Episode #476

3 Speaking Tips You've Probably Never Heard Before

With Matt Abrahams

“If we can remind ourselves that we’re in service of our audience, we have value to bring as a professional speaker, somebody determined that you have something of value to say to this audience, and if you remind yourself of that, it will turn down all of that negative self talk and really help you focus in the moment.”

Matt Abrahams has made a life teaching people how to become great communicators, and today, he’s sharing his expertise with us. Grant and Matt sit down to dig into what Matt teaches daily to coach speakers, sales teams, entrepreneurs, and more.

If you want to become a better speaker with strategic growth efforts, Matt’s advice will help you craft a killer keynote to build your confidence and deeply reach the audiences you’re engaging with; this episode is for you.

“So if you can remind yourself of the things that get you excited about what you’re speaking on, and if you can remind yourself of the potential value that the audience has to take from what you’re saying, those are things that can get you excited.”

In this episode, Matt and Grant cover:

  • How to read the audience for patterns to inform your content
  • The levels of engagement to create buy-in from your audience
  • How to bio-hack your speaking confidence
  • What it looks like to get comfortable handling hecklers
  • How to facilitate an engaging and beneficial QA session
  • Pro tips to focus on connection vs perfection to better reach your audience


“And minimally viable product design says that when you want to create a new product or service, the very first thing you do is you go out and you talk to your users and understand what are their pain points, what are their issues, what are their challenges, and then you build frameworks to test it. So you get out and you’re rapidly prototyping ideas. You’re taking feedback, you’re iterating.”

Episode Chapters:

  • 05:58 Can you get the same results testing on social media as you get live?
  • 10:15 What is the right balance to engaging an audience?
  • 13:41 Let’s talk about preparing to be on stage…what does that look like?
  • 16:05 How to create talks that engage with the audience on 3 levels.
  • 19:54 Tips to combat anxiety.
  • 27:58 How to run a great QA session.
  • 30:43 What you can do to mitigate and handle tricky situations in a QA session.
  • 35:03 Tips for interacting with the audience after your talk.

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About Matt Abrahams

Matt Abrahams is a leading expert in communication with decades of experience as an educator, author, podcast host, and coach. As a Lecturer in Organizational Behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, he teaches popular classes in strategic communication and effective virtual presenting. He received Stanford GSB’s Alumni Teaching Award in recognition of his teaching students around the world. Outside of the classroom, Matt is a sought-after keynote speaker and communication consultant. He has helped countless presenters improve and hone their communication, including some who have delivered IPO road shows as well as Nobel Prize, TED, and World Economic Forum presentations. His online talks garner millions of views and he hosts the popular, award-winning podcast Think Fast, Talk Smart The Podcast. His new book Think Faster, Talk Smarter: How to Speak Successfully When You’re Put on the Spot provides tangible, actionable skills to help even the most anxious of speakers succeed when speaking spontaneously, such as navigating Q&A sessions, shining in job interviews, providing effective feedback, making small talk, fixing faux pas, persuading others. His previous book Speaking Up without Freaking Out: 50 Techniques for Confident and Compelling Presenting has helped thousands of people manage speaking anxiety and present more confidently and authentically.

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