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Fearless Public Speaking for Professionals: Developing Your Speaker Identity

When I was starting out in my career, I was privileged to hear Florence Littauer, an American speaker, author and business woman speak at a function in Brisbane. I can remember sitting listening to her and thinking to myself, “I wish I could speak just like her”.

Florence seemed so elegant, charismatic with so much content and wisdom to share. Well it didn’t take me too long to realize that I would never be able to speak just like her and that was actually ok.

Over my career I have had more opportunities to speak than I could possibly count. I have taught in prisons, spoken to business people, trained in just about every life and leadership area that there is. I’ve chaired executive meetings, gathered my staff together to encourage and motivate them, presented strategic plans to heads of departments and run group therapeutic sessions.  I’ve moved from preparing the old plastic overheads to creating power points and videos using the internet. I’ve been interviewed on TV and radio and even preached a sermon or two.

Little did I know, as a young child that gathering my dolls and teddies around while I taught them from a blackboard would actually lead to a satisfying and successful career.   I have to say some of those stuffed animals were a lot more fun to work with that some of the participants in my classes.

What have I learnt from all of this?  That to be a good or better than good speaker, you have to understand your own personal speaker identity. When you can do this, things will fall into place. Your confidence will increase and with it, not only your audience enjoyment, but yours also.

Professionals may not be called upon to be a public speaker such as Anthony Robbins, but it is very difficult to move forward in your career without some form of public speaking skills. The most common avenues of speaking for professionals includes: small meetings, annual general meetings, board presentations, staff presentations, interviews, presentations to customers and clients and training in areas of expertise.

Professionals need to understand two things to be a fearless and effective public speaker:

  1. What is your speaker style?
  2. What is your attitude to speaking and your audience?

Speaker Style                        

I mentioned before it didn’t take me long to know what my style wasn’t but it did take me longer to understand what my style was. I am a teacher. I love to impart knowledge and wisdom that transforms lives. When I am preparing and when I am speaking, this term of reference is always with me.

Here are a few styles – see if you can identify your personal speaking style:

  • Teacher
  • Charismatic
  • Comedian
  • Entertainer
  • Powerful
  • Story teller
  • Influencer

Do you aspire to any of these styles? You will find yourself attracted to one or two more than the others.  For myself, I have finally accepted that I’m not an entertainer and I just can’t seem to remember a joke but I love imparting wisdom and later in life I’m becoming quite a story teller. Sometimes we are attracted to speakers who echo our own personal style

 Speaker Attitude

This is what connects you to your audience and I’m telling you, your audience can smell it. You really cannot fake this, at least not for a long period of time. This is about what you value and believe in. How you interact with yourself and the world.

Here are some speaker attitudes you need to be a fearless and effective public speaker:

  • Compassion
  • Genuineness
  • Non judgemental
  • Open and honest
  •  A belief in your own worth
  • Self efficacy – a belief in your own ability to succeed
  • Willingness to work hard and prepare
  • An understanding that fear is temporary
  • Passion to share or bring about change
  • Authenticity

Understanding your speaker style and your speaker attitude will give you a speaker identity.  With this speaker identity will come renewed confidence and enjoyment for yourself and your audience whether it be an audience of one or one thousand

If you feel you could use some further help, then you may be interested in my one day course:

“Fearless Public Speaking for Professionals”

We will be covering this topic and many others such as:

  • Enhance your impact when giving speeches and interacting with clients
  • Dealing with nerves
  • The importance of authenticity
  • Speaker styles: speaking with clarity, power and conviction
  • Presentation skills that get your message across
  • Eliminating mindset blockages

Just email me for further information at julie@sigmamindset.com or phone 0430186415



4 Responses to Fearless Public Speaking for Professionals: Developing Your Speaker Identity

  1. Jennifer McMahon says:

    Hi Julie,

    I enjoyed reading your comments about knowing your public speaking style. I am really interested in finding out more about this workshop. Many thanks.

    Best Wishes


    • julie says:

      Hello Jennifer

      Thank you for your kind comments in response to my blog

      Fearless Public Speaking for Professionals is being held in Mt Isa on the 6th March

      If you are in another Australian city, and would like to run such a course for staff in your workplace I am more than happy to discuss travelling to deliver said course

      Please feel free to contact me further but tomorrow I will be in training all day

      I will post my comments on my blog as well but wanted to contact you directly

      Take care

  2. Karen Graham says:

    Good Afternoon Julie,
    I was away from Mt Isa on the 6th March, and I am very disappointed that I was unable to make it.
    Would there be any possibilities that you would return to Mt Isa in the future?

    • julie says:

      Great to hear of your interest Karen. I’ve sent you a private email and I’m sure we can work out a way to make this happen. I’m Mt Isa based now so I have many courses on offer that are targeted at Life and Leadership Coaching and Training for Executives, Professionals and Business Owners. Let me know what you think to my suggestion. Take care Julie

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