Today my guest blogger is a friend and client, Rick Deutsch, known as “Mr. Half Dome,” author of the best selling guide book “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome.” He makes his living speaking about doing cool things like hiking, Nordic walking and going on other adventures. Sometimes he does it at REI, museums, libraries, civic groups or organizations, and sometimes while taking free cruises. That’s right…he gets the cruise for free for simply giving a couple of talks while on vacation with his wife. And he gets paid for those other talks, too. And he sells books at the back of the room.
Sound fun? That’s what happens when you develop an expert platform. An expert has an online presence, like a blog, and is an author and a speaker. Rick is a good example of that model. Here’s what he has to say about speaking.
Tips for Writers on How to Give a Standing Ovation Talk
By Rick Deutsch
My wife says I talk too much. I tell her the only difference between us and the animal world is our opposable thumbs and communication. We need to communicate – both in the written word and speaking.
Core to any successful business person is the ability to convey messages to the target audience. It’s the classic Sender-Message-Receiver formula. The speaker has to engage the audience and have them relate to what is being said. The presentation has to provide analogies and metaphors that they can use in their lives. It is not about the speaker – the talk is how the audience receives the message and is able to apply it in their lives.
There are many techniques to delivering a “standing ovation” talk. You only have one time to make a first impression. Here are my tips:
- Grab them with a compelling introduction.
- Use action words to let the audience “see” your story.
- Pace it so they can follow easily.
- Use the “pause” as a way to emphasize a point.
- Convey only about three major thoughts. Review them in your finish.
- Tell stories; don’t give facts.
The last point is worth some elaboration. Make them your stories from your life—how you learned something or how you applied your principles. Remember, you want them to relate your experiences to theirs.
Acronyms are easy ways for your audience to recall your points. I use D.O.M.E. to relate my love of Yosemite’s Half Dome. D = Discover your passion; O = Overcome obstacles; M = Be Motivated, and E = Stay Enthusiastic.
Most of all, make it fun. If it’s fun for you, it will be fun for them.
And don’t memorize your talk. If you do, it will appear canned. Be spontaneous. If you use visuals, minimize text. Live your talk, don’t read it.
If you are like most writers and prefer to write rather than speak, two great resources for developing your on-stage presence are Toastmasters and Dale Carnegie. They both can train you to be a grand communicator.
As for my wife and me? I politely say “yes, dear,” and we drive on in the quiet.
About the Author
Rick Deutsch lives the Carpe Diem lifestyle – Seize the Day. After a 30-year marketing career in Silicon Valley, he formed a small business to exploit his outdoor experiences to garner speaking opportunities. He’s written two guide books on Yosemite, the current one: “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome” has sold over 10,000 copies. Rick’s worked hard to be branded “Mr Half Dome.” He gives over 40 lively presentations a year at Yosemite, museums, outfitters, libraries, civic groups and associations. He has appeared on Public Radio, ABC radio, television, has written articles for several publications and maintains a website and a daily blog. www.HikeHalfDome.com As a member of the National Speakers Association, he gives action-inspiring talks at many venues. MrHalfDome.com
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