“We are in an age of unprecedented change, it’s a ‘revolutionary’ time to be alive! The question we need to be asking ourselves is - ‘Am I leading that change?’ I believe we all have a choice to step up into personal, professional and social leadership. We have a choice to become agents for change, amplifiers, thought leaders to upgrade our thinking and lead our very own revolutions.”

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Entries in public speaking (60)


Cool hunting, life hacking and totally ‘sick’ jargon.

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge an extremely significant celebration today - the International Women's Day Centenary 2011.

According to the official website, this day began with 'Suffragettes' campaigning for women's right to vote (the word 'Suffragette' is derived from the word 'suffrage' meaning the right to vote).

Although there are many areas on the globe still to be reached, it is a perfect example of a ripple effect.

With the use of such an impactful word (suffrage), it led me to think about the creation of specific phrases. For example...

Cool hunting is a term coined in the early 1990's, referring to a new breed of marketing professionals called coolhunters. It is their job to make observations and predictions in changes of new or existing cultural trends.

Life hacking is figuring out ways to make life easier or more effective. Probably the most famous life hacker is Tim Ferris of 4-hour work week fame.

I know, for those who know me, I am so last week with this vernacular. I guess what I wanted to point out though was the idea that as Thought Leaders you need to be setting the language. When you define the language - that is Thought Leadership.
What words can you adopt or even adapt that define your ideas and express them in a way that is memorable and able to be repeated?

I am off to do some cool hunting... (does that make me less cool to declare it?)



Now and Next

Managing your focus is key to moving forward during difficult times. I define a difficult time as any time you have to make courageous decisions or move away from what is comfortable. Timeline is the big distraction here.

You may have had things happen in the past that erode your certainty and confidence. You need to explore how you have defined those past events and maybe consider reframing the meaning you attached to them. With a new meaning around what has happened to you, you can get free of the heavy weight of historical belief anchors.

Equally, you may be spending time worrying about the consequences of your decisions in the future. What will people think? What will people say? What if it changes everything I value about how my life is now? These questions are all a form of wasted energy, worrying about what might be is paralysing and prevents positive change. (Note: scenario planning is not worrying about the future, but rather rationally planning for possible futures and not what I am referring to in this post.)

Your focus needs to be on staying present to what is happening around you now, while taking positive next steps. When swamped by an uncertain future or simply overwhelmed by the enormity of the task ahead of you, focus on now and take a small next step. Now and Next will help you move mountains.

Matt Church


Thank you for sharing the 2010 journey with me!

Thanks so much for paying attention to what we do at Matt Church, and a huge thank you to everyone who has participated in the Global Thought Leaders Movement.

We are taking everything to a new level in 2011 so I hope we continue to stay in communication.

A couple of things for you to know:

  1. We will upgrade our email newsletter system over January. For this reason, we are asking everyone to opt-in to continue receiving my newsletters. If you would like to continue receiving my newsletters, please opt-in here.

  2. We have just confirmed that my friend Michael Port (New York Times best-selling author), will be down-under especially for our event in March 2011, the Million Dollar Expert Retreat. Woo Hoo! Put the dates in your diary (Wednesday 2 to Friday 4 March 2011) and stay posted for more information in the January launch.

Rock on everyone.

Make 2011 your best year ever.

Love to all.

P.S. Don't forget to opt-in to continue to receive my weekly ramblings.



To many, the art of Speakership doesn’t come naturally. To be a dynamic, confident and engaging public speaker, you may want to consider these tips when presenting.

  1. Say something worthwhile!
  2. Nerves are a result of incorrect focus.
  3. Turn on before you turn up.
  4. Be prepared.
  5. Make your answers broadly interesting.
  6. Move with purpose.
  7. Don’t read your speech!
  8. Show your point while you tell it.
  9. Don’t make too many points.
  10. Ask and tell your audience something.
  11. You are the presenter.
  12. Say the same thing differently.
  13. People connect to emotions and energy.
  14. Tell difficult people less detail.
  15. Stay true to yourself.
  16. Acknowledge interference.
  17. Know how to use the tools you have.
  18. Work less when you speak in public.
  19. Make a difference.
  20. Only consider qualified feedback.
  21. The best use a coach!

In my Speakership week, I will be expanding on each of these elements, and ensuring you capture each during the speech writing and workshop building processes.


Conference Presenter Basics

Are you planning to speak at a conference anytime soon? If so, here are a few basic things to remember...

Before you begin speaking...

