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The Futureforth Blog

Helpful tips and articles about social media strategy, content marketing, and business networking. 

Filtering by Tag: keynote

How to Become an Expert at Public Speaking

Dave Delaney

Public Speaking Tips.jpg

Do you have glossophobia? Are you familiar with the term? Glossophobia is the anxiety of public speaking and approximately 75 percent of people have this fear. Jerry Seinfeld jokes that at a funeral, most people would rather be lying in a casket than delivering a eulogy. 

All jokes aside though, we still need to give presentations during our lifetime. Perhaps you have one scheduled with your senior team soon. If so, this article is for you. I am also writing this for those of you who wish to get better at public speaking, and to those who would even like to become professional speakers. 

I reached out to some of my favorite speakers to ask them for their recommendations to help you get better at public speaking. To make your presentations amazing, you need to research the topics and practice frequently, even rehearse in front of your friends and colleagues before taking it to the board of directors. Keynote speaker, Bryan Eisenberg from Buyer Legends says, “Identify how you want your management to feel and what you want them to do before you even think about presenting.” 

Stay cool

Tamsen Webster, Executive Director of TEDx Cambridge reminds us to stay cool.

 “Admit your nerves, but don't apologize for them. Admitting them relieves the pressure from you — you don't have to add the stress of trying not to be nervous to the stress of being nervous," Webster said. "It also puts the audience in the role of encouragement and support.” 

From novice to experienced speakers, you want to create a stellar presentation

Thom Singer from NYP Speakers shares his advice: “Have a clear opening and close. Think about how you will start and how you will end. Then make the middle match.” This will make for an enjoyable presentation that your audience will happily follow along with. 

Take it to the next level

If you get a taste for speaking and want to do it more, it’s time to take it to the next level. Join your local Rotary Club or National Speaking Association Chapter to practice and improve your art.

Start local

Judson Laipply, President of Evolution of Dance recommends, “Start locally, seek out every local group that has weekly or monthly meetings and offer to speak. Actually speaking is the best way to get more opportunities.”

The more you speak, the more you speak!

Rob Cottingham from Social Signal suggests, “Look for worthy causes and events whose mandate dovetails with the subjects you speak about, and volunteer. And don't just think keynotes: in fact, at first, don't think about keynotes at all. Instead, look for panels, breakout sessions and conference tracks. Find the smaller venues where you can over deliver on your audience's expectations.” This is truly powerful advice that will help you advance your speaking career.

I am lucky to belong to an amazing network of professional speakers. Many of them contributed the tips I’ve included in this article. I will leave you with one of my favorites from Attention Expert, Neen James, “Remember it’s a conversation, not a presentation — it's not about you, it's about standing in service of your audience.” 

Are you still not sure about public speaking? There is a remedy for glossophobia — speak more. The more you practice the better you become. 

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean Newspaper.

Social Media Tips For Speakers

Dave Delaney

I am absolutely passionate about public speaking. I love the energy and feedback from the audience when I get to present. As I mentioned in a previous post, improv is a big reason why I love the stage — it's my happy place. The challenge for speakers is to find the next event. I struggle with this, too, but I have found social media to help in a great way.

I have noticed that while many keynote speakers excel on stage in front of an audience, they miss opportunities to use social media to market themselves. Speakers often don't have the time, resources or know-how to use social media and inbound marketing to promote their speaking.

Professional speakers need a solid online platform to point their audiences to, to promote their products and services and to share and find future speaking engagements. Social media and email marketing connects savvy speakers directly with their audiences long after their presentation has closed.

I recently sent a brief, unscientific survey to members of the National Speakers Association for their collective thoughts on how they use social media. The results revealed 78% use Facebook, 76% use Twitter, and 72% use YouTube. Interestingly, most feel unsatisfied with the results. I was also surprised to learn that only 72% use email marketing. In my opinion, email is the most important method because you own the list, unlike social networks that can flick a switch and suddenly lock you out.

The respondents from my survey shared their frustrations with using social media. The following are their main concerns and a few solutions that will help.

"It takes too much time."

