I was originally going to just have a podcast and then a post for this topic, but since I’m covering the same thing, thought it be best to combine them.
Below is the actual video of my talk and a breakdown of what I did to prepare. Enjoy ;-)
It’s been a long time dream and goal of mine to get into Public Speaking.
On April 20, 2013, my dream came true. I spoke for the first time ever at an Internet Marketing Event (JV Alert Live) in front of a live crowed.
Now I only got a 10 minute spot, but man let me tell ya, that felt like for ever.
I have to thank Ken McArthur for this opportunity. He’s an amazing person and really does care for people, especially people just starting out in this thing of ours.
Here’s another cool thing. JV Alert Live was the very first event I ever went to. Before then I knew nothing about events, let alone knew they existed. So it was kinda cool it being my first speaking gig at the first event I ever went to.
I had only ten minutes to speak:
Ken had 8 or 10 slots open for a quick ten minute talk. If you weren’t done in ten, you get buzzed!
Now this got me thinking all kinds of crazy.
- What the hell can I talk about in ten minutes
- How can I deliver something great in ten minutes
- and if I don’t finish in ten minutes, I’m gonna get BUZZED! WTF!
Just knowing that I’ll get buzzed was enough.
Things mentioned on the show:
- Ken McArthur
- JV Alert Live
- Stand and Deliver by Dale Carnegie
- World Championship of Public Speaking – (here’s another one)
- TEDxTalks (here’s one of my favorites by Scott Dinsmore)
- iMotion Video with Jason Anderson
- Leave a Review on iTunes ;-)
Video of my first speaking experience:
(Click here to watch My First Speaking Experience on YouTube)
What I Did to prepare for a ten minute talk
Since I only had 10 minutes to deliver something great, and since this was my first time, I had to do some good ol’ fashion searching.
So the first thing I did was listen to a ton of TEDxTalks presentations. They’re usually about 15 – 20 minutes long and are always jammed packed with great content.
I’ve been to a lot of Marketing Events and the talks are usually about 90 – 120 minutes, sometimes longer. That’s like 2 hours plus. However, though the 2 hours plus content are great, it always amazes me how the people on TEDxTalks do the same in under 20 minutes.
I thought TEDxTalks were great, but man, these guys were doing talks in less than 10 minutes. In fact the 2011 and 2012 Champs won it with talks less than 10 minutes. This is exactly what I needed!
I couldn’t believe the amount of information and content that was giving in such a short amount of time. I thought to myself …If they can do it, I know I can.
Now it’s time to figure out what I was going to talk about
Now that I was done watching and listening to videos, I needed to get my talk down. Actually figure out what I was going to talk about.
I read (again) one of my favorite books by Dale Carnegie, Stand and Deliver. I love this book.
The first chapter really made a huge impact on what I was going to talk about, how I structured it, and how I was going to present it.
These are three key things that helped me with my talk:
Key Thing 1: What I was going to talk about. – I needed to know exactly what I was talking about. I needed to know the material so well that I could literally talk about it to anyone at any giving time. Like a true master of his craft.
So I decided to talk about something that I’m currently doing now, something that’s working and not only that, but something that I’ve been doing for years.
It was important to me to talk about something that’s current, working, and that I’ve been doing for a long period of time.
Key Thing 2: How I structured it. – I was originally going to right down the entire talk, word for word. But according to Dale Carnegie, you shouldn’t do that or you shouldn’t memorize the entire talk because then it’ll sound like you’re reading it.
So I didn’t.
To structure my talk I followed the rule of three. Break down your talk into 3 main sections. Then talk about each section. That’s it!
There’s a famous quote written in the book that says …
Tell ’em what you’re gonna tell ’em. Tell ’em. Then tell ’em what you told ’em.”
This really helped structure my talk because it gave me an opening, middle, and a close.
Key Thing 3: How I was going to present it. – The most important thing to do at the beginning of a presentation, talk, webinar, or interview is to Break the Ice.
Usually people do this by making some kind of joke. I didn’t have anything funny to say, plus I was going to be to nervous to even attempt to crack a joke.
So what I decided to do is to start off by telling them the truth about this being my first speaking gig and to give a small bit of history of that particular event. This really calmed my nerves and broke the ice so to speak.
This transparency was well received, even by the more experienced speakers. They all said I did very well which was pretty cool ;-)
For the rest of the talk I pretty much followed the structure in key thing 2. I told them what I was going to tell them. I told them. Then I told them what I just told them.
How I rehearsed for my ten minute talk
Now that I figured out what I was going to talk about, structured it, and how I was going to present it, I needed to bring it to life.
So I rehearsed it in my head, in my car, while I took a shower, bathroom duties, while I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner, and anywhere I could rehearse it on my own, I did it. I did it over and over and over again.
I used my iPhone’s timer. I set it at ten minutes and let it run down. I wanted to get my talk down to less than 8 minutes.
Once I got the time down to 8 minutes, I rehearsed it in front of my son first, then my 2 daughters, then my wife, and then all of them together.
Here’s how I timed my talk:
- First minute: Brief mention of my first speaking gig, what my talk was about, who I was and what I do.
- Next 6 minutes: My talk, the actual presentation
- Last minute: a quick Recap of my talk
There you have it. That’s my first speaking experience.
It took all of 7.17 for the entire talk. I was the fastest to finish, the only one who went through it without stopping to ask for how much time I got, and 1 of 3 who finished it in ten minutes or less.
I’d say it was pretty good for my first time out. Yes, there are a ton of things I need to work on, but all in all, I’m pretty happy with it.
I would really love your honest feedback on my talk. What you thought, any improvements I need, and anything that can help me improve my presentation performance. Just comment below and let me know what you think.