Speech and Presentation Development

For Everyone’s Sake – Three Tips to Break the Freeze in Intense Conversations

By Shelley Hayes, Chief Empowerment Officer, Empowerment Inc.

Have you ever found yourself at a loss for words, unable to speak up with challenging clients, investors, co-workers, bosses, or family members in intense or awkward moments? Or, have you been in an intense conversation with someone and noticed a change in them but weren’t sure what was happening? For some of us, in that moment of being unable to speak, we are experiencing ‘the freeze’ which is part of the fight, flight, freeze, fawn phenomenon. Follow the three tips below to keep communication flowing in both directions, for everyone’s sake.

Speaker Kathryn Kolaczek For Your Next Event


Serial Entrepreneur, Author and CEO Kathryn Kolaczek is a dynamic communicator who engages and entertains audiences while they learn from her expertise launching and managing organizations. Through her agency Alchemy Communications Kathryn has guided small businesses, nonprofits and entrepreneurs to profitability and achieving their goals.

Learn more about Kathryn (Bechthold) Kolaczek on LinkedIn

Keynote Speaker • Trainings • Workshops • Moderator

  • Entrepreneurism: You've Got to Use What You've Got
  • Small Business: Marketing, PR, and Communications
  • Nonprofit: Building Through PR, Marketing and Fundraising
  • StartUps: Funding, Growth and Moving On
  • Mompreneur Life: You Can Run a Business While Running a Family
  • Public Relations: Promoting Your Business or Cause with Strategic PR 
  • Social Media: Managing Your Digital Profile for Business Growth

 Kathryn is available for
consulting, speaking and workshops



Did You Deliver a Great Speech? 3 Ways to Repurpose Your Presentation


You have been asked to deliver a speech or presentation to your professional group, investors, schools or a community organization. You may have hired a speech writing professional to assist you, or spent hours researching your topic. Perhaps this is your first presentation, or you have a file full of presentations you've given. Considerable work goes into writing, rehearsing and delivering a presentation. Whether your presentation was 5 minutes, or 55 minutes, chances are once its finished, it's over. For most presenters there are no reporters in the audience, waiting to broadcast your message across the internet. It's up to you share your knowledge, grow your brand and establish yourself a subject matter expert by repurposing your presentation to reach a broader audience.

3 Strategies to Repurpose Your Speech

1. Post your Presentation on SlideShare

SlideShare is an easy-to-use site for sharing your presentations, PowerPoints, webinars, videos and other professional documents. SlideShare is owned by LinkedIn, so if you're on LinkedIn, expand your reach by posting your presentations on this social media platform. SlideShare ranks in the top 120 most-visited websites on the world, with 60 million unique visitors in a month and 215 million page views. SlideShare just launched an app last week, making it easier to use and more accessible to your audience.

Convert your speech into a SlideShare presentation, and share it on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other networks. You can even restrict your presentation to a private audience.


~ SlideShare 101 from Amit Ranjan

2. Submit Your Speech to Industry Blogs and Newsletters

Websites, agencies, and bloggers frequently welcome articles from guest bloggers and guest authors on topics of interest to their audience. What blogs and newsletter do you subscribe to? Review their sites for guest blogger guidelines, and see if your topic is of interest to their audience. Then edit your speech to meet the blog's guidelines, submit your article as a guest blogger, and enjoy the benefits of growing your audience!

3. Record and Post Your Speech as a Podcast

Do you have a file full of old presentations that you have delivered to applause and praise, but are now just gathering dust? Did you just deliver your first speech, and discovered you like presenting? Podcasts are a way to repurpose your presentation into an online audio presentation that can spread your message and grow your audience. Podcasting is popular for people to listen to on the go, and are typically freely accessed through podcast channels such as iTunes or posted on websites or YouTube. Depending on your needs, podcasting can easily be done at home with free tools, or you can invest in equipment to deliver upgraded podcast broadcasts.

If you haven't yet delivered your presentation, ask someone on the organizing committee or a friend or colleague to video some or all of your presentation. A high quality smartphone can record a nice intro to your podcast, or be posted on YouTube and other social media channels with links to your podcast.

