How to Deliver a Great Speech

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  • “A great speech is indicated by the number of life truths you share. The wisdom you share resonates with your audience if you get them to think about their lives, their purpose, and their days differently.”
  • If your mission is to serve the world, then you need to SHARE that message with your audience. Put yourself in situations that help you become a better speaker, communicator, and leader. Speaking your message authentically to others: THAT’S how you change the world.
  • “When your fear becomes secondary to your enthusiasm for your purpose, that’s when everything changes.”
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  • This is a MUST WATCH episode about how to become a better, stronger, and more impactful speaker so you can make a real difference in people’s lives.
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of Youtube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

Hey all! I thought I’d shoot this video for you because I’m in a hotel right now and I just got off stage about 30 minutes ago from speaking to 4,000 people at this conference. I was the keynote.

I am constantly asked, “How does that feel? What do you think about it? What do you do?”

I got 4,000 people up on their feet clapping and dancing. And then, I received a standing ovation.

I’ve been blessed to speak to the Bridgestone Arena with 18,000 people or the Superdome in New Orleans with 20,000 people. I’m on the road and I speak to about 50,000 people live a year. It’s constant.

People ask me tons of questions about my career and how I do this, so I thought I’d shoot this video on how to give a great speech.

So, how do you give a great speech? How do you think through it? What do you need to do?

I get these types of questions all the time. I thought I’d take a few shots at it.

What makes a great speech:
First, let’s talk about what makes a great speech. I think there are just a few very important elements that you need to know that make a great speech, and then you can prepare for it.

#1: Life Truths in Your Speech

A great speech is indicated by the number of life truths in the speech.

You can have all the data, all the numbers, be super smart, super funny, really entertaining or even empowering. But at the end of the day, you have to ask: Are the life truths that you’re sharing POWERFUL?

It is if the wisdom resonates in people’s hearts and minds help them think about their day differently, their Monday differently, their family differently, their health differently, and their mission differently.

I always say: you only need five life truths that make people realize just how true they are.

I shared an example on stage. I was talking about productivity today. I was talking to 4,000 very advanced marketers and I explained to them that the issue isn’t always just getting more done, which most people think it is. Sometimes there’s a big difference—and you know it in your heart—between busy work and your life’s work. And don’t think that you’re ever going to reach the next level just doing more busy work. That transition, that real fulfillment, starts to come into your career and your life when you understand what your life’s work is and you start making sure that 60% of your work week is going towards that, because that is what matters the most. It’s not that complex, but it’s a life truth.

People say there is a difference between their busy work and their life’s work.

Create phrases that are memorable around life truths. If you ever see me speak, I probably have 30 or 40 of those life truths in a 90-minute presentation that are very resonant and speak to people’s hearts and minds.

#2. Enthusiasm!

I’d say number two is enthusiasm. Look at the video of me coming out on stage. Watch me interact with the audience. Watch me on any of my YouTube videos, listen to my podcasts (like HPX Podcast). It’s everything that I believe about HPX, which stands for the High Performance Experience. It’s about the enthusiasm and zest we must have for life or that we must generate and create.

I’m just enthusiastic when I’m onstage, even if I’m scared, even if I’m worried, even if I’m concerned.

Certainly walking out in front of thousands of people wasn’t my original jam. I was that person who was not good at that, did not have skill in that, and did not want to do that.

But the reason that I became a good communicator and challenged myself to become one was because I realized if I couldn’t communicate well, I couldn’t make a powerful difference.

If you don’t teach yourself, train yourself, or put yourself in situations where you become a better speaker, communicator, and leader, then how are you ever going to change the world? How are you ever going to do something that you feel is significant and important?

So, I trained myself to do that and I make sure I’m enthusiastic for my topic, mission and purpose when I go out on the stage—even if on the inside, I feel anxiety and don’t know if I’m going to do a good job.

When your fear becomes secondary to your enthusiasm for your purpose, that’s when everything changes. That is a life truth.

