Sunday, October 21, 2007

The FAQ book on Public Speaking

I don't normally do third party endorsements on my blogs, but this one I could not resist. Not only is it a great book on public speaking, but as I helped put it together, I thought that I should let my readers know about it.
Below is an ad written by my colleague Eric Feng. It is a great book with heaps of practical tips for any type of presentation. It is great value too. It has been put together by 3 of Asia's best speakers. While the English is not "Australian English" the message is clear and the advice sound.
Have a read of what you get and place an order at the bottom.
"Finally… A Book That Answers Your Most Burning Questions About Becoming A Popular And Respected Public Speaker..."

You "The Star" Of Your Next Presentation - Guaranteed"
The FAQ Guys present:
"The FAQ book on Public speaking"
You might be asking, who are these FAQ guys anyway? Before I continue, I believe I need to give you some background on how the name came about. You see, I was having coffee with Andrew at Starbucks one day and he dropped me this question"If you get to spend one hour with world class speakers for a one-on-one, personal consultation for public speaking from each of them, what would you ask?"
Lots and lots of questions...

I thought about it and an idea popped up in my head. "What if we asked other people who are equally concerned about their public speaking journey?"
So we tried that and to our surprise, truckloads of questions came pouring in. Apparently, even though with so many public speaking books out there, there are still lots of unanswered questions in your minds.
  • Questions include...
  • How to I make my speech interesting with greater impact?
  • Are there times when the audience does not react or respond the way you want them to, and how do I deal with them?
  • How do you salvage the situation when you fail on stage?
  • How do I kick fear and insecurity out of myself when giving a speech?
  • I’m often distracted by thoughts of not being good enough to be “up there” talking. I lack confidence on stage. What can you advise me to do?
  • What advice can you give to a novice speaker?
  • How do we discover our own style of speaking? One that we can claim as our own?
  • How do you “Be Yourself” to the audience? We all heard that so many times but how EXACTLY do you do it.
  • What are all the ways to draw the audience into your speech, hence connecting with them?
  • Could a person with a poor command of English be able to speak well like other people do?
  • When I give a presentation, I will switch to "presentation mode". I become monotonous, lifeless...It's a subconscious habit now. It's so hard to change...How do I change…………
  • And much, much more!

So without any further ado...
Ladies and Gentlemen, Presenting...The FAQ Book On Public Speaking!
To compile this book, Andrew and I went on the hunt for the answers to public speaking excellence. We looked for 2 real successful speakers in each of their field and demanded them to spill the beans behind their successes so you can learn from them and become a phenomenal speaker yourself.
We drained their brain of every last tip, tactic and technique for crafting and delivering successful speeches and you'll get to devour them all when you own your copy of this book.

So what do you get when you throw in Asia’s top 3 speakers, 70+ burning public speaking related questions and hordes of people who want quality answers?
Well this is what you get...

  • The 3 most important attributes the audience looks out for in a speaker
  • How to maximise speaking effectiveness and accelerate your growth exponentially as a speaker.
  • How to find and cultivate your very own style of speaking that no one can duplicate
  • Discover every single trick, tactic, shortcut, formula, jealously-guarded secret and psychological hot-button used by truly successful public speakers
  • The little known secrets to capture the attention of the audience
  • Why you should speak to your audience as though they are your friends and how you can actually speak to them at ease
  • The truth behind making eye contact
  • Don’t send the wrong messages with your body language
  • Why pauses are necessary in your speech and how you can totally eliminate pause fillers and don't let them haunt you again
  • The exact steps and system behind humour and how it is so easy to follow these steps and garner laughter from the audience
  • How to ensure 100% participation from the audience
  • How to make your speech interesting and impressionable.
  • How are you *present* with the audience, *be* the audience and really *know* the audience
  • What to do if the audience does not react enthusiastically when you want them to. Tried and tested formula to salvage the situation!
  • How to counter fear and nervousness and "eradicate" them totally from your public speaking career
  • How to convert your fear into positive energy you can use to make your speech much stronger and “fool” the audience into thinking that you are very confident and comfortable on stage
  • What are the steps you need to take to prepare a speech
  • How can you sustain your passion in public speaking and finding out what motivates you
  • Your unfair advantage as a presenter
  • How to measure your speaking success
  • Taboos you must absolutely avoid in a speech
  • Why numbers and figures can be interesting instead of boring and how it can help enhance your speech
  • How to differentiate yourself from the rest of the speakers- Finding Your "Purple Cow"
  • What to do if your jokes bombs
  • How to turn your love of speaking into a springboard of success
  • 3 ways for beginners to develop their speaking chops
  • Why you must videotape (or audiotape) every single presentation or speech you give
  • The right mix of substance, style and humour in your speech ow to find the riveting story only you can share
  • Speaking too fast? Learn how you can slow down.
  • Is having cue cards really that bad?
  • What you should do with your cue cards and how to leverage on them effectively.
  • A tested system for organizing and delivering your speeches so you will never go blank in the middle of your speech again
  • How you can break the rules of speaking and get away with it
  • Eliminate pause fillers altogether
  • 3 ways to make the audience participate
  • Who says a technical presentation is boring?
  • How to make your technical presentation interesting and understood by all
    And much, much more!

