Get Out There and Speak!

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Monica Ricci and Lisa Montanaro teach how to be a good speaker

Monica Ricci and Lisa Montanaro presenting at NAPO 2013 Conference

A few weeks ago, I posted an invitation for people who were attending the NAPO Conference in New Orleans to share some details about their experience in a guest post, and I’m really excited about the responses I received. My first guest in this series is Lisa Montanaro, with some highlights from her pre-conference workshop.


I recently had the pleasure of co-presenting “Speak Up: Crafting and Delivering Killer Presentations” at the 2013 National Association of Professional Organizers Conference in New Orleans. My co-presenter was Monica Ricci, and we presented this as a half-day pre-conference workshop.

Why present a workshop on speaking? Glad you asked!

Many business owners want to be good presenters these days as they want to speak to add an income stream. Yes, you can get paid to conduct presentations. Organizations need great speakers who have superb content to share and teach. But speaking can also be an effective marketing tactic. Every time you speak, you are setting yourself up as an expert, someone that has information to share. People take notice. Your credibility increases. Your sales may too.

Learning how to be a good speaker is not only useful for official presentations. It will help you be a better communicator in many other ways. When you are at a networking event and engage in a conversation with someone, you are speaking. When you are outlining the benefits of working with you to a prospect, you are speaking. When you are delivering a teleclass or webinar, you are speaking. That welcome video on your site? Yup. Speaking. You get the picture.

To me, being a good speaker is part of an overall plan to be an effective communicator. Most people think of speaking as only what comes out of your mouth. However, your oral communication is just one part of your speaking. Speaking also encompasses your non-verbal communication, which includes posture, hand gestures, eye contact, and much much more.

In fact, research shows that what comes out of your mouth is a very small percentage of what the audience pays attention to. Most speakers focus a great deal on content. And that is appropriate You should have solid content. That is a foundation of a stellar presentation. But the full package requires that you also pay attention to delivery. A lot goes into a great presentation: What you say, how you say it, what you are doing with your hands, body and eyes as you say it, and more.

Speaking should be a vital part of any business person’s bag of tricks. It should be something you focus on, practice often, and improve upon. I have coached speakers that are professional organizers, nurses, politicians, rabbis… even a farmer! Effective communication is a fantastic skill for anyone that wants to get his or her point across clearly, concisely, enthusiastically, and persuasively.

So, get out there and speak! The world needs to hear you.

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Lisa Montanaro

Lisa Montanaro is a Productivity Consultant, Success Coach, Business Strategist, Speaker and Author. Since starting her business in 2002 after leaving a lucrative law career, she has had the privilege of helping thousands of entrepreneurs, including countless professional organizers (residential, business, and photo). She offers individual coaching and consulting, online group programs, live workshops and bootcamps, and much-needed templates and products to help business owners be successful and profitable. To find out more about Lisa's speaking, coaching and consulting programs, as well as her books and multi-media products, visit

Join the Conversation


  1. Ron Whitaker Ron Whitaker on May 13, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Getting out there and speaking is a great way to “get your name out there” as well!

    And for those, like me, who are deathly afraid of getting in front of crowds, I hear (though I’m not a member) that joining a local Toastmasters is a fantastic way to gain the skills and experience to public speaking.

    Anyone have experience with Toastmasters?

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 14, 2013 at 6:19 am

      I’ve never been involved with Toastmasters myself, but I’ve learned some great speaking tips from people who have.

  2. Avatar Lisa Montanaro on May 14, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Ron –

    Thanks for your comment. Toastmasters is a great place to work on the craft of speaking, and overcome the fear in a supportive environment. Each Toastmasters chapter has a different feel, of course, so you’d have to visit and make sure that it is a good fit for you, but I’ve only heard wonderful things about it.

    I don’t belong to Toastmasters as I grew up on stage, as a peformer, sign language instructor and intrerpreter, lawyer, teacher and presenter/trainer/speaker. But I do belong to the National Speakers Association (NSA). NSA is more about the business of speaking, and Toastmasters is more about the art and craft of speaking. So if someone wants to work on their fear of public speaking, Toastmasters would be the right place!

    Hope that helps. Happy speaking!

    – Lisa

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