#3: Explain Your Struggles Before Sharing Your Successes

You must explain your struggles well before you share your successes. A lot of people get up onstage and focus on what they’ve achieved and done. They share stats, numbers, or show a check as an example. However, you want to resonate with an audience.

Remember: your audience does not believe your successes if they don’t feel your struggles.

If you get up there and only talk about your successes, your audience won’t connect with you. While you’re on stage, if you share the challenges, struggles and hurdles you’ve gone through to do what you get to do and serve your mission, the audience understands you. They know where you’re coming from, and that’s why it’s really important to share those things.

I share the story of how I grew up, of how I went broke, and how I had to rely on other people. I share how I dedicated myself to so much personal development, psychology, self-mastery and all the struggles that went along with it from starting my business and failing to succeeding. But notice, it is about succeeding later on. I don’t start with the successes, I build towards successes.

#4: Create Unique Interactions with your Audience

It’s everything. And I don’t just mean YOUR interactions with them. You could do that, too, by creating callbacks and things like that.

You could do that by creating callbacks, such as shouting a phrase and getting your audience to shout back.

Getting people to respond is important and you should do that, but you should also have them interact with each other. Have them turn to each other and share a high five, a hug, or encouraging words. It’s important when they interact with each other.

If you’ve ever been in one of my longer seminars, we get people standing up in groups of five and talking to each other for 20 minutes to an hour. They share their stories, struggles, challenges, and breakthroughs. It’s in those small, intimate groups or in those conversations that the audience has with each other that creates just as much magic as you yapping at them the whole time.

#5. Physical Health and Conditioning 

The last piece is all about the physical conditioning and the preparation of your mind and your body to hit that stage. As you know, I am just a complete zealot about high performance. I am always saying that the power plant doesn’t have energy, it generates energy.

We have to learn to generate the energy in which we want to serve.

I spoke to 4,000 people today, and in 48 hours I am going to speak to another 7,000, and then another 700, and then I get a break.

Then, we have all our seminars this year. I do eight live seminars, all of them four or five days long. There are very few people on this planet, except myself and maybe Tony Robbins, who put this number of hours on a stage at our own events with curriculum-based training.

There are not a lot of people doing this at this level, because they hire multiple speakers at their events. It’s usually just me at my own events. I need to condition and train myself. It’s so hard, especially on the road, because I just want to get a pizza right now after finishing my big speech, but I’m not going to do that. I’ll probably have kale.

It’s about taking care of your own health.

I said to the audience today, very few people would go to the house next door and vandalize it, break the windows, and throw a bunch of garbage into it. And yet, so many people every single day spoil, vandalize, and throw garbage into the temple that God has given them.

If you feel like you’ve had a dream or a mission sewn into your heart, part of your mission and purpose has to be taking care of your heart and body.

The mind-body connection is real. I do all the warm-up stuff because it’s so important. I get up in the morning and do a cardio-based routine every morning of every speech. Then I’ll do about 20 minutes of yoga and stretching out. Then I’ll do 10 minutes of vocal warm-ups. Then when I’m backstage, I’m standing, bouncing in place, and taking 10 deep breaths. I’m doing qigong movements with my body to keep the energy circulating just before I get on onstage.

No matter what time I’m onstage, I’ll do all of that preparation.

In the 15-20 minutes before I’m onstage, I’m constantly bouncing, moving, and breathing backstage to open up that lung capacity, to get my body ready to do the workout that it’s going to be to speak.

If you stand behind a podium and you’re just yapping, I’m telling you, you’re missing your chance for impact.

You need to move. Most stages are anywhere between 30-60 feet, and I work that entire stage the entire time, nonstop.

When I got off the stage, I was literally drenched. I was drenched because if you’re not sweating from a speech or a keynote, you didn’t leave it all out there, you didn’t even try. You stayed safe. That’s what I believe.

#6: Understand Influence

If you read my book, High Performance Habits, there’s a whole chapter on how the highest performing people in the world develop influence with people, and it basically comes down to three things.

Number one: if you have great influence with people, it’s because you taught them how to think.

