sly : marketing

Public speaking – speak to one person

She asked me what I was doing to prepare for the speech, and why I was closing my eyes in the park, sitting next to a three.

I kept my eyes closed while telling her that I work where I belong.

How I prepare for public speaking

What about last night? She asked.

Last night. Well, I was speaking to a group of 50 people. As I was standing there, looking at each one of them, I realized one thing, I told her.

I find it a lot easier to focus on one person, no matter how large the crowd is. I don’t think about it, it just a spur-of-the-moment thing, that happens as I’m standing there, just before I start to speak.

It’s not what you think

I always do my best to help my customer imagine by using storytelling. As I’m speaking to the crowd, I’m not looking to the right, nor to the left. I’m looking at her.

Who? Do I know her?

It’s not like that, I said.

You would think that it would be either a random person in the audience, or a specific type of person at a specific chair in the audience, but that’s not it.

I don’t look at a specific person in the audience. I imagine a person. Sometimes it’s a person I know. Sometimes it’s not. I imagine where the person is, not just that the person is attending, but I imagine the person doing something that might be completely different, and I’m doing the speech to her (it’s not always her).

While I’m looking at my imaginary person, the person who’s actually in that seat might think that I’m looking straight at her, but in fact, I might not notice her at all.

Oh, she said. I’ve talked to a lot of people about public speaking, but this is different.

How do you prepare, the minutes before it’s your turn? Do you go through everything, memorizing… ?


Sometimes, just before I speak, I think of something completely different, I said. Sometimes I think of life in Tuscany. Or a road trip with my son.

It makes me relax.

When I speak I always think of opportunities to help others. I want to inspire people to do something remarkable.

I opened my eyes. Her voice had dissappeared. Darkness was surrounding me. She was never there. I’d imagined her, talking to me, asking me questions to help me prepare for my next speech.

Sometimes – this is how creativity is born.

2 responses to “Public speaking – speak to one person”

  1. Hi Jens,

    This makes perfect sense because successful speakers connect to people on a 1 to 1 basis. Like, when I did the public speaking bit I practiced making eye contact with individuals. This is where the bond grows, and this is where you begin to really gain power as a speaker. Seeing 1 person makes perfect sense. Powerful practice!

    Tweeting from Bali.


    • Hi Ryan,

      I used to be afraid of public speaking, but practicing helps and that no matter how large the audience is, if I focus on just one person I don’t think about and it makes me stay focused and do my best.

      Bali sounds awesome. I’m in Norway 🙂

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