The book is only US$29.95, and you can get it here.


Darren Fleming

Australia's Public Speaking Coach

& Eric Feng & Andrew Zhan

The FAQ boys

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Executive Speaking blog has moved

The official blog of Executive Speaking has moved.

Australia's Public Speaking Coach Blog and Australian Public Speaking Courses Blog are both blogs operated by Executive Speaking.

These tow blogs have now been combined to one blog at

You can still get all the latest information on public speaking by visiting Executive Speaking, or the new Executive Speaking blog.


darren Fleming
Australias public Speaking Coach
Australian Public Spekaing courses

Friday, July 20, 2007

Great Public Speaking: Public Speaking : Give 'em What They Want

Every now and then, your public speaking experience does not go as you intend. Maybe no-one turns up, or the powerPoint doesnt work. What ever it is, try to learn what you can from it.

Below is a great link on public speaking that tell you what you should do when things don'e go as you planned.

Great Public Speaking: Public Speaking : Give 'em What They Want

Enjoy the read!

Australia's Public speaking coach
Australian public speaking courses

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Public Speaking in Adelaide

I have often trumpeted that Toastmasters is one of the best ways to improve your public speaking skills. I have been a member of Adelaide Toastmasters club for over 7 years and have gained an enormous amount from my time with the club.

Adelaide Toastmasters is part of Toastmasters District 73, and is one of the strongest performing clubs in the District. At the recent South Australian State championship of Public Speaking (see article on page 12 of link), 3 members of Adelaide Toastmasters took out first place in 3 of the four competitions. You can read a full run down of the clubs success by reading the article "Adelaide Toastmasters Club wins 3 Division Titles".

Adelaide Toastmasters has had a number of members make it big in the Toastmasters District 73 world. Most notable is the late Chris Thomas. Chris was a master evaluator and won the Toastmasters District 73 Evaluation contest 3 years in a row. This feat has never been matched. Austin Nevis, the immediate past President has come a credible second at the District Humerous Speaking competition for the last 2 years. This shows consistency. I (Darren Fleming) have also managed to walk away with a title as well. I am the current Table Topics Champion.

I originally joined Adelaide Toastmasters as I was looking for a way to improve my public speaking in Adelaide. Little did I know that the skills that I gained would help me set up my own public speaking business, teaching public speaking courses right around Australia. I have set up the blogs Australia's Public Speaking Coach and Australian Public Speaking Courses to help share secrets that I have gained through Toastmasters.

So, I encourage you, if you are in Adelaide Australia and want to join a Toastmasters club, come along to Adelaide Toastmasters and see what we can offer you.

'Til next time


Darren Fleming

Australia's public speaking coach

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rhetoric in Public Speaking

Over 2000 years ago, Aristotle came up with his idea of rhetoric. These were the elements of speech that people used to persuade others. Here are a number of links to different parts of rhetoric that you can use when you are next making a presentation, or doing so public speaking.

There are 3 elements to Rhetoric. These are:
  1. Ethos - defined as personality and stance. The "who are you" and "What are you trying to convince us of?"
  2. Pathos - this is the appeal to the emotions; &
  3. Logos - this is the logic in your argument.

There are many websites that offer hints about rhetoric and public speaking. Some links are below:

  1. Professionally Speaking. This website looks at rhetoric in Public Speaking, mainly American and British.
  2. Bob Jones University
  3. Yahoos Rhetoric and Public Speaking listings;
  4. Aristotle's Rhetoric.

Once understood, the elements of rhetoric can be used to become more persuasive and convincing. They will also help you to negate persuasive arguments that you need to argue against.


Darren Fleming

Australia's Public Speaking Coach

Public Speaking courses

Who is the best Public Speaker of all time?

There have been debates for centuries over who is the best orator of all time. While it is pretty much impossible to compare speakers across generations, it is possible to have a favourite from each age.

Bill Clinton is often quoted as being the best public speaker of our time. He has the ability to capture and hold the attention of any audience and deliver his message in a convincing way. Compare him to George W Bush, and it is like comparing chalk and cheese. Bush has no idea about presenting, and has to have his speeches tightly scripted. Otherwise he will stray further from the point, and get himself into even more trouble.

Nelson Mandela is also quoted as a great speaker of our time. Of the speeches that he has given, he is renowned for having a strong message that motivates us to action. This is essential in a speaker. While he may not be as technically 'correct' as Bill Clinton, his message is just as powerful. And after all, is that not what it is about? Getting your message across to your audience.

Not all great Public speakers are great people. Take for example Hitler. He was a purely evil man. However, he had the ability to speak to his nation and turn them against another race. He motivated a whole country to murder. I have an old German friend who saw Hitler give a number of speeches. He says that Hitler was hypnotic in his ability to control his audience and make them do as he wanted. He knew how to manipulate an audience to do what he wanted them to do. Unfortunately, as Get Smart would say, "he used his power for evil and not for Good".

