesture or another form of non-verbal communication, you will most likely go into auto-correct (you may get even over-correct).  This will take you out of your heart and into your head, and you will become absorbed in your self. That’s not the point of speaking.

4. You may not focus on what needs changing

The mirror doesn’t lie, right? But does what you see in the mirror and what you feel compelled to change impact on your speech and overall performance? The answer is probably not.

5. Your audience probably doesn’t care

An authentic speaker who has excellent content that is delivered in a way that is engaging and dynamic is better received than a super polished speaker who has planned every move an ends up looking like a robotic version of themselves.

Here is a short video where I share how you can practice public speaking

What to do instead to get better at public speaking

Use your smartphone and a small tripod (I have one of those take anywhere flexible ones), and record yourself speaking.

Watch the recording and identify what you do well. Keep doing those things. Then choose one or two things that you want to improve to take your talk up to the next level. Incorporate the change and hit record, review, and tweak again as needed. Rinse and repeat. Your mirror is not going to help you improve but a video recording is invaluable.

If you see some quirky thing that you do with your body when you speak, such as standing on one leg or fiddling with your clothes, it is likely to be a habit rather than something you can fix instantly. When you review you talk on video, you will see those habits and can work towards eliminating them for good.

Practice in front of a real audience so that you can get real-time feedback. You can see how people react to your talk and you can ask them for specific feedback. A mirror can’t match this.

Finally, include self-care and mindset preparation as part of your public speaking practice. Visualise yourself giving a successful presentation as your very best self, to an audience who is eager to hear what you have to say.

When you have taken the time to practice you will feel more prepared as you head to your speech. Just before you head out the door, you may now like to check the mirror.

Lisa Evans is Perth’s leading Public Speaking Coach. Offering a range of Public Speaking Courses, Public Speaking Training, and Private Public Speaking Coaching, Lisa will help you take your presentation skills to the next level.