Tony Jeary Shares Tips on Being an Effective Presenter

When people hear that I have done a fair amount of speaking and training in front of large groups, I often get requests for pointers on things people can do to become a better public speaker.

Today I had  the opportunity to attend Take Shape for Life's 10th Annual National Conference in Washington DC and sit in on a training given by profesional speaker, trainer, coach, and author, Tony Jeary. Known as  "The Results Guy," Jeary recently authored the book, "Strategic Acceleration - Succeed at the speed of Life."

I haven't yet read the book (they gave us a copy of it at the conference so it is in my pile), but I have noted a few take aways from my notes that might prove helpful as you have opportunities to share your expertise in front of groups.

To better retain the following points, Jeary uses the acronym "I Present."

Involve your audience: Ask questions; have them write things down.

This gives you as the presenter a breathing space. Creating breathing spaces are helpful, especially if you are nervous or need to assess the room and gather your thoughts. Other ways for creating a breathing space include showing short videos relevant to the content and/or letting a key participant share wisdom with the group.

Prepare for your audience: Gain information; listen from their prospective; be well-read and study.

Research, Build, and Leverage Your Presentation Arsenal

  • Mental arsenal -be looking for things other presenters do that would fit your style and incorporate them
  • Hard copy arsenal - have tangible tools  available to add value to others
  • Put your tools in your car for when you meet people while out and about
  • Electronic arsenal - use your smart phone or notebook to jot things down electronically as soon as you note them so you don't forget

Explain the WHY to your audience

Use words or phrases like "Because" or "So that..." indicating why the point you are making is of importance to them.

State management: Achieve proper mental state

Be helpful, empathetic, sympathetic, confident

Eliminate unknowns: Brings familiarity and confidence

Practice in front of an audience

kNow Your audience: Partner with them rather than talking at them

  • Discuss with hosts and organizational leaders to gain insight on the best ways to communicate with their group
  • Talk to the audience members themselves before your talk
  • Understand what influences your audience by doing advance research


And a few final tips from Jeary...

  • Tailor the presentation to suit your audience
  • Leverage planned spontaneity
  • Be flexible and ready to adjust
  • Be real and authentic - people want you to be human


My reflections and thoughts about the overall training with Jeary...

My opinion is that Jeary offered some great content.  None of it was new, but frankly there isn't anything out there new. That being said, for someone of his experience level he seemed a bit overly concerned with whether he was connecting or not. He continually asked the audience questions such as, "Is that helpful?" "Can you use that?" "Do you find that valuable?" Not bad questions and it is always a good idea to check in with your audience to insure they are still with you, but it isn't necessary to ask them after every point if they are finding you relevant and valid. 

In addition to his persistent need for feedback, he also seemed overly insistant on everyone reading his book. It was clear that he had authored a book. In fact each person received two paperback copies on their chairs. One to give away and one to read. He must have said, "Read my book" a couple dozen times and once even adding the very polite but almost pleading, "Please read my book. Please." 

And lastly, talk was a bit disjointed. He waffled back and forth between being an effective speaker and being an effective leader. It took me a while to clean up my notes (which I typed almost verbatim from the talk) because he was all over the place at times. He was speaking to an audience of leaders and he probably adapted his talk to try and fit the occasion, but it sure didn't seem like he had prepared as I would have expected a professional speaker (and author) to do.

Overall, Tony gets about a 6 or 7 for overall presentation from this chick. I may be a bit harsh since my point of reference for comparison are people like John Maxwell, Denis Waitley, Susan Scott, Tony Robbins, and other master platform speakers and presenters. Maybe his book will give him a bump in rating...we shall see. Naturally I will read it at some point. I mean he did say, "Please."

As with any talk or presentation, I always walk away with a nugget or two, no matter whether I think the speaker is a rock star or not.

Today's nugget: You don't have to be Tony Robbins to get speaking gigs. Just write a book.