For More Ideas on Repurposing Content
HubSpot: The Purpose of Repurposing Content
Search Engine Watch: Repurposing Content: Top Benefits, Techniques &Tools

Do You Speak Google Plus?


Google brings indomitable power to Google+ -- roughly equal, I'd say, to Apple having Steve Jobs as a CEO

~ Guy Kawasaki: author, evangelist

Is your business on Google Plus? G+ - aka Google + - is the social network of Google, and while never officially launched, G+ has attracted over 540 million active users per month - second only to Facebook. Google runs Google +: so the SEO implications of not being on G+ are staggering: why would you not want to be listed in the largest search engine in the world? So who's on G+? Primarily, businesses. Whether mega-business like Apple or Pepsi, or mom and pops, or solo-preneurs and non-profits every business should have and optimize their Google Plus page. If you have a gmail account (reminder: the g in gmail stands for Google!) you probably already have a G+ page, so you'd better make sure its presenting the image you want to project!

To get started on Google Plus, you need to learn the G+ jargon: Google created a whole new vocabulary that while not intimidating, is definitely unique.

Here are 5 Google Plus terms you need to know


Google organizes people or businesses you are following into circles. You can have as many circles as you want, and name them what you want: Friends, Family, Clients, Prospects, for example.


G+ communities are like forums: some groups are open to anyone, others are by invitation only from the founder. Communities are typically organized around a special interest or theme, and the community rules are established by the moderators. There are thousands of communities on thousands of topics, some with a few members, others with hundreds of thousands. And if you don't find the community you want, you can start your own!


Hangouts are the educational arm of G+. Free hangout video chats are either live or recorded, and can be open to the public or by invitation and rsvp only. Hangouts can be used to provide product introductions or trainings, discuss a specific topic or event, be a closed meeting for your sales team, have a cooking demonstration, or let family members around the world get together and visit. Hangouts can be viewed live via YouTube (also owned by Google) or via Facebook on an app, and can be replayed on demand if they are open to the public.

Plus 1

Plus One, +1, or Plus 1 is how you show that you like or agree or acknowledge a G+ comment or post. (You can also reply or share posts.) The more +1 a post gets, the more people who are engaged with that post. +1s are a sign of popularity and support: which goes straight back to your ranking and SERP results.


Ripples are a measurement of a post's reach or impressions. Just as +1 shows how many people engaged with a post, a ripple lets you see how many people saw the post, plus statistics on how much it was reshared, commented, and if top Google influencers saw the post. The 'ripple effect' demonstrates how popular a post was on Google Plus.

For More Information on Google +:
Social Media Examiner: Tools to Measure Google Plus
Entrepreneur: Why You Should Be On Google +

Nelson Mandela: Inspiring Speech Writers Everywhere


Long speeches, the shaking of fists, the banging of tables and strongly worded resolutions out of touch with the objective conditions do not bring about mass action and can do a great deal of harm to the organisation and the struggle we serve.

~ Nelson Mandela

Of all the leaders and great orators in history, Nelson Mandela was one of the most memorable. His speeches were empowering, inspiring, passionate and emotional. Mandela’s legacy was built on a multitude of speeches, starting with the landmark speech on which his freedom rested to his speaking tour that eventually led him to win the presidency of South Africa in 1994. Mandela exemplified leadership, and left behind lessons for communicators and speechwriters everywhere.

Nelson Mandela's Lessons for Speech Writers

Be Concise

Have one, clear message. Speeches can be a method to solve a problem or introduce new ideas. One powerful idea can change someone’s life. Mandela conducted a four year speaking tour focused on ending apartheid and setting up a new government in South Africa. His message stayed focused. It remained in the minds – and hearts – of those who heard him. Mandela’s message was clear in every speech he gave. Keep your message concise and focused.

Be Relevant

Modify your message to stay relevant to your audience. Mandela was adept at customizing his speech to the audience. When Mandela gave a speech in Harlem, he related his hardships to those of the people in Harlem. In every speech he found a way to connect to each person in the audience. He never gave the same speech twice because each time he adapted his message to the audience he was addressing, but in each speech he retained his key message.

