Archive for the ‘Free Public Speaking Tips’ Category

2017 February Learning Together at Presentation Skills Classes in Chicago

Author: admin, 03/08/17

presentation skills classes in Chicago, ILAs a Fearless Presentation ® instructor, I always cherish our open-enrollment, two-day presentation skills classes in Chicago. I am continually privileged to meet incredible professionals in a wide variety of fields. What they all have in common is a commitment to ongoing personal development. Not only do they carve out a chunk of time from their schedules, many also exhibit great courage as they step into their (sometimes huge) fear of public speaking. But even with my high expectations of each FP class, I was especially inspired by the group that just finished classes in Chicago. They were soulful, articulate, and very supportive of each other as they tackled the art of storytelling and the challenges of simplifying ideas for listeners. They practiced diligently and by the end of the two days, each had a speech they could deliver to delighted audiences.

Days later, one participant reflected on his experience. “When you’re intimidated by something like public speaking, it’s so easy to feel alone–which just compounds the anxiety. But meeting you guys and being reminded that many of us are in the same boat–and more importantly–that it’s something we are working to overcome was a big part of what I took away from this experience. Thanks for your bravery. I found you all inspiring.”

Me too. Thanks Chicago FP.

2017 February Presentations Skills Class in Sunny Miami, Florida

Author: admin, 03/05/17

presentations skills class in Miami, FLI recently had the pleasure to conduct a fabulous presentations skills class for a handful of professionals in sunny Miami, Florida. Although our presentations skills class is called Fearless Presentations ® it is much more than just a way to reduce public speaking fear. In fact, many professional business people who attend the class are amazed at how big a jump they make in their presentation skills development in just two days. This program in Miami was really fun because we had a great mix of people from different industries, cultures, and locations on the map. One of the participants is the current Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, and she is currently stationed at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, DC. Two of the participants were from Texas who enrolled in this presentation skills class, because the just missed the last program in Dallas, TX. Still another of the class members works for The History Channel and A&E discovering new programming for their channels in South and Central America. The final participant is a scientist who does research and development developing healthcare breakthroughs that save lives.

About halfway through the class, Audrey, the Ambassador, (who incidentally also is the CEO of eight different companies that she founded in Jamaica), mentioned that she was fascinated by the expertise in the room. She said, “Everyone has a fascinating story about how they got to where they are.” She is totally correct. One of the great things about classes like these is that they help people who have similar challenges (like nervousness speaking in front of a group) overcome these challenges together and build camaraderie along the way.

I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the next couple of years, A&E develops a new show in Central America about a certain former politician turned talk-show host.

For details about upcoming presentation skills classes in Miami, visit the link to the right.

Custom Executive Speaker Training has Fantastic Return on Investment

Author: admin, 01/22/17

Executive Speaker TrainingA common business challenge for trainers and human resource executives is how to conduct executive speaker training without blowing your company’s entire education budget. Your executives are the faces of your company, so when they present their ideas effectively and with poise, your organization benefits. However, if your executives deliver dry and boring speeches the negative PR can be very detrimental. Polished and succinct executive speeches will be welcomed. Dull and confusing presentations, though, tend to flop. These challenges can be intensified at annual meetings and conventions where the executive have a major role.

Options for Executive Speaker Training

This particular challenge has a few distinct obstacles. The first of which is that if you have noticed that a few of your executives need additional speaker training or coaching, it can be a little uncomfortable to tell them. In addition, there aren’t a lot of good options available to fix the challenge. At this level of presenting, toasting clubs, YouTube videos, and eBooks aren’t going to work. So, our instructors have compiled a list a few common options that you have along with the pros and cons of each.

1) One-on-One Executive Speech Coaching.

The most common solution that human resources or training executive offer in these situations is one-on-one coaching for the executive. The inherit obstacle here, though, is that the executive may think that you are singling him or her out, or that you are drawing attention to an obvious weakness for some type of personal advantage. So, this option must be used judicially and tactfully. In addition, the coaching may be very expensive to your organization. Finally, because the coaching is one-on-one, the executive may not receive a lot of practical real-life practice using the new skills, so the content of the coaching may be quickly forgotten.

2) Sending the Executive to a Speaking Course.

Another common option is to send the executive to a speaking course — outside of the organization. One of the advantages of this option is that the executive will be able to see presenters from other companies and industries to see what others are doing. The executive also gets to grow and build the skill without having employees or people who report to him or her see the work product along the way.

By the way, as person who owns a company that teaches these types of classes, I love this option. In fact, one of the reasons that my company has grown so much in the last decade is that we, quite often, have executives from big companies go through our public classes, and they get so much benefit from the program, that they end up sending hundreds of their employees through our classes over the years. However, not to shoot myself in the foot, I’d like to admit that this option also has a few obstacles. Open enrollment public speaking classes can’t be tailored like private classes can. So, although public classes have fantastic benefits, they may not address every possible challenge that the executive may be facing, or they may cover material that isn’t pertinent. Also, if you end up recommending a class to an executive, and if the class doesn’t work, the executive will hold you responsible for wasting his or her time.

3) Custom Executive Speaker Training

That is why many training executives and human resource directors love to create and deliver custom executive speaker training programs. There are a number of great advantages to this type of executive training.

  • Training groups of executives together avoids singling out any one executive that needs particular help.
  • Because the training is customized, it is specifically created for the needs of these particular executives.
  • Saves the executives’ time and your training budget.
  • Improves communication between the executives, so everyone is on the same page.
  • Skills developed are reinforced because the executives tend to coach each other after the training.
  • Since your executives are the role-models for your organization, the techniques and processes that they use after this type of program are picked up by their direct reports. Before too long, your organization is transformed in a positive way.

As technology changes, an executive’s ability to communicate well with poise and confidence is becoming even more important to success. You want to create a team of executives who are viewed by your associates and your customers as confident leaders. A custom executive speaker training program is an easy way to create that perception.


Want to Receive a Quote for an Executive Speaking Program?

October 2016 Fearless Presentations Class in Philadelphia, PA

Author: admin, 10/31/16

Nippy weather and rainy skies greeted us in Philadelphia as we kicked off our 2-day of Fearless Presentation ® public speaking class in Philadelphia, PA. As usual, our group was a mix of different professions from different industries. The presenters’ industries ranged from an Ivy League University to a person who sells baked goods. We also had one participant from the healthcare industry (see our new class for the healthcare industry –

philadelphia-public-speaking-class-2016Yet, each participant came for the same reason: to better get their message across to their respective audiences. Overcoming the fear of public speaking is a tough job but all of us got through it. We also learned the basics of storytelling and found that sharing your experience with your listener makes it easier to offer your advice and implement your suggestions. Participants also discovered that they did not need to be afraid of speaking to groups. Instead, through being creative and original, they could enjoy it. Asking for and getting change is one of the hardest things to do. Audience members often do not want to give up old behaviors and old ways of doing things. But with the right message, delivered the right way, it is possible to create change through being persuasive.

On day one, we learned the basics of a presentation, and on day two, we put those basics into action. We ended the presentation class with each person delivering their speeches from beginning to end with a tremendously clear improvement from when they first entered the class. Everyone went on to enjoy their weekend and looking forward to their next chance to give a talk. The Leaders Institute ® wishes you much success for your future presentations!

For a list of upcoming public speaking classes in Philadelphia, make sure and click this link! We’ll see you in our next class!

Energy Filled Fearless Presentations Class in Washington DC

Author: admin, 10/10/16

A great group of people met in Washington DC to overcome their fear of public speaking and to improve their presentation skills.  One of the key learning points for the group was understanding how important energy and enthusiasm is to a presentation.  There is an old saying that, “people will not get excited about your presentation unless the speaker is excited.”  This is a very true statement.  If you can’t be excited about your topic, then you can’t expect anyone in your audience to get excited. I hear many people in our Fearless Presentations ® Workshops tell me all the time that they are accountants or engineers and that “there is nothing exciting about explaining what they do.”  It’s important to understand that if the process that you are explaining isn’t exciting, then the results should be.  I remember a student told me that she sold accounting software.  Now, I have to admit that there isn’t too much excitement explaining why a company should stop using their software and start using your companies.  But, when I asked her what made her software better, she said that once their software was completely utilized, the average data entry person could save, on average, 4 hours a week because they wouldn’t have to make duplicate entries.  I don’t really understand what that means, but I can get excited about having an additional 4 hours a week to work on important tasks.  This is where the results are what you get the customer excited about.  So, next time you feel like you’re having a struggle with enthusiasm your topic, ask yourself, what the benefit of the Result is.  You should be able to get excited about presenting a great solution to even the non-exciting issues that they face.  For information about how you can improve your presentation shills, go to

For a Complete List of Upcoming Classes, Visit the upcoming presentation skills classes post. You can can click here for details about the Fearless Presentations ® class.

Employee Public Speaking Workshops: A Solid Investment?

Author: admin, 10/04/16

employee-public-speaking-workshopsEmployee public speaking workshops can be a fantastically positive investment for your company. Communication is at the crux of all functions in today’s workplace. Some may think that the value of face-to-face communication has been diminished with the rise of the email, instant message, and emoji; but the truth is, face to face communication, and especially public speaking, has never been more valuable than now. Persuasive, well-versed teams leave a substantially better impression on potential and current clients and customers. Besides this, effective public speaking can also improve your employees’ confidence and internal communication with one another.

How Public Speaking Affects Your Bottom Line

Most public speaking workshops for your employees will obviously come with a cost. However, it’s important to think about the potential return on this investment in your employees’ abilities. There are several ways that a public speaking workshop can affect your bottom line and pay for itself many times over.

Enhanced speaking skills can have drastic positive effects on your sales. Understanding how to communicate a message in the most successful way is at the heart of effective salesmanship. According to HBR, the employees most effective at generating new business for your company are the ones that can tailor their communication to the customer, take control, and disseminate information concisely and effectively. All these areas are influenced by increasing employees’ public speaking abilities.

It’s often said that one of leaders’ main jobs is training their replacement, meaning that they should be actively choosing and grooming the next leaders to ensure the company will remain sustainable and successful long after their legacy has ended. Public speaking workshops are a great way to identify these key players and train them in the motivating, persuasive, and professional speech tactics necessary for leadership positions.

People often pay a private speech coach several hundred of dollars an hour. Putting together a professional development activity for your whole team reaps the same benefits as private lessons at a much lower cost. Additionally, workshops that are open to the public may come at a lower cost, but are forced to operate at the lowest common denominator of the group. A workshop tailored to your team’s specific needs will deliver the most bang for your buck.

Why Public Speaking Workshops Make Sense

Workshops put on by trained professionals are one of the most effective ways to enhance your employees’ public speaking skills.

First, professional speech workshops can help fine-tune verbal and nonverbal communication for your team. Most people haven’t received any kind of formal public speaking training, so a workshop may be the first time they are receiving professional feedback. People often don’t realize they have certain bad habits like twirling their hair, saying “uhm” or “like” as a filler, or shifting their feet when they speak until they are in a workshop setting, particularly if the workshop videos each person as they speak.

Workshops also help build morale and employee confidence in their skills. Most people are dissatisfied with their ability to speak in front of crowds and will shy away from opportunities to present publicly. Workshops strengthen employees’ beliefs in their own abilities, building self-assurance that will lead to them seeking out chances to use their newfound skills.

Employees are increasingly looking to build their skills and learn new things from their careers. They expect their employers to invest in their professional development, especially the Millennial generation. Holding a public speaking workshop will show that you care about your employees and their career progression, increasing employee happiness and retention.

The rise of electronic communication should be seen as a reason for the promotion of public speaking, not the downfall. Workshops to improve effective public communication are a key investment in your employees, and as a result, in the future and growth of your company.

You can have Michelle or another Leader’s Institute ® instructor come to your location and teach a custom employee public speaking workshop! Click here for details:


Michelle Riklan is president of Riklan Resources and an instructor for The Leader’s Institute® in the Northeast region. She is based in Trenton, NJ but she also teaches in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and other Northeast cities.


2016 July Presentation Class in Atlanta, GA

Author: admin, 10/03/16

presentation class in Atlanta, GAWe recently conducted another Fearless Presentations ® presentation class in Atlanta, GA. Six fearless speakers spent two days sharing stories and presentations. Perhaps they all weren’t fearless at the beginning but by the end of their many turns at speaking, each had a new level of comfort. Each also had further developed their styles, one salesman had a terrific ability with jokes, another company President had a wonderful delivery filled with dry humor. Each speaker found their own style and refined their content for their unique audience. By the end of our time they each had a prepared speech ready to deliver! This was the great benefit of attending both days.

Presentation Class in Atlanta, GA

On day one we heard stories about combat in Beirut, Center for Disease Control workers withstanding terrorism, college football victories, latest innovations in accident prevention at work, ways to create customer loyalty, and how to get auditors to leave your company as quickly as possible! We were a talented group with plenty of Southern charm.

This presentation class in Atlanta was held at our office located at Atlanta – Proscenium, 1170 Peachtree St N.E. Suite 1200, Atlanta, Georgia 30309. We conduct these classes every few months. For an updated list up future classes, go to this webpage:

2016 May Public Speaking Class in Washington DC

Author: admin, 09/16/16

May 2016 Public Speaking Class in Washington DCWe recently finished another Fearless Presentations ® public speaking class in Washington DC. Class ended on Friday the 13th but we felt very lucky. Five hardworking professionals learned just how talented and fascinating they are! We heard speeches about ways to keep our HVAC systems efficient and long lasting, how pets keep us healthy, how learning proper banking regulations can keep us out of jail, how the HR department can help companies retain employees, and ways to prevent trucking accidents. A day earlier we learned just how many great stories we have hidden inside us. One favorite involved buying thousands of dollars in gift cards to score free travel perks.

Fun Public Speaking Class in Washington DC

Fearless Presentation ® classes now offer a single day option. Six more Washington professionals had joined us on day one and shared their stories of making presentations to Congressional aides and government agencies. As a group we explored the challenges of speeches that required us to shift tones. In one case this involved talking about deadly accidents (somber) and then shifting to appreciating a colleague’s work ethic (optimistic). We explored the power of pauses and the dynamic power of an energetic tempo. Many in the group pushed themselves beyond their comfort zones of gesture and projection — just to see how dynamic they could be. The presentations were outstanding and both days were great fun. The time flew by. When was the last time you heard close to a dozen speeches and felt great afterwards?

This two day Fearless Presentation ® workshop was May 12 and 13, 2016 at 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC.

Is the Art of Public Speaking Lost on Millennials?

Author: admin, 09/15/16

Art of Public Speaking Lost on MillennialsOlder generations sometimes lump the entire next-generation into a stereotypical group. For instance, you’ve likely heard the negative stereotypes about Millennials: they are lazy, entitled, late-bloomers… the list goes on. However, there are also positive traits that many Millennials share that make them an asset in the workplace, including their teamwork skills, efficiency, and desire for career and professional development. This is why it is surprising that Millennials shy away from public speaking and don’t value it as a finely tuned art, necessary for career success. Most of the time, speech class in college is dreaded – or in best-case scenarios, it is seen as a chore. Why?

Breaking down Millennials and public speaking

One reason Millennials do not value public speaking is the rise of technology-fueled communication. Instant message systems like Slack are typically more emoji than art. Millennials often prefer text messaging to face-to-face interactions; because of this, body language cues are often lost on them, and result in miscommunications.

Because of their technologically connected world, Millennials may see plain old-fashioned public speaking as an outdated method of communication. Many Millennials are used to viewing Slideshares, reading articles, or watching YouTube videos to receive and process information – not listening to speakers.

As mentioned before, Millennials are team-oriented beings. They thrive in groups, and were taught in cooperative learning situations in school. Public speaking is inherently not a group activity that encourages much socialization – therefore, it may not be a skill they naturally gravitate to.

Finally, Millennials thrive when given consistent, public, positive feedback. Most grew up in environments where they received trophies just for participating, and may carry over this mindset to the workplace. They need to continue to feel valuable in every situation and see how it contributes to their overall growth.

When presented with the idea of public speaking, Millennials think of stodgy men in suits stoically memorizing a speech and practicing it in front of a mirror. This doesn’t exactly fit with their vision of praise, collaboration, consistent feedback, and heroic contributions.

The truth is, public speaking is much more than rehearsing in front of a mirror – it is an integral skill to learn for professional success. Public speaking can put you in front of the right audience, get you noticed by important connections, and allow you to spread your message to an attentive group.

How to get Millennials to value public speaking

To engage the younger generation in the art of public speaking, it is time to change the stigma surrounding the practice and show the clear benefits it can have on Millennials’ careers.

Most successful people in business and leadership positions are fantastic public speakers. Why? They are recognized by their bosses for their excellent communication skills. Millennials value promotions, titles, and being given more responsibility (especially when it’s in public), so touting this fact will garner more interest.

To break the stereotype of sitting in solitude, staring into a mirror and practicing a speech, we should be spreading awareness of new techniques for preparation. Millennials can invite their family and friends to help them practice, making rehearsal into more of a social gathering.

Millennials can also appeal to their interest in technology by practicing to their iPad and recording it so they can study their inflection and hand movements. By doing this, they can compare their performance and gestures to their favorite performers, TED speakers, and YouTube stars.

Though Millennials may have forgotten the lost art of public speaking, they can help regain it through reframing it in terms of the social and technological constructs they’re familiar with and reap its benefits for their professions.

4 of The Most Common Public Speaking Myths Debunked

Author: admin, 07/25/16

Public Speaking Myths DebunkedMyths – or any type of untrue information – can spark unfounded fear and confusion in many situations. The same is true with public speaking. Public speaking myths are a twice as damaging. Many people assume that if they’re not a natural-born speaker, get butterflies before speeches, or don’t use professional speech-writers, they can’t successfully speak publicly. That’s why below, we’ll bust several commonly-held pieces of folklore about public speaking that have long held people back when it comes to realizing their full potential. Below are a few of the biggest public speaking myths, and we will try and debunk them all.

4 Public Speaking Myths — Debunked

  1. 1) You have to memorize your speech. In fact, memorizing every single word and phrase of your speech can cause you to come across as stilted or boring, and can cause you to trip up if you’re searching for the precise phrasing included in your draft. Instead, try breaking up your speech into chunks and memorizing the main theme or idea of each one, says Rob Biesenbach, Author of “11 Deadly Presentation Sins.” If you internalize the core tenants of your speech, you will never rehearse it in the same way – which is a good thing. Memorizing important parts of your speech, like the introduction and conclusion, along with internalizing the core parts of your speech, will allow you to come across more authentically and personally.
  2. 2) If you’re a good public speaker, you won’t be nervous. Even the most well-spoken and experienced speakers still get butterflies before they take the stage. Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal explained how to make this kind of stress your friend by viewing the pre-speech rush of adrenaline as empowering instead of anxiety-inducing. This adrenaline rush will provide a heightened sense of awareness, and ensure that you’re truly passionate about what you’re speaking about. However, public speakers should take a few deep, calming breaths before the stage to harness their creative energy. Remember that apprehension isn’t a sign of under-preparation – it can be used to create an even more powerful connection with your audience.
  3. 3) Good speeches are all about the writing. Communication through body language has become a hot topic of conversation for the past few years, and with good reason. According to Toastmasters, the best public speeches and TED talks are actually movement-based. The best speakers walk around the stage, working the crowd and adding in hand gestures to create texture and context to the talk. This level of familiarity in front of a crowd takes time, so adopt a “fake it until you make it” approach until you get more comfortable adding movement into your speeches. Purposefully plan the areas where you can add hand motions to emphasize a point, or walk among the crowd to make a personal connection.
  4. 4) A knack for public speaking is just a talent people are born with. When it comes down to it, no one is a “natural” public speaker. Even extroverted people that derive their energy from being in front of and among others don’t actually have a public speaking advantage over introverts. Great public speaking requires more than just a loud voice and a charismatic personality – it requires knowing and playing to your strengths, and not letting your perceived weaknesses get in the way. Any person that is perceived to be a “natural” public speaker came to be that way through practice and hard work – even introverts. These types of people shouldn’t try to imitate high-energy, extroverted speakers like Tony Robbins, but should instead approach speeches thoughtfully and at their own pace.

In conclusion, anyone can become a fantastic public speaker if they set aside these myths and put in the time, practice, and dedication needed to overcome their insecurities.

You Can Eliminate Public Speaking Fear

Contact Information

Fearless Presentations®
Corporate Office
The Leader's Institute ®
5430 LBJ Freeway, Suite 1200,
Dallas, TX 75240

Search for an Office Near You

Our Location

Connect with us.

  • Google plus
  • Youtube
  • Instagram


Home | About Us | The Leaders Institute® | Free Public Speaking Tips | Presentation Skills Articles | Corporate Training | Fearless Presentations® Class | Presentation Coaching | Online Study Course | Public Speaking Fear | Schedule of Classes | Class Locations | Western Region | Central Region | Midwest Region | Northeast Region | Southeast Region | Europe | Contact Us