Speaking superstar shares presentation tips

Patricia Fripp is a legend in the speaking business. More than 30 years as an executive speech coach and presentation skills expert. Plus, she’s a Hall of Fame keynote speaker in the American Speakers’ Association.

Attending her presentation skills workshop at the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers’ convention was like drinking from the source. I want to share a couple of her presentation tips… but first – some quick gems from the Fripp playbook:

    • A speech is not a conversation… but a good speech sounds like a conversation.
    • Don’t speak to the audience, speak to one person a hundred times.
    • Stand primarily in one place. Don’t pace. Bring the audience to you with the power of your words.
    • Open your speech with your 2nd best story; end with your best story.
    • Speak to be remembered and repeated.

I was happy to discover that many of ideas behind Podium’s TalkitOut Technique fitted right in with what Patricia Fripp teaches. (When preparing a speech or presentation, don’t stare at your keyboard and write in silence; get the words out of your mouth before you write them down. You’ll sound more authentic, you’ll feel more comfortable delivering the words, and your audience will find it easier to digest your message).

Presentation tips from Patrica Fripp
Superstar speaker Patricia Fripp (right) with Podium’s Halina St James

Here are two other presentation tips from Patricia’s workshop. The one I liked the best was how to help your audience remember your exact message. Fripp says you do this by repeating your message as bullet points towards the end of your presentation.

Her idea is that, instead of leaving people to try to summarize a 30 or 40 minute presentation (and perhaps not capture the key points) you help them by encapsulating your message in a couple of very short and easily remember points.

Patricia suggests you tell your audience “When you speak to your management or colleagues who weren’t here today, say, ‘we heard how to structure a dynamic presentation, how to write conversationally, and how to command the stage’.

That way, she believes, people will say something of substance as opposed to “It was a great speech. You should have been there.” Plus, you’re controlling and reinforcing the message.

Her other idea relates to how you define what she calls the premise (and I call the controlling idea) of your presentation.

Patricia Fripp’s formula is:

  • Every… (whatever the audience is)
  • Can… (action)
  • As a result of/by… (Subject of your talk)
  • Result…

So for workshop at the CAPS convention, the premise was:

  • Every… CAPS member
  • Can . . . Better prepare and present powerful, persuasive presentations
  • By . . . Designing the presentation focused on the audience and structuring your speech more conversationally.
  • The result will be… to wow the audience, be memorable and be hired again and again

I’ll leave you with one more of Patricia Fripp’s presentation tips:

Don’t trust inspiration. Trust discipline… the discipline of process, planning, hard work, and rehearsal. If inspiration comes as a result of that disciplined approach, that’s a bonus.