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As Agency CEO one of your 5 roles is to be the face of the company. A great way to do that is to use speaking engagements and presentations to build your brand and grab the attention of your ideal clients. Here are 9 tricks to keep the audience engaged and leave them with an unforgettable first impression.


In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • What makes the best presentations?
  • 9 Tips to a unforgettable speech


Today’s guest is Mike Pacchione, one of the public speaking experts at Duarte. As Mike puts it, he gives “workshops on giving workshops” and “talks on talks.”:)  No matter how you explain it though, Mike is the pro on giving memorable speeches. He knows what to do to keep your audience engaged so you can use your presentations to build your agency business. Mike shares his experience and advice on making the most of your speaking opportunities.

What Makes the Best Presentations?

Two things. It might seem obvious but most importantly you need to start with a good idea. It doesn’t have to be earth shattering but it does need to be somewhat thought provoking and worth sharing.


Next, you have to understand your audience. Like, really understand them. Why are they interested in your topic? How can they relate to or use the information you’re presenting? You also have to be relatable, like not to using technical language to a non-technical audience.

9 Tips to an Unforgettable Speech


1- Grab attention with a strong first line. Mike says you want to say something that makes them put down their phone and pay attention. A great technique is to start by dropping them in the middle of a story and then frame the rest of your presentation around filling in the blanks.


How NOT to start:

  • Don’t start with your name and the title of your presentation. Super boring! Besides, they already know who you are and why you’re talking.
  • Don’t start with “I’m really nervous”. Your audience will focus on your jitters the entire time and could undermine your authority.


2- Be a little vulnerable. You can share personal experience or say something like “I used to think this but now I realize that’s wrong because of that.” Just insert something that shows the audience you’re human and not perfect. This creates empathy between you and your audience, which can have a major impact on how they react to your talk.


3- Build evidence based authority. Too many people give advice based on what worked for them. Everybody is not everybody and not everything works for everyone. Avoid anything that sounds like: “Here’s what I did and you should too...” Instead add data or case study evidence to back the advice/strategy in your presentation.


4- Share anecdotes and stories. The best, most memorable presentations are those told in story form. You can use personal, real life stories or even industry case studies. Did you know the most viewed TED Talk is Sir Ken Robinson “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” with over 42 MILLION views? His talk is simply a collection of stories strung together to make a point.


However, don’t just tell a story for the sake of storytelling. Use it to demonstrate transformation or change mindset.


5- Craft short and long term calls-to-action. Most presentations end with a closing statement and a CTA, such as: “Text 123456 to receive my PDF of XYZ,” but that’s such a finite ending. Mike suggests adding an additional long term goal or CTA which leaves the discussion more open ended. Challenge the audience to be doing “X” by next week or give them a 90 days to achieve “Y”. You want to have two CTAs to leave a longer lasting impression.


6- Warn the audience about traps. No one wants to fall victim to a trap but everyone loves a good story about it. Point out potential pitfalls, mistakes or traps to create a little tension in your talk. Pointing these out and explaining the resolution can be another way to build your credibility. Saying things like, “you might be tempted to X, but here’s why you shouldn’t…” or “one of my clients did Y and here’s why that didn’t work.”


7- Develop an impactful closing statement. A lot of people end their talks with Q&A. This is great for credibility but you can’t control the final question which means the last thing the audience hears may not be on point. Mike says to craft a closing statement that leaves a lasting impression. Then, deliver the closing statement before and after the Q&A


8- Have fun. Your audience will mirror your emotions when you’re on stage. Your demeanor will set the tone for the entire time you’re up there. If you’re nervous, fidgety, distracted, etc. it will transfer to your audience. So just have fun and they will too! (There’s a difference between fun and funny. Only be funny, if you are a funny person. Forced humor is not fun or funny.)


9- Rehearse until it becomes part of you. Some people practice until they get it right. I think you should practice until you can’t get it wrong. You want your speech to become second nature and flow easily. When it does you’ll notice you’re far less nervous and you can adjust your presentation to fit your crowd. The more times you give a certain talk, then better it becomes.

Direct download: michael.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST