Up Your Public Speaking Game

Harvard Business Professor John Antonakis looked at charismatic verbal tactics. In his research, he discovered that when executives used these verbal tactics, their leadership ratings rose a whopping 60 percent! When presenting, you should incorporate these three charismatic verbal tactics:

  • Use Metaphors, Similes, and Analogies.Metaphors are like mini-stories. You tie something that someone understands to a new idea or concept. I LOVE metaphors—I think they are the most powerful way to get ideas across. For example, I teach people how to read micro-expressions and liken the ability to decode the face to watching life in High Definition TV. All of a sudden you see things that you didn’t notice before. In other words, I turn the skill of decoding facial expressions into a metaphor with the connection to HDTV. Let me tell you, whenever I use this metaphor with live audiences, people either audibly will say, “oh” or “ah” or nod their head yes, as if it clicked for them. That’s the power of a good metaphor.
  • 3-Part Lists.Whenever you’re speaking in public, you have to keep in mind your audience’s capacity for remembering information. Breaking down your message and actionable takeaways into three parts makes it easy for people to understand, remember and act on your goals. If you can organize your speech into three main ideas, even if it is an impromptu message in front of the team, it will help people remember what you have to say.
  • Rhetorical Questions.A rhetorical question is a question you ask of the audience for dramatic effect or to make a point instead of expecting a response. Something like, “Do you know how this tip can work for you?” or “How many of you have felt like the man in the story?” You don’t need people actually to raise their hands (although they might). The reason these are so powerful is because any kind of question engages people mentally; we are programmed to respond to questions, even if it is just internally.
  • Speak Powerfully.It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Be sure that whatever verbal tactics you are using, you are doing it with power. Here are my favorite vocal power tactics.
  • President Franklin Rooseveltaddressed Congress in 1941 with a powerful speech that promised: “Freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor–anywhere in the world. That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation… To that new order we oppose the greater conception–the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.”

Don’t Caveat, Apologize or Beg

A big mistake nervous speakers make is apologizing or couching their ideas. When we are feeling nervous, we say things such as ‘It’s just my opinion,’ or ‘I’m not really sure,’ or ‘I could be wrong, but.’ This is detrimental to your message!

First, be sure to research all of your points so you feel confident about the information you are sharing. Second, once you are sure of your content, practice your speech in front of friends. Every time a qualifier or caveat is added, friends should gently point it out and have you start over. The best speakers also know that not everyone is going to like them. In fact, some of the best speakers are controversial, and that’s a good thing! You want people to get riled up, get thinking and feel emotion. That means you are striking a chord!

Make It A Champion Day!



From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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