You exposed a life truth, you shared a valuable lesson, and you shared wisdom that they resonated with. You got them to think differently about their lives, their families, their relationships, their missions, and their causes.

Number two, you challenge your audience. If you’ve been in any of my audiences, that’s what I’m saying this for.

I’m the guy that comes in, and while I’m enthusiastic and funny, I try so hard to make sure that I challenge the audience. I challenge the audience in every area of their life.

They don’t know I’m challenging them, but I often say things as simple as, “This is for your family. You can do better for your family, right? Raise your hand if that’s true.” That’s a simple challenge cue.

You can challenge people on how they think about themselves, how they think about the world, how they think about their mission, how they think about their kids. You can challenge not just how they THINK, but also give them something to DO.

For example, “I challenge you to go do this in the next 10 days or I challenge you to confront this truth.”

If you challenge well, that changes everything.

The last thing is: be the role model. When I hit a stage, by the time I get to the stage, even if they don’t know who I am, I demonstrate everything I believe on that stage. I demonstrate excellence. I demonstrate presence. I demonstrate intention. I demonstrate joy. I demonstrate everything I believe about high performance. That’s what’s really important.

This is a bit off the cuff; I also want to take an opportunity while I’m out on the road to share with you and thank you for your support of my new HPX Podcast.

I don’t know when you’ll be watching this video or listening to this audio, but as I’m filming this, we’re the number one business podcast in America. We are top 20 podcasts across all categories. I’m here to say that it’s because of you all; we haven’t really started a campaign for it. It just happened.

I think it happened for many reasons. One, I just hope I’ve added value to you, your life, your family, or your career for many years. If you’re new to me, welcome to my channel. I hope you’ll listen to every episode. I hope you watch every video I have out there. Read every quote card I post on Instagram that I create everyday just for you all.

I hope it’s because I added value. HPX Podcast is something I’m doing with my wife, Denise. She’s in the podcast with me. It’s our podcast together. And I think people are tired of me yapping on The Brendon Show, which is my own podcast, which you guys have kept top 20 in our category for six years, unbroken, each year. That’s because of you all. So, I appreciate you all for that.

I think people are really interested to hear Denise’s perspective, the woman and the sunshine behind me.

If you ever see me happy or joyous, it’s because I have an amazing woman who believes in me, supported me when I was broke, and had nothing before I began speaking. Now I’m one of the third highest paid keynote speakers on the planet.

That came from her believing in me. I didn’t have a career in speaking before I met her, and when I went broke trying to do it, trying to write my first book, trying to speak, she cheered me on, and it changed everything.

So, I hope you’ll listen to the podcasts just because she’s on it, frankly, but I also want to take this moment to thank you guys because rolling out this podcast was kind of scary. I didn’t know how it would go. And I really want to do well because Denise is in it.

I wanted her to feel that joy because she’s been such an incredible mentor to so many people and she’s always believed in me. She used to own exercise studios that she built up to 30 employees and then sold them successfully.

I hope that you will support it. When it hit number one in the business category, I was home and went over to her and said, “Honey, come check this out.” We turned on the laptop, pulled it up, and it was number one. I took a screenshot and gave her a kiss and told her I was so proud of her. It’s not easy to start speaking and teaching when you haven’t done it before. Now she’s speaking on the podcast and on my Instagram lives with me. Having the reception you have given is something I can never thank you enough for.

Imagine her jumping in with me having all these fans and views, and having all you guys cheering her on. I just wanted to say thank you. I also want to ask you to support the podcast.

It’s HPX. HPX stands for High Performance Experience. We call it HPX Podcast. I would love it if you subscribed. Download all the episodes and binge listen to these things while you’re working out or something. Anyway, I hope this video has served you a little bit.

I appreciate each and every one of you. I really hope to see you out on the road.

I hope someday you’re sitting in my audience and you see me live these things. It’s my true joy, but also part of my purpose, to be out there meeting you, helping you, and empowering you in any way I can to help you live a more positive, vibrant, connected, and fulfilling life.

So, I thank you every single day for giving me this opportunity to do it right here. Thanks everyone, I love you all.