How to Make a Great First Impression on Stage

This week's question from my portal “The Neagle Code: Directions
for Life”
comes from Hilda.

Neagle                 Code Question

Hi David,

I have my first speaking opportunity coming up in 3 weeks. I can’t sell from stage, but I can make a free offer. I’m having trouble deciding how to start my talk. Do I thank the host and then jump right in?

Neagle                                               Code Answer

Hilda, I’m so glad you asked this question.

I see so many speakers make the mistake you’re about to make.

In short, NEVER open a presentation by thanking the host or the audience for being there. It’s terrible positioning and leaves the audience wondering who you are.

Instead, take control of the audience.

Let me explain.

Walk out onto the stage with confidence and energy, and immediately give the audience a directive.

Ask them to take out a piece of paper and write something down.

Ask them to close their eyes and think about something specific.

Ask them to DO something.

This lets your audience know that you’re in control and it also allows you time to settle in and calm the adrenaline that’s pumping in your body.

It shows you are confident, and sets the tone for the entire presentation.

Do this and you’ll set yourself up for a successful experience right from the beginning.

Just Believe,®
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  1. This is an awesome mini lesson to learn for any upcoming speaking engagement, whether first or so twenty first!

    Thank you David! As always, you rock.

    • That’s great Tina. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your many upcoming speaking engagements. You’re going to nail them!

  2. Hi David! 100% of the freelance professional in my industry quotes & bills clients by hour.
    Well, there is always going to be someone offering a lower hourly fee than myself. Clients often wouldn’t know the different between hiring me – and getting the entirety of what I as a top notch professional has to offer and hiring the lower rated person. There goes the potential clients & projects. How do I break this hour-for-dollar model please?

    I’m at a critical point if I don’t have a (better) strategy or billing model, my income not only may not grow, but may shrink due to newer people in the market share.

    Thank you for answering my question, David.

    • Thanks for the question Mimi. First off, why are you comparing yourself and your services with those around you? You set your prices based on the value you add to those you work with, not what someone else is charging. People buy people, and if you services are top notch like you write here then you should be attracting the clients you want to work with. Not only that, you should be telling them exactly what they can expect to get from those services. It may be as simple as a shift in your marketing strategy. Now, as for the ‘hour for dollar’ model, have you considered shifting to a retainer model? My organization uses that very thing for certain freelance tasks and it seems to benefit all those involved. Give that a shot and continue to test what works best for your market. They clients are out there.