Speaking At Short Notice...How to make an Impact!

Speaking at Short Notice…How to make an Impact!

   The generals gathered in small groups around the hall, drawn to their headquarters by a call from the Commander in Chief for an update on the latest tactics for success on the battlefield. The chatter cut through the room as they waited patiently for the expert on latest techniques and equipment which would give the battalion the edge over the enemy situated across the river

   The huddle of uniforms showed that all of the services were represented, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Special Forces, men and women who had served in war zones all over the world. Some had seen many conflicts, battle-hardened, others were newly promoted and stood quietly around the edges of the various cliques, answering only when they were spoken to.

And then, the door opened, the room went quiet…When they looked towards the door it was filled by the frame of the Commander in Chief, a man of imposing strength and an aura of authority. He spoke…

“Ladies-Gentlemen, take a seat!”

    The room needed no second invitation, they moved like clockwork to the chairs set out around a map of the battlefield, their eyes on the imposing figure on the stage…

“Ladies-Gentlemen. The expert has been held up on the M6…the meeting is cancelled…

   Unlikely. Of course. But how often has this happened to business and network groups, up and down the country, all the time?

1.       How often have you turned up to a conference on a subject which you know could move your business forward, only to find the speaker hasn’t been able to turn up?

2.       How often have you heard the words “We’ve had to cancel the keynote speech?”

3.       How often have you been able to put your hand up and say I’ll do it?

   It happened at the network meeting I attended today. The speaker had been announced and the subject was one I was interested in, except he hadn’t been able to make it. So, was the meeting cancelled? Was the 18 minute 4Sight overlooked and replaced with general networking? Was it a waste of time going?

   Of course not! My only disappointment was that I didn’t have the opportunity to put my hand up. The man himself, Gary Jones had stepped in at short notice and delivered a 4Sight which was full of the tips and techniques of applying social media messages with the minimum fuss.

   Tips and techniques which I have come home and put into practice straight away. So what was the outcome of this presentation for Gary?


1. He was able to practice a presentation he wants to take forward, in a safe arena, to a supportive audience.

2. He received a real ovation for the presentation, which was delivered clearly, on time and without verbal crutches.

3. The kudos of putting his hand up, standing up and speaking up impressed all of us who know Gary…how much business can Gary pick up from the newcomers to the group, those who didn’t know they needed social media training until they heard Gary speak.

   Remember: When you turn up to a meeting- Turn Up with a purpose. When you stand up to present your message- Stand up to be memorable. When you speak up at a meeting- Speak up to be memorable.

 Turn Up – Stand Up – Speak Up with Ernie Boxall


P.S. The Christmas period will allow all of us to spend some time working on our pitches, our 4Sights, our facilitation slots and our keynote presentations.

Check out the ‘4 Unwittingly Made Mistakes Many People Make When Speaking…and the 10 Tips to Solve Them!” at http://www.erniesaid.info

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