Body Language - emotion, intensity, action

Body Language is a powerful visual stimulus for your audience -far more than any PowerPoint slide.
Body language can convey emotion, intensity, perpsective, humor, and action. Your gestures, hands, posture, facial expressions and body movement (or lack) screems volumes about your message
Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.


3 Criteria for a Successful Presentation

A successful presentation is not about the applause, note taking or questions. There is something much more important than those.

If you want to deliver a successful presentation be clear on your purpose. Learn more from this video.

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.

The Greatest Speech I Never Delivered

I was a shy student but I wanted to be popular – especially with the girls.

I knew that if I became president of the high school council I would become popular.

It was apparent to me that the way to become president of the high school council was to deliver an incredible speech to the school assembly. I noticed that the one who became president delivered the best speech.

So I devised a plan. I would deliver the best speech.

The first part of my plan was to create an incredible speech.

I started to write that speech. It included a strong opening. There were quotes from famous people. I would appeal to the interest of my audience without pandering. I would be bold but humble. And we would end with a rousing chorus of the school song from the band. I figured that I could arrange that because I was a trombone player in the band.

It was a great speech. It would be the best speech that they every heard.

But I never delivered that speech.

I chickened out. I didn’t run for high school president. I told nobody about my dreams or plans. I was afraid to speak. I was afraid to try. I was afraid that I would mess up. I was afraid that they would laugh at me.

I never became high school president. No one ever knew – until now - of my hopes.

It could have been the greatest speech I ever delivered. But it never happened.

I wish I had the courage and the wisdom to deliver that speech – even if I failed. But I can't change what happened yesterday.

The reason that I share this story with you is that you can’t go back but you can go forward. It took me 25 years to become a professional speaker. Today I have delivered over 1,000 professional presentations. And I coach and train others to deliver million-dollar presentations.

It doesn’t matter where you were yesterday. If you want to be a better speaker today you can. Fcous on where you want to be - not on your past.

George Torok

Speech Coach for Executives

Motivational Speaker

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives

8 Powerful Public Speaking Tips

When it’s your turn to stand up and speak to an audience, whether it is a room of five or an auditorium of hundreds, you can speak confidently and effectively when you use these eight powerful public speaking tips.

Don’t be discouraged by the fear of public speaking or past presentation challenges. Remember that successful public speaking is a skill-set based on learning and practicing the fundamental techniques of public speaking.

Engaging Opening
The opening to your presentation must grab the attention of your audience and establish rapport. You could reveal an amazing statistic; ask a question; state a quotation from a famous person; create a visual image or tell a story. Don't start your presentation with "Today I'm going to talk about...' That's boring.

Direct Eye Contact
Don't speak at the audience - instead speak directly to each individual in the audience by making eye contact with each one in the audience. Deliver a few words as you look at one person - then move your glance to another. Too long a glance is intrusive - too short can appear shifty-eyed. Talk with everyone in your audience – one person at a time.

Smile More Often
Smile when you start your presentation. Smile when you have stated an important fact. Smile when you want them to laugh. Smile just after you said your name. Smile when asking for the order. Smile when you close. There are many occasions to smile. Use them. Smiling is contagious.

Help your audience laugh. Use exaggeration or surprise. Tell a funny story about something silly you once did. Humor is tragedy or embarrassment removed by time. Don't tell jokes that put anyone else down. Instead make fun of yourself. Humor must be inclusive not exclusive. Everyone wants to laugh.

Look More Confident
Be prepared - but don't be so slick that your audience disbelieves you. People accept your errors. It makes you look human and imperfect like they are. Don't fret about small mistakes - just carry on. And don't apologize about every mistake - it over-emphasizes the mistakes. Use

Words they Understand
Speak in the language of your listeners. Engineers need how to's and facts - tolerances, specifications & blueprints. Accountants want numbers - balance sheets, debits & ROI. Sales people are interested in - commissions, customer benefits & price. Find out what the organization calls their people - members, staff, associates, investors or true believers.

Use Your Voice
Play with your voice to keep interest and emphasize key points. Lower your voice to make an important point. Speed up when you are describing a process. Ask rhetorical questions which allow you to inflect your voice. Put feeling in words that naturally lend themselves to emotion, e.g. family, Christmas, grandma, home, first prize, baby, vacation…

Powerful Close
Make your close memorable and effective. Conclude with a call to action; end with a quotation; sum up your key points; repeat your opening line; end with a story. Avoid ending with 'thank you'. That is a very weak close and not memorable. Finish strong and then say 'thank you' after they applaud.

If you want to be a more powerful public speaker study and use these eight public speaking tips. You will feel more confident as a speaker and your audience will be amazed by your presentation.

©George Torok is the Public Speaking Pro He helps business leaders deliver million dollar presentations. Register for your free public speaking tips at For public speaking training or coaching call 905-335-1997

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives

Shoot the messenger

Shoot the messenger
At one time they used to kill the messenger of bad news. Today, bad messengers kill their message.

The message might not be the problem. Sometimes it’s the messenger. Maybe more often than we care to admit. If you have a good message to deliver but it’s not getting across – then it’s time to examine the messenger.