Who is your favourite public speaker?


Darren Fleming
Australia's Public Speaking Coach
Public Speaking Courses

Friday, June 15, 2007

Should you follow the rules of Public Speaking?

Many people are of the opinion that there are a number of sacred rules in public speaking that should never be broken. You should never race through your speech, you should never hold the lectern and you should never turn your back on the audience.

I would like to challenge the validity of these rules.

I have been a Toastmaster for over 13 years, and have often pushed these rules on others. But I firmly believe that there comes a time when you must break the rules to reach the audience.

Case in point: The rule that you shhould never turn your back on the Audience while speaking.

At face value this seems like a good rule to follow as it helps you to engage the audience more.

However, it is possible to turn your back on the audience and engage them even more than when you are looking at them.

Recently I competed in the Disctrict 73 Toastmasters annual convention in Perth Australia. I was competiting in the Table Topics competition final. About 2000 people from across Asutralia had competed in this impromptu speaking competition, and I was one of just 7 people left standing. In this competition, you are given the topic and expected to start speaking on it straight away. The only preparation time you have is while you are walking across the stage.

The topic we had was:

"If you obey all the rules, you miss out on half the fun.
Is this a good philosophy to live by?"

As I walked across the stage, I decided that I would break some rules myslef. As I approached the centre of the stage, I turned and put my back to the audience and started speaking. I spoke about the rules that we should not break when speaking. The main rule was about keeping eye contact with your audience. I then proceeded to make fun of the rules about ensuring that you move across the stage so everyone sees you. Next was my favourite rule - the need to pause. I paused so long that even I forgot what I was going to say next. However, the audience laughed heartedly as I broke the rules that they all held so closely to themselves.
Whats more, when the judges returned their decision, I was the winner! from speaking to the others in the audience (and not just my friends!) I was a clear and unanimous winner.
So, it just goes to show, you don't need to follow all the rules to achieve your objectives.
However, might I suggest that you have a good understanding of the rules of Public Speaking and know how they operate before you go out and break them. If you don't understand the rule and how it operates, you may be doing your cause more harm than good it you decide to break the rules!
Darren Fleming

Saturday, June 9, 2007

What are the best way to improve your public speaking skills?

There are a number of great ways to improve your public speaking skills. Below is a list of some of the best.

  1. Toastmasters: Toastmasters is the worlds leading organisation for teaching public speaking. Based in the USA, it has clubs all over the world. This link will take you to Toastmasters in Australia. I have been a member of Toastmasters in South Australia for years and have benefited greatly from it. Another organisation that can help with this is Australia's Rostrum. Rostrum has their own program designed to improve your public speaking skills

  2. The second way to improve your public speaking skills is to attend a "private" public speaking course. This link will take you to a one-day course. You can get extended public speaking courses that offer more information.

  3. One-on-one public speaking coaching will allow you to really improve your skills. Often CEO's and the like use one-on-one coaching to refine their skills to allow them to be the leader they need to be.

  4. You can visit various public speaking websites to get information for free on them. Some great ones are Executive Speaking, David Brooks, the public speaking blog, Tom Antion, and of course this blog as it grows!

  5. Read articles on public speaking. You can get great articles on public speaking by trawling the net.

  6. Join the National Speakers Association. While this association does not teach public speaking in the same way that Toastmasters does, it will give you the skills that build on Toastmasters training. There are National Speakers associations all over the world. I am a member of the National Speakers Association of Australia

  7. Finally, you can just get out there and practice. As the the 2001 Word Champion of Public Speaking Darren LaCroix says, "Stage time, Stage time, Stage time" is the best way to improve. Just get up and have a go. You wont be as bad as you think you are - no one ever is.

'til next time.


Darren Fleming

Australia's Public Speaking Coach

Friday, June 8, 2007

Stories in Public Speaking


As a speaker, it is your duty to connect with your audience when public speaking. It does not matter what the topic is, or who is in your audience, if you are not connecting with your audience your message is not getting through.

One of the easiest ways to connect with your audience is with the use of simple stories. Simple stories are anecdotes that illustrate the point that you want to make.

We use stories in our daily conversations, and public speaking is no different. Have you ever told a work colleague what happened on the way to work; your partner what you did at work, or the kids about what you did when you were young? These are all simple stories that people share.

People are drawn to these stories because of the emotion that is contained in them. Your story of the trip to work may generate the emotion of laughter; you may share the emotion of frustration or success when describing to your partner what happened at work. And your kids love the emotion of excitement from when you were younger.

But where are the stories for your public speaking needs? Simply look at the facts and figures and ask yourself, “What do they mean?”, “What is the storey behind them?” It is story behind the facts and figures that people want. If you “facts and figures” tell you that your clients can save 10% by switching their services to you, tell them a story of someone who has achieved that. That’s a story!

Very few people will feel warm and fuzzy about facts; however, they will remember your stories long after the facts have been forgotten.

By using stories, your public speaking will become easier and more enjoyable for you and the audience.

You can get more information on public speaking by visiting Australias Public speaking coach