  • SEND your information. Your photo, presentation title and blurb, AV Requirements etc. DON'T wait for them to chase you! Be pro-active and make it easy for the organiser.
  • Write an introduction. Email it to the organiser and also print it out and take it with you. Make it fun and focussed more on your message than on you.
  • Take your presentation slides. Take it on a USB, and name it with YOUR name. Not just the conference name. Make sure it is the ONLY file on the USB to avoid confusion.
  • ARRIVE in the conference room early.
  • FIND OUT what has happened before your presentation and what will be happening afterwards.

Things to remember when on the stage...

  • Don't say, I'll get to that in a few minutes, or I'll speak about that later in my talk.
  • Don't read your slides.
  • Don't use someone else's material without attribution.
  • Do make the organiser look good. If authentic, praise them from the stage.
  • Do acknowledge the time remaining signs held up at the back of the room (or elsewhere). A nod will do.

And finally,

Make sure you know the actual finish time and length of talk, so you finish then, no matter what!


Matt Church


Paint your words with pictures

When you are giving a speech or a presentation, it makes it easier for the audience to connect with and understand your message if you consider a visual element and show them your point while you tell it to them.

Any picture representation of your idea will increase audience engagement dramatically. The use of a "big picture" visual allows people to wander on purpose. We cannot speak fast enough for the human brain, so it is natural that some of your audience will not be listening to your words. Allow them to think about your point ahead of you by giving them a visual framework – a map to guide their thoughts.

Here are some different visual elements that you could use:

  1. Models, based on geometric shapes like circles triangles and squares
  2. Metaphors and analogies, based on every day life examples that people would know – e.g. the role of a compass or learning to drive
  3. Icons and symbols that convey meaning without the need for explanation – e.g. a stop sign or crucifix
  4. An actual picture of your point
  5. A graph, but not with too much detail
Paint your words with pictures.



You're on before you're on

Many public speakers get nervous before a presentation. If your nervous tension disappears after a few minutes of speaking, then you simply have “starter’s gun” nerves. It is this that makes most people pace nervously in the wings before they get up to speak. If this is you, it may be helpful to put the image of a sprinter and starter’s gun in mind, but make sure that the gun went off well before you started speaking.

Here are a few ways that can help to get your session started before you're actually on stage:

1. If possible, mingle beforehand with the audience. Ask questions that get them on topic and get you thinking about your message.

2. Put a topic handout on the seats so that people can get into your message and what you are all about before you start speaking.

3. Play music to warm up the room.

4. Send out an email to attendees letting them know who you are and what the session is going to be about.

5. If you are speaking at a venue-based conference, consider a pre-event room-drop of handouts relevant to your topic.

You get to choose when your session actually starts.



Move and Groove

One of the most distracting habits a presenter can develop when speaking in public, is poor body movement.

Every move you make when presenting, should support your message. If you are talking about big things, make a big movement. Some people pace in an attempt to engage the audience, when all they really project is a sense of indecision about their direction.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

1. Stand still when making important points.
2. Move with a medium to slow pace from one side of the stage to the other if required.
3. In the Western world, the audience to the left is the past and to the right is the future. Move from left to right as your point unfolds.
4. Move into the audience if you wish to create better engagement.
5. The centre front of the stage is the most powerful area to communicate inspirational messages.

Move with purpose when you are presenting.



The Mathematics of Retention

Too often when speaking in public, presenters try to give you all of their information. To be world class, don’t make too many points within your speech. Five points, give or take up to two, is the rule. We tend to retain what we can count on one hand. Presenters who presume to teach 21 tips in 21 minutes are pretty content-centred, and do not really respect the mathematics of retention.

Some tips:

1. Have 3-7 core messages to your presentation
2. Every 7-15 minutes or so, introduce a new point
3. Always have less rather than more. Fear makes us over-prepare content
4. Have a “bare bones” version of your speech prepared with 1-3 points only
5. Always have one overarching point for every speech, and make this very clear

Less is more.



Read books, not speeches

When giving a presentation, you should not read your speech to your audience.

Only those whose words get scrutinised, translated or pulled apart should read their speech; even then it is a communication compromise. We can read your speech online or in an abstract.

If the speech is for those in the room (as opposed to some audience outside of the environment) then you are better off talking from knowledge and adjusting the content to suit the audience dynamics.

Some tips:

1. Write your first draft in long hand form then chunk it down into changeable segments.

2. Learn the 5 segments of your speech, not the words.

3. Summarise the whole speech into one sheet of paper.

4. Memorise your key points, but not necessarily their order of delivery

5. Create a visual that summarises your whole speech, and if you get lost, refer back to it

Reading is a solo activity for adults.


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