Top Tips for Becoming a Powerful Speaker

I get asked all the time, “Lisa, what are your top tips for becoming a more powerful speaker?” Now THAT is a loaded question, and I have a full-on curriculum that I teach in courses, live events (now virtual) and masterminds to students on my campus.

You see, it’s hard to condense that huge topic down into bitesize nuggets for you to consume, but this week I decided to take that challenge. Because as gladiators, unicorns and change agents, we like to rise up to challenges, right?

So, get your pen and paper out and get ready to take notes as I share my top tips for becoming a powerful speaker!

#1—Show the story versus tell the story

Show the story. Show me the experience versus telling me about the experience. To do that, you have to show me what you are thinking. Show me what is going on inside of your head. For example: “As I sat inside the waiting room, my mind was racing. It was racing insanely. What will they say? Will they accept me? What will they do? Am I going to get this job? I don’t know what will happen if I don’t.” You see how right there I took you inside of my head and gave you the gift of knowing what I was thinking. So many of us think the same thing, we just don’t talk about it. Then the second part is to show me what you were feeling. For example, “I felt my heartbeat going really fast. Oh my God. I think I’m actually nervous. I think I’m actually scared. I haven’t been scared in a long time and that made me realize how much I really wanted this job. I really wanted to be accepted” You can actually see what is going on in my head and in my heart this way.

#2 – Always engage in a dialogue versus a monologue

You want to always engage in a dialogue versus a monologue where you’re the only one speaking. Believe it or not, you can do that—even in a video you can do that. Even if your audience can’t actually talk back to you, they can still be engaged in a dynamic, silent exchange. There’s a technique to create a dialogue-based message versus a monologue-based message.

#3 – Honor the dignity of everyone listening to you

Honor the dignity of everyone listening to you, whether you’re speaking to children who are ages five, six or seven or whether you’re speaking to teens, adults, or professionals. Find a way to speak where the audience feels and knows that you’ve honored their dignity.

#4 – Create a space where the audience sees you as a human being

Create a space where the audience can see a bit of you as a human being–not just as a motivator, not just as the educator, not just as a transformational agent, but as a human being. I so often see speakers and trainers who are teaching from a mountain top. But the responsibility of a speaker is to allow me (the audience) to see a bit of you on the same journey that you’re teaching me about. That is also a way you can honor the dignity of the person listening to you.

#5 – Use the “Me, We, You” audience connection formula

The “Me, We, You” formula is a technique where you have to first put your own skin into the game. If you want me to put skin in as an audience, and you want me to give you my heart and lend you my ear, then you need to give me something first. Think of it this way…whenever you’re speaking, you need to give it up. First, you show me yours, then I show you mine, right? And then the second part is we’re in this together. And then the last part is where you show up as a teacher. So, you want to make sure that you make a distinction that you’re the educator…you’re the speaker, but you want to do it after you’ve created a community. Let me give you an example so you can see how this looks and sounds.

“There was a time in my life when I often questioned if I was good enough to be a speaker…if I was good enough or smart enough to be a CEO. Can I run a company? (ME) We have a tendency to have a desire…have a dream, have a goal…and then almost instantly question if we are the person to make it happen. (WE) Has there ever been a time in your life when you wanted something and you really, really felt like it was something that you should get or that you could handle. And then you instantly questioned if you were the right person for the task?” (YOU)

Did you see it?  Ok write this technique down:

Part 1: There was a time…(choose the experience)

Part 2: We have a tendency to…(the common ground)

Part 3: Have you ever…(same topic)

Just start practicing with that simple, three-part formula. You can do variations later when you become savvier at it.

#6 – Just Speak

Speak to inspire, not to impress. Speak to inspire and encourage not just to be right. Speak to challenge the status quo, not to put it down. Speak to lift up, not to dismantle. Speak to encourage and make people aware, not just to make your point. And when all else fails, speak with courage, speak with conviction, and even be willing to speak with a quiver. Just speak.

I know that was a lot of information in a short amount of time. But please let me know below in the comments which speaking tip was the most helpful to you? What did you learn that you might not have known before? I love, love, love reading your comments and seeing your #AHA moments, so please continue to share.

