How To Out-perform and Out-deliver Other Speakers


by Burt Dubin on May 14, 2014


How to out-perform and

out-deliver other speakers

I felt a thrill, a rare thrill. It seemed the faces of my audience lit up.  After my last sentence a hush filled the meeting room. There wasn’t a sound. A few dabbed at their eyes. Others sat with their mouth open.

What happened? I’d simply been who I am, doing what I do.I’d surrendered to that chance to be of service. I’d allowed inner wisdom to bubble to the surface.

The words were not even related to my topic.

And the words left the audience spellbound, at least for the moment. This was in St. Louis, a program I was delivering for Dible Management Development Systems, very early in my national speaking career, circa 1982—1983.

That evening, over a Michelob, (OK, 2 Michelobs, darn, can’t get away with anything,) I reflected on this mystical magic and the circumstances that engendered it.

And I awakened to what happened. And to how I could recreate it at will with other audiences.

Years later I became a mentor for my fellow speakers. I created the Speaking Success System. I started teaching my Inner Circle Members

how to do what I did. And I was not going to tell others.

Well I came around. The following quote by my brother in spirit is why.


“The true vocation of the awakened human being is not acquiring personal power. It is helping others to find theirs.”

Jeff Salz PhD, in “The Way of Adventure”, ISBN 0-471-08205-8


Here’s what to do to prepare to release this power to impact your audiences:

1. Pretend you are invited to present a speech at the major hotel in your area.

You are to have exactly 55 minutes on the platform.

This speech is to be your last speech on this earth.

Your audience is to consist of 2000 business leaders, political figures, thought leaders in your part of your country.

After your speech you are to be escorted to a spacecraft.This spacecraft is to take you out of our solar system. 0ut of our galaxy. You are to be taken to a galaxy far away. Why? Because you have evolved to a point that your wisdom is appropriate for humanoids dwelling on a far-away planet. You are not coming back.

2. This speech is your last chance to influence life on this earth.

This speech is your heart message. That’s what I call it, your heart message. It is your legacy . . .

What will you say?

2.1 What will you say to give this influential group of people more hope?

2.2 What will you say to help them love themselves more?

2.3 What will you say to guide them to be more effective in all they do?

2.4 What will you say to put them in touch with their own magnificence?

3. Write out (or key in) your responses to the 4 questions above.

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From this moment on make this your rule:

Every program you deliver is to be a tapestry. Think of the nature of a tapestry. Threads run two ways. Vertically and horizontally. In weaving, the lengthwise threads are called the warp. Crosswise threads are the weft. Your program is to be a tapestry of wisdom. The warp is the assigned topic. The weft is your heart message. You interweave these into the tapestry you present.

Deliver your assigned message as planned. However—and this is the key—just as music has counterpoint melodies, obbligato if you prefer, allow your heart message to be the counterpoint, the obbligato. Included to prove points, to illustrate insights. The melody is the assigned topic. And the counterpoint, the obbligato if you prefer, is your heart message.

I didn’t say this would be easy. With practice it becomes easier and more natural. You are actually delivering two messages in the same program.

Your heart message comes off as asides, unplanned insights you thought of in the moment. Your audience has an unacknowledged hunger, a yearning, a receptivity to these spiritual truths. You satisfy this unspoken inner desire as you deliver the assigned program.

Your delivery strategies:

1. Complete each sentence as you look one person directly in the eye.

2. Pause. Look at another receptive face. Repeat. Etc., etc., etc . . .

3. Prove your points with your stories.

“Why is the story so powerful? It speaks in the language of the species. Its structure is natural. it permits you to speak easily, openly, powerfully, from your heart zone. A story touches us in our tenders, in those soft unprotected places where our decisions are made.”

4. Invest your words with emotion, with your feelings.

“Tune in to the power of the heart zone. Tell me how it was! How it is!

Make me see it! Make me feel it! Make me understand! Make me care!”

5. Allow your emotion and your feelings to radiate out to your audience.

“Open the floodgates. Focus on your feelings. Feel your feelings. Feel your passion for your ideas. Feel the fervor that comes steaming up. Feel the love that caresses. Feel the joy. Let your feelings run free.”

(Quoted words above are by Gerry Spence, ISBN 0-312-11827-9.)

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You have it. And I cannot take it back. The cat is out of the bag.

However . . .

Are you to yawn and say to yourself that you’ll engage this wisdom some day. (Let’s face it, most readers will not invest the energy to harvest the value in this article.)

Or are you to take your speaking to a new dimension? Are you to lift it into a higher orbit? Are you to spread your wings and soar? You can do it if you want to. And you’ve got to want to enough to do it.


Afterword regarding the Brave New World series (Issue #47): No, it is neither abandoned nor is it forgotten. I am steeped in the research. It turned out to be a tougher task than anticipated. I expect to resume it next issue.

Burt Dubin works with people who want to  be speakers and  speakers who want to be masters.


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