If you have a good message then there’s little excuse for bad delivery. If you have a bad message then it’s even more important to focus on the messenger.

You have a choice. You could ignore the pain, shoot the messenger or improve the messenger.

You can only ignore the pain of bad message delivery for so long. Failed sales presentations and confused audiences will catch up with you and hurt worst than shooting the messenger.

Of course this option is meant to be metaphorical. Shooting the messenger might mean punishment, embarrassment or a demotion. It might even go as far as dismissal if the success of your job depends on your ability to deliver the company message.

The third option is to improve the messenger.

Now there’s a good idea. Improve the messenger by offering better presentation tools, knowledge and skill development. The message might change but once you improve the messenger you will always have a better messenger.

George Torok

Presentation Skills Training

Executive Speech Coaching

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.

Yadda, yadda yadda and other annoying phrases

What annoying phrases from popular culture are speakers over-using in their presentations?
For example: I heard one speaker say "yadda, yadda, yadda" three times within 30 - minutes.

Here are a few replys from other speakers.

I am tired of hearing speakers say "Let me un pack this for you". This causes a mental shut down...

Sandra Vogel, PhD
International Trainer, facilitator and speaker with e-learning and bundled learning solutions.

Ah... you pressed a button here! So, well, you know, it's like it's sorta, kinda, basically a bit like this. Note that the last sentence conveys no definite statement of fact or emotion whatsoever. If you listen actively, you'll hear that a lot of people simply fail to produce coherent, crisp sentences, even when they are "trained" public speakers. In my own language it would be the endemic use of "zeg maar" which has infested everyday speech. It's our equivalent of "like" or "sorta". Even seasoned public speakers (the prime minister comes to mind) use it.

Martijn Sjoorda
Research Director, FreshOrange

This is GREAT! I reference these over-used phrases in my keynote/seminars. A personal pet peeve of mine is: "SO, How many of you have ever....?' as an opener. It's okay to open with a question, but unless the energy in the room is already peaked, the audience usually does not want to raise their hands at the beginning of a presentation. Feel free to add the contrite: Synergize, monetize, bring to the table, reinvent the wheel, carve out a niche, core competencies, low hanging fruit, deliverables, action items, and...GAZILLIONS more. There is actually a "buzzword" game to play during executive meeitngs that lists many of these. It's FUN!

James Hamilton
Corporate Speaker, Author, Connections expert

Just yesterday, I heard a speaker say, "Well, at the end of the day..." three times within a 20 minute talk. It's quickly moving to the top of the overused cliches list.

Mandi Stanley
Certified Speaking Professional at Mandi Stanley Speaker Services

Moving forward, going forward..what other direction would we go in? It is definitely overused not just in speeches but in everyday conversation.

Sue Birkam
Owner, Freedom Life Coaching, LLC

I’m not as bothered by the new buzzwords/phrases because they come and go. What drives my crazy is "irregardless". I am also guilty of using the following "they may or may not...." well that doesn’t really narrow it down does it. It’s like saying it "may or may not rain..." although 100% correct it has not moved us any closer to valuable information. I also not a big fan of anything that comes after a phrase such as "my granddaddy used to say..." It’s always some hokey, folk wisdom designed to cut through the clutter of today’s sophisticated jargon and get back to the basics. However, I guess if you are Zig Ziglar and your persona is based on being folksy it works. OK, for the record I have used every one of these except irregardless. Maybe there is a speaker’s anonymous program I can join

Mike Smithgall
Digital Media Sales Consultant at

I coach my clients to put the following lines into storage... —"Let's take it to the next level..." —"You may of heard of Harry Truman"...-(DUH!--the device of saying "you may have heard of" is very tired way of trying to engage people's minds) —"Let's drill down on that for a moment..." —"I just want to be clear..." —"My friends..." (sorry Mr. McCain) —"Here are some of the funny things kids have said to God..." (good grief--we all own computers) —"(tear in voice) I'm sorry, I always get emotional when I tell that story..." That's the very short list! There's a book in there for one of us...

Doug Lawrence
Public Speaking Coach, Speech Writer, and Presentation Advisor

I have 2 verbal peeves. The first is "to be perfectly honest". Is there an imperfect way to be honest? If there is someone please let me in on it. The other is "can I be honest with you?" My visceral response -- No, please continue to lie to me.

Olalah Njenga
Marketing Strategist

George Torok
Speech Coach for Executives
Presentation Skills Training

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.

How to Turn a Service Club Talk into a Marketing Opportunity

As an entrepreneur or sales professional are you tapping into the unlimited opportunities to promote if you are a good presenter?

In an era of tough competition good presentation skills give you a competitive edge.

Speaking before a group about your business is definitely the least expensive and best way to market your product or service and expand your customer base. I know this from first hand experience. I started talking about my hair styling business at local service organizations, such as Rotary, Kiwanis, Optimists. That helped me build my service business and led to a full time speaking and training business.

Check out the Room:

Being prepared is a key to presenting a good talk. It's a comfort knowing that the lights, the microphone, the flip charts, etc. are working and, more importantly, that you know how to work with them.

