I love traveling the world giving speeches. I’ve actually presented in 42 countries. I was recently on a quest to reach 100 countries. I’m now at 102, and have visited seven continents, so I’m lucky to be able to have found jobs as a marketing and sales strategist, author, and speaker that give me opportunities to travel all over the world.

Related: How to Create An Engaging Presentation

How Did You Develop Your Professional Speaking Skills?

In 2007, I moved back to the Boston area, and my book The New Rules of Marketing and PR became an instant hit. A lot of people were asking me to come speak. I could have booked myself every single week! Soon, I started to speak at much bigger conferences.

Related: Step by Step Guide to Making a Compelling Presentation

I realized that I was an okay speaker, but there were some great speakers on these stages and I’ve had to figure out how I could be as good as they were.

I worked hard at it and I got better. I got to the point where about two or three years ago, I realized, “my gosh, a lot of the things I’m doing on stage are what rock stars do on stage.”

Learning from the Stars Themselves

Then, I actually started to go to rock shows specifically to watch what they were doing with body language, what they were doing with their hands, how they were holding the microphone, what they would do when they walked out, what they would do when they finished, how they would transition from one song to another. I would pay really close attention, and in many cases, I would go to shows specifically just to do that.

business presentations

When presenting in front of an audience, you must captivate the crowd. Just like rockstars do!

So I developed some techniques I’ve never seen other speakers do.As a result of that, of learning from rock stars, of practicing, and also injecting my own style into it, I’ve gotten much better.

Related: Presentations: Ditch The PowerPoint & Captivate Your Audience

Never follow a “competitor”. Always follow someone in a completely different industry, or model yourself on something totally radical that’s utterly different from the business you’re in. I don’t think about what would another speaker be doing this case, because that’s going to screw me up. I think, what would a rock star do in this situation? And that’s where I tend to go.

Business presentations

Never follow a competitor, always try to be different.

So I think an entrepreneur should do the same thing. If you’re starting a company, if you’re starting a software company, and not sure whether you want to model yourself after another software company or your biggest competitor, model yourself on someone completely different.