What makes a sizzling speaker


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Ita Buttrose speaks from the heart

Having just heard the legendary Ita Buttrose address a crowd of 1,000 business women at a Sydney breakfast event, I walked away feeling nothing short of motivated, inspired and touched. The gift of public speaking is something pretty extraordinary.

It got me thinking, just what makes Ita one of that elite club? Her years pioneering away under the media spotlight have no doubt shown her the way. Addressing stuffy board meetings when she was the only female executive would sharpen your speaking acumen in heartbeat. Yet it her personal stories, laced with good humour, endless empathy and reality that really made her address today so memorable. From confrontations with the late Sir Frank Packer over whether an article on ‘what turns a man’ on can feature CLEO magazine to organising tins of Kraft single cheese to be posted to a group of nuns in Bangladesh, Ita shares her experiences with a sense of graciousness and goodwill few speakers every really muster. She is clearly a woman of many virtues but her speech proved she not afraid to have a giggle even at herself.

We can all learn how to get our ideas and experiences across with more of the X-factor.

Each year, I teach countless individuals from all kinds of enterprises and industries the art of being a desirable media spokesperson – the tools, the rules, the tricks, the do and don’ts to nail an interview every time.  Likewise, I work with CEOs and political spokespersons to fine tune their communications skills so they too confidently and appropriately get a message to an audience, sometimes a very hostile one at that.

How do you approach your speaking engagements? If you would love to get more confident, more polished and more on message certainly it takes hard work, focus and oodles of practice. Go for it.