The Rules for Being Amazing


Some time ago, I wrote a post about leadership lessons from my friend and former colleague, Robin Sharma. Robin is one of the foremost authorities on leadership and the author of several international bestsellers.

Robin has put out a video with 28 short, but dynamic, ideas on how to lead an amazing life. As I watched, it occurred to me that every single one of them is directly relevant for those who wish to become better public speakers.

Please watch the video and, if you have not already done so, start to apply the principles to your public speaking. The results will be amazing. And your audience will be amazed.

Photo courtesy of Fallon Michael on Unsplash

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    1. Hi Christina,

      I suspect that there are many who share your viewpoint. The question is, why do so many people think this? One key reason, I think, is because so much of the public speaking that we see has so much room for improvement … and many people are just not prepared to invest the time and effort to improve. But that does not mean that excellent public speaking is an unattainable goal in some faraway utopia.

      I have worked with many people who have made extraordinary progress in their speaking because they worked at it. Every year, thousands of “ordinary” people give wonderful talks at events such as TED, TEDx, Ignite and others. It’s rarely easy or quick, but with focused and persistent effort, it is possible. And if more people make that effort, then perhaps good public speaking will seem less tinselly and more real.

  1. When speaking in public, the speech still has to be one-to-one. The speaker must connect with, or at least try to connect with each member in the audience. And that requires genuineness, a heart full of love to share something important with a dear friend, a passion to positively influence the other person. Rest is all technicality to make this spirituality more effective.
    I belive communication is one-to-one. One-to-many becomes a sermon, where only those who want to, gain something, as per their own interpretation.

    1. Thanks for the great comment, Anurag. You are absolutely right. A good speaker will make every member of the audience feel as though he were speaking to them personally. Your comment reminds me of something that Craig Valentine, the 1999 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking said: “Look to all, but speak to one.”

  2. Thanks, John. I have indeed seen excellent TED and TEDx talks. Maybe it’s some of the Toastmasters ones I have taken a certain dislike to.
    All best wishes.

    1. No worries, Christina. I appreciated the comment. Toastmasters speeches are hit and miss, but so are TED Talks, political speeches, any speeches really. With the Toastmasters speeches, frequently what we see on line are people in the “early days” of speaking. If they are working towards improving, that can only be a good thing.

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John delivered a keynote address about the importance of public speaking to 80 senior members of Gore’s Medical Device Europe team at an important sales event. He was informative, engaging and inspirational. Everyone was motivated to improve their public speaking skills. Following his keynote, John has led public speaking workshops for Gore in Barcelona and Munich. He is an outstanding speaker who thinks carefully about the needs of his audience well before he steps on stage.

Karsta Goetze

TA Leader, Gore and Associates

I first got in touch with John while preparing to speak at TED Global about my work on ProtonMail. John helped me to sharpen the presentation and get on point faster, making the talk more focused and impactful. My speech was very well received, has since reached almost 1.8 million people and was successful in explaining a complex subject (email encryption) to a general audience.

Andy Yen

CEO, Proton Technologies

John gave the opening keynote on the second day of our unit’s recent offsite in Geneva, addressing an audience of 100+ attendees with a wealth of tips and techniques to deliver powerful, memorable presentations. I applied some of these techniques the very next week in an internal presentation, and I’ve been asked to give that presentation again to senior management, which has NEVER happened before. John is one of the greatest speakers I know and I can recommend his services without reservation.

David Lindelöf

Senior Data Scientist, Expedia Group

After a morning of team building activities using improvisation as the conduit, John came on stage to close the staff event which was organised in Chamonix, France. His energy and presence were immediately felt by all the members of staff. The work put into the preparation of his speech was evident and by sharing some his own stories, he was able to conduct a closing inspirational speech which was relevant, powerful and impactful for all at IRU. The whole team left feeling engaged and motivated to tackle the 2019 objectives ahead. Thank you, John.

Umberto de Pretto

Secretary General, World Road Transport Organization

I was expecting a few speaking tips and tricks and a few fun exercises, but you went above and beyond – and sideways. You taught me to stand tall. You taught me to anchor myself. You taught me to breathe. You taught me to open up. You taught me to look people in the eye. You taught me to tell the truth. You taught me to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. I got more than I bargained for in the best possible way.

Thuy Khoc-Bilon

World Cancer Day Campaign Manager, Union for International Cancer Control

John gave a brilliant presentation on public speaking during the UN EMERGE programme in Geneva (a two days workshop on leadership development for a group of female staff members working in the UN organizations in Geneva). His talk was inspirational and practical, thanks to the many techniques and tips he shared with the audience. His teaching can dramatically change our public speaking performance and enable us as presenters to have a real and powerful impact. Thank you, John, for your great contribution!

Sara Canna

HR Specialist, World Health Organization

John is a genuine communication innovator. His seminars on gamification of public speaking learning and his interactive Rhetoric game at our conference set the tone for change and improvement in our organisation. The quality of his input, the impact he made with his audience and his effortlessly engaging style made it easy to get on board with his core messages and won over some delegates who were extremely skeptical as to the efficacy of games for learning. I simply cannot recommend him highly enough.

Thomas Scott

National Education Director, Association of Speakers Clubs UK

John joined our Global Sales Meeting in Segovia, Spain and we all participated in his "Improv(e) your Work!" session. I say “all” because it really was all interactive, participatory, learning and enjoyable. The session surprised everybody and was a fresh-air activity that brought a lot of self-reflection and insights to improve trust and confidence in each other inside our team. It´s all about communication and a good manner of speaking!"

Jon Lopez

General Manager Europe, Hayward Industries

Thank you very much for the excellent presentation skills session. The feedback I received was very positive. Everyone enjoyed the good mix of listening to your speech, co-developing a concrete take-away and the personal learning experience. We all feel more devoted to the task ahead, more able to succeed and an elevated team spirit. Delivering this in a short time, both in session and in preparation, is outstanding!

Henning Dehler

CFO European Dairy Supply Chain & Operations, Danone

Thanks to John’s excellent workshop, I have learned many important tips and techniques to become an effective public speaker. John is a fantastic speaker and teacher, with extensive knowledge of the field. His workshop was a great experience and has proven extremely useful for me in my professional and personal life.

Eric Thuillard

Senior Sales Manager, Sunrise Communications

John’s presentation skills training was a terrific investment of my time. I increased my skills in this important area and feel more comfortable when speaking to an audience. John provided the right mix between theory and practice.

Diego Brait

Director of the Jura Region, BKW Energie AG

Be BOLD. Those two words got stuck in my head and in the heads of all those ADP leaders and associates that had the privilege to see John on stage. He was our keynote speaker at our annual convention in Barcelona, and his message still remains! John puts his heart in every word. Few speakers are so credible, humble and yet super strong with large audiences!

Guadalupe Garcia

Senior Director and Talent Partner, ADP International