Use to add a button in your browser, so you can quickly schedule any interesting articles online (including your own). You can also share your latest blog posts this way.

Use Twitter Advanced Search to search for terms like "call for speakers," and save the results. You can add a column with these results in Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to refer to frequently.

"Facebook ads don't work."

Creating a Facebook ad? Use your email newsletter subscriber list to create a Custom Audience. You can target your ad directly to the people you want to reach.

Instead of just Boosting a post on Facebook, target it specifically to a segment of people you want to reach. Be sure to include Facebook's tracking pixel on your site, so you can measure conversions.

"Too much noise and clutter."

Create Twitter and Facebook lists of people you want to stay in touch with. This helps you cut through the clutter. Use LinkedIn and Facebook Groups to keep in touch with peers.

"Things change too often."

Dealing with the pace of change is never easy. Social networks and related tools and services seem to change all the time. To stay on top of change, I recommend subscribing to sites like and

Futureforth has recently started working with public speakers to help them with social media and inbound marketing. You can learn more at

Thank you to the following speakers for providing their insight: Linda Murray Bullard, John Morgan, Jason Luntz, John Haydon, Nicky Adinor, Richard Stiennon, Tod Maffin, Christopher Byrne, Jacqueline Wolven, Bill Cates, Brian Walter, Shep Hyken, Mark Davis, Monica Wofford, Scott Schwertly, Jan Freitag, Hugh Culver, and Dorie Clark.

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean newspaper.

I Want to Be Your Keynote Speaker

Dave Delaney

  Dave Delaney Speaking

This has been an incredible year of speaking at conferences, companies and events. I'm truly blessed to have the opportunities to share my stories, tips and techniques with audiences.

Here are some highlights from this year

  • Surrounded by friends and peers who I admire, I began the year speaking at New Media Expo in Las Vegas.
  • I provided the keynote presentation for the VMUG Conference in Nashville and Boston.
  • I got to present in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at the MoSo Music and Social Conference where I made new friends and heard tons of amazing music.
  • I recently returned from the Limitless Business Day Conference in St. John's, Newfoundland, a beautiful place everyone needs to visit.
  • A major highlight of the year was my keynote presentation to nearly 1,300 students at the American Marketing Association's Youth Collegiate Conference in New Orleans.
  • I was the Nashville Technology Council and LinkedIn's keynote speaker at the LinkedIn Live Conference.
  • My speaking travels even took me to Birmingham, Alabama, where I was snowed in! The freak blizzard resulted in my missing my chance to meet Neil Young (it's a long story), but I had a great time getting to know the attendees better.


speakingIt began with comedy

I absolutely love to present to different audiences. Whether it's a corporate training session or an auditorium with over a thousand people, I thrive on this. It took me years to realize how much I enjoy public speaking, but I suppose I should have known because of my background.

Many people don't know that I am a Second City (Toronto) graduate. When I lived in Ireland, I had an improv comedy troupe. We performed improv shows each week in Galway, which always had our audience in stitches. It's this experience that brings my quirky sense of humor to the forefront when I present. If nobody laughs, I get nervous, luckily they always laugh (sometimes even with me).


Why hire me?

Most conferences hire me to be their keynote speaker to get the audience pumped up and ready to make the most of their time attending. My main presentation is called New Business Networking (the same as my book and podcast). By teaching the attendees (organizers and sponsors) how to network effectively, they have a better time at the conference and this results in new business, partnerships, hires and friendships.

If attendees have a great time and find value in your conference they will return next year and bring their friends. Who doesn't want their conference to grow, right?


2015 or bust

Next year is just about here, 2015 is right around the corner. Let's talk about how I will make your conference a massive success by arming your attendees with everything they need to get the most bang for their buck. Whether it's how to be social using social media to build relationships, or how to listen effectively to remember names and faces, there's plenty in my presentations for everyone (even Neil Young).

Pick up the phone and call me at 615-823-1608 today or email me Let's get the ball rolling and make 2015 amazing together.

If you would like to read recommendations, see a short video and learn about my other presentations please visit my speaking page.