Remember…this is your home, and we are your tribe. I LOVE you, and I BELIEVE in you. These are not just words. I truly do.

Your Sister in Prosperity and Possibility,

22 replies
  1. Lauren Melton
    Lauren Melton says:

    I really like the video and the part where you said allow your audience to see you as human and that we are in this together..

    Thank you for your time
    Much love

  2. Tikeyah Thomas
    Tikeyah Thomas says:

    I have a book that im written also and the reason im looking into becoming a powerful speaker is because i find myself always speaking powerful things to my friends and i am 28 years old with 3 kids and ive. Been in 3 DOMESTIC violence relationships love AFFAIRS 5592909728 can you give me a call and i am a servant of christ

  3. Kirk a Wellman
    Kirk a Wellman says:

    All you tell is is true. How many never take the first step to inspire. People don’t want to hear about us unless we first are willing to understand them. An autistic inmate said he and his friends came up with a definition of a perfect world. “You cannot use the word I and you cannot ask for anything for yourself”.

  4. Nanette M Buchanan
    Nanette M Buchanan says:

    Love it!! Such an easy technique to conquer. It feels better. Attaching ourselves to the audience becomes easier when we know to attach ourselves first then the technical facets. I love it when I’m in the audience and I can feel an attachment.

    Thanks again Lisa!!!

  5. Vaijayanti Bose
    Vaijayanti Bose says:

    All your tips were fantastic and bang on Lisa! Thanks a lot! What specially will be most useful for me is the technique of the ME WE YOU approach. So simple and yet something that we take for granted. Also Just Speak shows us the right attitude to adopt.

  6. Teresa Groce
    Teresa Groce says:

    I was e cited to learn about the We You and Me concept. Something I am really going have to practice in my speaking.
    The information was presented well.
    Easy and informative.
    Your one inspiring lady.

  7. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    Loved the ME, WE YOU and showing the story by telling thoughts and feelings – I love it! Great tips that will help me be more impactful as an educator of teens.

  8. Phillipa Dean
    Phillipa Dean says:

    The most helpful tip for me is the ME, WE, YOU strategy. I’ve always felt that I had a natural ability to “connect” with my audiences but I could not thoroughly explain the “how”. The ME, WE, YOU strategy was my ah ha moment because not only did it show me how the connection happens it showed me how to have deeper, more intentional, more meaningful connections. Thanks Lisa!

  9. Darryl Farabee
    Darryl Farabee says:

    Very very Helpful! Each point spoke to me. I always to my best to be transparent and open without telling all my business. Create dialogue and listen to responses.
    Thank you so much

  10. Charles Mutsonziwa
    Charles Mutsonziwa says:

    i really really enjoyed myself, what rang home the most was the need to respect the audience, respect is key, like Arrether FRANKLIN’s song. Keep the fire burning, here in Zimbabwe i am enjoying it.

  11. Grace Ntereke
    Grace Ntereke says:

    This is a good insight as most of the time we focus on ourselves but want people to be with us.I really enjoyed this eventhough scary as i have realised how i have been selfish.

    Thanks Lisa

  12. Carolyn Guillory
    Carolyn Guillory says:

    Thanks for the enlightenment. My #aha moment was when you said. ‘Show the story.’ This resonated with because I never of showing my story through well-thought out wording that let’s everyone see what I’m thinking. Thus is a Great example for storytelling.

  13. Corie Feiner
    Corie Feiner says:

    #5 – Use the “Me, We, You” audience connection formula

    – This one was profound because it is a direct formula that sounds different than anything I have ever said out loud. It took me out of my habitual speaking patterns and into a place where I could see how I could honor my story and connect to others. It is brilliant. I am moved you shared this. It is like instead of telling someone to cook dinner, you reveal that there is a recipe for every meal that can be the same. And this meal honors the food, the cook, and the eaters.

  14. sylivie
    sylivie says:

    Wawoooo. great way of becoming a great speaker. Lisa, the ME,WE, YOU formula is so powerful. will practice it with my children. May you always be blessed Lisa. I congratulate you for saying YES YES to that Gentle man. I am so happy for you.


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