Go to the room where you will be speaking earlier than everybody else. Imagine yourself a success. Get comfortable on the stage. Test the microphone. Are your notes in order?

You may not be a professional speaker, but struggling with audio/visual equipment just distracts and annoys your audience. You want them on your side.

Presenting your Talk:

Do not read your speech. Write key points in large, bold typeface on your pad you keep on the lectern or table. I urge you not to stand behind the lectern throughout your entire talk. It puts a barrier between you and the audience and they feel it. However, if you feel more secure standing behind the lectern, do not lean on it.

The Introduction:

Write your own introduction. Use your resume as a guide, but customize it to fit the topic on which you're speaking. Do not include your job as a life guard in your intro unless it directly relates to your subject.


Develop a page detailing your key points. Or if you've had an article published, make copies for the audience members. Make sure that the handout includes your name, address and telephone number.

Business Cards:

If your goal is to develop business contacts, always collect business cards from the audience members. You can offer to send additional information, articles or tip sheets to them. Or you can offer a door prize (this can be a product you sell or certificate for service--a free evaluation of financial status, etc.); ask that everyone drop their business cards in a box from which you or the program chair will draw the winner (or winners) at the end of your talk. The business cards give you prospects with whom you can follow up later. If you offer to provide attendees with written material, you might include an order blank for you product or service.

Just Do It!

Speaking before a group of strangers can be intimidating, but keep focused on the positive impact the presentation will have on your business reputation and your bottom line. Don't expect to be a magnificent speaker the first time out. Your goal is to present the most valuable information possible to the members of the audience. Think of it as the beginning of many long-term relationships.

Go on--step up on the podium and profit from the experience.

Click here for information about our upcoming Speaking Camps.

Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAESales Presentation Trainer, Keynote Speaker, Executive Speech Coach - Patricia coaches clients on the three essential aspects of presentation: simplifying organization, mastering content, and perfecting delivery. Learn More

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.

Circuit Breaker

on off swith for puboic speaking
Is your presentation tripping the circuit breaker?

Your home might have circuit breakers to protect you. Older homes might have fuses for the same purpose. When you have too many electrical appliances drawing power the breaker trips or the fuse blows. It’s a pain to change the fuse or reset the breaker but you should be happy to know that they are doing their job. You were just saved from disaster.

When you speak, your audience also has circuit breakers or fuses protecting them from disaster. Those fuses and breakers protect them from wasting their time, resources and money.

What mistakes in your presentation would trip the circuit breakers in the minds of your audience and lose their attention?

AbsolutesThe speaker said, “Everybody who negotiates is a liar.” That tripped my circuit breaker. First, he was calling me a liar and second he was also calling my grandmother a liar. He said everybody.

You can avoid this disconnect by saying, “many”, “a report stated that x % “, or “my research shows”. Instead he said “everybody”.

Other mistakes:

Anyone who…
I know what you are thinking…
I know what you will say…

Assuming that you know
The speaker said, “Write down two running shoe brands and I bet I know what you picked,” He picked Nike and Addidas. Both are well known brands, however I wrote Asics and New Balance because I’m a runner. When he told me that I was wrong in my pick the breaker in my mind tripped and he lost me as a listener.

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives

Guest Speaker Advice from Students

I'm scheduled to speak to a class on Business Communication at the University of Toronto next week. The students have the forethought, (or perhaps pain of experience) to provide a page of tips for guests speakers.

Notice that it covers three important elements for a successful presentation - preparation, information about your audience and ideas for an egaging delivery. The point on preparation includes extended advice on the use of PowerPoint. Do you think that they already (2nd year university) have experiened enough bad PowerPoint presentations?

I will probably not use PowerPoint in my presentation. Wonder if they've ever seen that before?

Imagine if you received an advice sheet like this before every presentation.


University of Toronto, Scarborough
Department of Management – MGTB90 – Business Communication

Advice (From Students) for Guest Speakers

What to do before getting here

PowerPoint stuff
  • Not too long; it’s about quality not quantity
  • Emphasize / spend more time on complex things
  • It should be interesting
  • It shouldn’t build to a climax … every slide should have a point
  • Ask yourself, can they read this slide in the back of the room?
  • Send the professor a copy of your presentation in advance so it can be uploaded to the class web site
  • Please don’t put too much information on PowerPoint slides. More images, less text.
Make sure your presentation has an overreaching theme or conclusion

Prepare for when audience is uninterested / not cooperative—adapt your pace and timing to the audience

What you should know about us

Read the audience and adjust your presentation

The lecture is late on a Thursday evening, we’re all very tired

Our attention spans are often short

We’re interested in stuff that relates to us—help us understand the message in your presentation and what it has to do with our daily lives

What you should do while you’re here

Bring your material to life for us.

We prefer stories - Try to make it sound like you are not teaching but telling us a story

Give examples that apply to our lifestyle so that we can relate

Show videos, give us handouts, survey us with a show of hands … engage us

Bring you’re A game!!! – Tell us about, and show us, your passion!

Allow for a break half-way through. Don’t talk for a full two hours

Don’t turn your presentation into a commercial for your company


I'll be sure to bring my A game!

George Torok

Presentation Skills Training

Public Speaking Coaching

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives