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My Keynote Address and Speaking for Consultants

By Michael Zipursky

I recently gave a keynote for the Canadian Association of Certified Management Consultants. It was their annual award dinner and AGM held at the Hyatt Regency.

I’ve provided several workshops and trainings for the CMC. It’s a great group of people and this event was no different.

To grow you must leave your COMFORT zone. Push yourself directly into that fear until you’ve faced it DIRECTLY in the face and it no longer scares you.

At the end of the event one of the consultants came up to me and asked “Do you do this a lot? I mean, speaking, you’re very good at it? Do you have to practice a lot?”

Yes, it was a long question. I could sense the excitement on her face as she spoke.

My response: “I enjoy speaking.”

You see, I’ve never been ‘formally’ trained as a speaker. Neither have I ever taken a speaking class.

The consultant seemed very surprised. “Really? Wow…” she said.

“It feels natural…” I went on to tell her.

Speaking is great for business. Almost every time I give a keynote, workshop or other address I have people lining up to speak to me and give me their business card. And in most cases it leads to business and more revenue growth.

BUT, the IDEA of speaking wasn’t always natural for me.

In fact, I remember my first speaking gig. I was asked by a large financial institution to speak to their clients on how marketing can help grow their business.

I arrived at the venue early. I spent the next 10 minutes in my car looking at myself in the rear-view mirror. Was I nervous? Oh yeah!

It was my first real presentation and certainly not my best.

But I did it.

It happened again when I gave my first keynote. I felt nervous the day I accepted the company’s offer. And I felt nervous up until the day I delivered it.

But I did it.

Every talk and presentation I’ve given since has been a joy and pleasure.

When I told the consultant at the recent event “it feels natural” it’s because when I start the presentation and talk I do feel at ease. One hour flies by like it was 20 minutes. I could keep going and going. I love sharing and helping others.

Imagine what would have happened if I turned down that first speaking opportunity so many years ago because I gave way to my fear? That’s right, NOTHING would have happened.

To grow you must leave your COMFORT zone. Push yourself directly into that fear until you’ve faced it DIRECTLY in the face and it no longer scares you.

What fear do you currently face? What action aren’t you taking in your business in your life that may be holding you back?

I encourage you to step RIGHT into it.

You’ll win and you’ll prosper.
Michael Zipursky

PS: On whether or not I practice? Of course, the more prepared you are for your presentation the more comfortable and confident you’ll be. This in turn means you’ll give a better presentation, inspire, motivate, excite and impress the audience. And that’s good business.

PPS: If you’re looking to book a speaker for your next event I welcome you to get in touch here: Michael’s speaking page

4 thoughts on “My Keynote Address and Speaking for Consultants

  1. I agree it’s a joy and a pleasure to speak in front of groups. It still amazes me that it’s one of the top fears most people have (next to dying).

    As a Trainer, one of the things that always makes my presentations go smoothly is I ask myself 3 questions:

    1)Where is my audience at today?
    2)Where do I want them to be when I finish?
    3)What is the best way to get them there?

    My entire presentation then focuses on question #3. If I do that, 90% of my presentations/talks/trainings go smooth!

  2. Sonia says:

    Join Toastmasters an international leadership and public speaking organization started in 1924

  3. That’s great Elaine. Speaking isn’t my main focus on business. I enjoy it and have several opportunities as companies and associations reach out often.

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