From Stage Fright to Stage Might!

18 Essential Questions (And Their Answers*)

by Joel Saltzman


*NOTE: All answers provided at the end. But first, try to fill in each _________ on your own.

1. "Why am I giving this speech?"
You give a speech or make a presentation to _________________________
- not just give information. If that were your goal, your audience could just as well

2. "What's my intention or call-to-action?"
As a result of my presentation, what do I want my audience to ________________?

3. "Who is my audience?"
Do your research. Make phone calls. Speak to members of your audience in advance. That way, you'll be able to speak directly to their ___________________________________________.

4. "What do I talk about?"
There are three things to talk about. Period.
Things you _______________________.
Things you _______________________.

5. "What if it's a boring topic?"
Then it's your job to make it _________________!

6. "What if I'm not perfect?"
You won't be. And no one will care. I once got fortune cookie that saved my life. It read: "In order to succeed more often, __________________________________________."
In other words: Don't let the fear of not being "perfect" put you in a tizzy. Follow these tips, do your best ... and do even better the next time out.

7. "Won't my audience be critical of my talk?"
Not as critical as you'll be! As Joni Mitchell put it: "Nobody's harder on me than me. How____________________________???"
In fact, your audience is on your ______!

8. "What's the best way to NOT be nervous?"
Be _______. The more you're ________, the less you'll have to be nervous about!
Meanwhile, the more _____________ you are, the easier it is to be spontaneous.

9. "How do I 'structure' my talk?"
Stick to the radio rule: Tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em (_____________)
... tell 'em (_______________) ...
tell 'em what you've told 'em (________________).

10. "But what if I need to convey a lot of information?"
Give 'em less. Stick to __________main points. Meanwhile, look to make your points in unique, memorable ways, like:
"Blah, _______________________________ !"

11. "Should I memorize?"
_____! Instead of memorizing your speech, create a series of "sign-posts" - points or stories you plan to discuss. That way, your talk will appear more natural - which it will be! - as you spontaneously expand on each point. (It's always smart, however, to memorize your ______________________________________________.)

12. "What about PowerPoint?"
Creating slides that outline your talk is a great way keep you on track - and keep you spontaneous. Just don't overdo it. PowerPoint consultant Paul DiModica advises his clients to use as few slides as possible (no more than ______), use fewer bullet points per slide and keep each line to _______words or less. "That forces people to be more ____________________ with the audience."

13. "Is there a way to provide visuals WITHOUT using PowerPoint?"

Absolutely! Use props, like Joel's __________________ or _____________.
Or create "visuals" by telling ____________________ about yourself and your family.

14. "What kinds of stories should I tell?"
Stories about your ___________ are always a good idea - as long as you don't make fun of your spouse or children. (After all, they're not here to defend themselves.) Better yet, let your audience know how YOU ________________
in the past; but you learned from those mistakes and that's why you're here today - to share your knowledge and help them avoid making the same kind of errors. It reveals your humanity and makes you CREDIBLE - someone who's telling the TRUTH, warts 'n all. ("Wow, he's telling us the TRUTH!") Also, allow for stories where ___________________is the hero.

15. "Is it important to practice?"
No, it's __________________. Practice your speech in front of someone you trust. See where their eyes glaze over and where they ______________. And be alert for sections where you feel awkward or uncomfortable. Meanwhile, listen for memorable phrases that "pop out of your mouth" - and be sure to write them down - like "If you can talk, you can __________" (a phrased that "popped" out of my mouth one night and, a few years later, became the title of my first book). And let your listener interrupt you with _______________ now and then - so you can rework your remarks or be prepared should the same questions crop up.

16. "My talk is at nine in the morning. What time should I show up?"
__________. Give yourself plenty of time to set things up, work out any kinks with the microphone and become familiar with the room. Also, give yourself the time to "meet and greet" as many members of the audience as possible. That way, the person who'll be speaking to them won't be a _______________. (And the people to whom you'll be speaking won't be _________________ either.)

17. "What's the absolute MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember?"
____________. From Martin Luther King to Bruce Springsteen, passion is the spark that starts the fire, the magnet that draws people in. Share your passion and vision, and few can resist. Remember: Your goal is not to "talk to" people, but to "pull them ________."

18. "What if I do everything you recommend but feel I still need your help?"
Feel free to contact me by phone or e-mail and I'll be glad to try to help you _____.
You can also visit my web site for more information, especially the _______ page.
Or you can hire me for a variety of "Shake That Brain!"® programs.
I also provide group and one-on-one coaching to get you and your people speaking like _______!


1. inspire, entertain, persuade, provoke; read about it
2. DO
3. interests, needs, goals and dreams
4. care deeply about; know a lot about; both
5. interesting!
6. lower your expectations
7. could they be
8. prepared; prepared; prepared
9. beginning; middle; end
10. 2-3; blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, GOLD!"
11. NO!; first line or two
12. 8; 6; spontaneous
13. electric drill; lightbulb; stories
14. family; screwed-up; someone else
15. ESSENTIAL!; light up; write; questions
16. Eight; stranger; strangers
18. out, Articles, pros


Joel Saltzman is a speaker, facilitator and consultant who teaches people in business to Shake That Brain! and discover solutions for maximum profit.
Joel can be reached Toll Free at 877-Shake It! (877-742-5348).