Be Passionate

Successful speeches are all about passion, emotion, commitment and conviction. Mandeladelivered emotion and passion in his speeches. His speeches began with his intent to say something important. He related to his audience, and that relationship had passion, emotion, commitment and conviction.

Whether you are speaking to potential investors or for a cause you care about, a great speech can inspire and motivate change. Nelson Mandela gave the world many examples of effective speech content and delivery. Delivering a speech with passion, conviction and sincerity can inspire, teach or effect change.

For More About Public Speaking and Speeches
Forbes: Elements of a Great Speech
Associations Now: The Leadership Elements that Made Nelson Mandela an Icon

5 Tips for Making an Effective Speech


Entrepreneurs, business owners, executives and community volunteers are frequently called on to make presentations, speeches, or other public speaking engagements where you need to communicate your message clearly and thoroughly, and impress your audience while you're at it!

  • You're being honored by a professional organization
  • Your business has won an award
  • Your nonprofit is introducing a new service
  • You've been asked to introduce the keynote speaker or an award recipient
  • You're making a presentation to the board

Whether you've written your speech yourself, hired a professional communications expert or speechwriter, or your speech was written by a colleague: it's your job to deliver the speech in a persuasive manner. Not everyone is comfortable making public presentations: but everyone can improve their speech delivery skills.

5 Tips to Improve Your Speech Delivery Skills

  1. Know your audience:
    You're probably already familiar with who will be in your audience: colleagues, the press, community members. But before your speech take some time to speak to several members of the audience. Not only will this calm your nerves, but it will make a warmer, friendlier more receptive audience for your speech.
  2. Make speech notes:
    Some experienced public speakers read directly from their written speech: you've seen the teleprompters that celebrities, politicians and conference presenters use. Others speak from notes or outlines that are carefully numbered, highlighted and give cues, such as look at audience now, pause here, laugh out loud. Other polished presenters plan their presentations in their head, and deliver their speeches extemporaneously from memory. Find out which system works for you and use it: even if you're an experienced speaker, notes are are good to have as a back-up plan.
  3. Practice, practice, then practice again:
    Rehearsing your speech before you present it to a live audience is a good method to become more comfortable with your topic, and work out any rough spots or unclear messages. You can practice in front of a mirror, in front of friends, colleagues or family, or video yourself; practice is a sure-fire way to make sure you're prepared and ready to deliver your speech. Rehearsal also offers the opportunity to time your speech: what looks like a 10 minute speech on paper make turn into a 20 minutes speech when presented before a live audience.
  4. Arrive early to walk through the equipment:
    Will you be speaking from a podium? Is there a fixed mic, or a microphone attached to your lapel? Do you have a projector and slides,  who will be operating the slides? Some speakers bring their own equipment, others use equipment that is provided for them. Don't let your speech be side-tracked by equipment problems. If you're bringing your own equipment, make sure you also have extra batteries, extension cords, and anything else your AV equipment requires. If the site is providing your AV equipment, find out what equipment will be used before your presentation so your slides are compatible, schedule an orientation session to become familiar with their equipment and find out whether you or someone assigned to assist you will be operating the equipment.
  5. Be your authentic self:
    If you're not naturally a funny person, don't try to be a comic in your speech. If you're enthusiastic about your topic, know your facts, and speak with conviction the audience will find you authentic and credible.

As you become a more experienced public speaker, your presentation skills will change and you will become a more confident and effective presenter: even if you never actually enjoy making public presentations.

Public speaking and executive communications - speeches, shareholder presentations, funding proposals, board presentations, sales proposals, introductions, acceptance speeches - are timely, critical opportunities to communicate your message in a clear, understandable voice that delivers results. Strategic messaging and speech writing are an opportunity that can make – or break – your business.

For More Public Speaking Tips:
Small Business Trends: 13 Tips for Delivering a Memorable Keynote Speech
Six Minutes: Speaking and Presentation Skills