Creative Ways to Prepare

One thing we always tell our clients: do whatever it takes to get yourself prepared to give your next speech. Of course that means practicing your material, but preparing can also be about getting used to the space you’ll be using—the angles of the room, the sight lines, even the A/V system you’ll be using so you won’t run into any surprises.

Then there are personal ways in which we all prepare our minds and our bodies to increase our odds of success in front of an important audience. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a few interesting ways that people in the public eye have gotten themselves ready for a presentation.

Head-to-Toe. Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, received an invitation to present at Google Camp, a fairly secret gathering of Google VIPs held in Sicily this summer. Somewhere in the process of planning for his speech, Harry (or one of the event planners) decided that he would give his speech barefoot.

How do you prepare for a shoeless presentation? The day before his presentation, which he spent with his young family at a spa, Prince Harry had one of the staff give him a pedicure so that his feet would sparkle for all the Google-ites. We’re not sure how his speech went overall, but it’s likely someone noticed that his toenails were polished like royalty!

Nothing But the Tooth. At last month’s ESPY award ceremony—always a source of top-quality speeches—the NHL Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues were honored for the best team comeback of the year. As the team members stepped up to the stage, center Ryan O’Reilly grabbed the microphone to address the gathering of A-list celebs on behalf his fellow Blues players.

But first, Ryan needed a moment to prepare himself. He reached up and took out his front tooth, telling the audience: “Before I speak, I gotta take my tooth out so I dont spit on any of the celebs in the front row.” He delivered the rest of his speech looking a bit like a seven-year-old who had just received a visit from the tooth fairy. Ryan showed us how speakers should do “whatever it takes” to get their minds and bodies ready! Watch the moment here.

Rockin’ and Rappin’. Most of our clients and readers know that we blast Springsteen music to get ourselves pumped up for an important moment. Earlier this year, we learned that presidential candidate Kamala Harris also turns to music. Her communications director tweeted a video of her “grooving” to rapper Cardi B’s “I Like It” while preparing for her announcement of her candidacy for the Democratic nomination.

We think she’s one of the better presenters on the campaign trail these days. And remember, she spent some of her childhood living in Urbana, IL! Keep on dancing, Kamala!

Tramps Like Us. Life coach and motivational speaker Tony Robbins has a go-to routine to prepare himself for a presentation no matter where his is—he bounces. He uses mini-trampolines—though he calls them “rebounders”—and believes that stimulating his body changes his physiology and removes toxins. He has these tramps in his home, at his office, and makes sure to have one available whenever he travels, both for his morning routine and his pre-seminar preparation.

We’re always interested in hearing how all you young presenters out there get yourselves ready for a speech. If you’re willing to share your secret with us, we’ll do our best to make you famous.

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David Steuart
Quality Director, The Walsh Group

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