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How to Overcome Speaker’s Block
Frank DiBartolomeo --  Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals Frank DiBartolomeo -- Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Centreville, VA
Sunday, July 3, 2022


“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”

– Mary Lou Cook

I am sure you have heard of “writer’s block.” This is where a writer is at a loss for ideas on which to write.

Well, the same condition can occur to speakers. It is called “speakers block.” It is where a speaker is at a loss for ideas on which to speak. Does this affect you as a speaker from time to time?

The cure for speaker’s block is to use methods to discover new speaking ideas. Of course, your presentation will not create itself. You must take these ideas and develop them into a structured, compelling, and exciting presentation. But with speaking ideas, you have something with which you can work.

Below are three methods to unlock new speaking ideas:

What You Talk About with Others

If you’re like me, you have many conversations with many people during your week. So why not take one of these conversations and dissect it for ideas for your presentations?

For instance,

  • If you had a conversation with someone about the economy, what precisely about the economy did you talk? It could be (1) the high price of car fuel, (2) current home prices, or (3) how inflation has increased.

  • If you had a conversation with someone about the current state of education in the U.S., what precisely about the current state of education in the U.S. did you talk? It could be what needs to change in elementary and high school curricula to boost the math and science standings versus other developed countries, (2) how to bring down the cost of college education, or (3) how colleges and universities can help their local communities.

  • If you had a conversation with someone about how your favorite baseball team could win the World Series this year, what precisely about how your favorite baseball team can win the World Series this year did you talk? It could be (1) changing the pitching rotation or (2) trading for some more “firepower” in the middle of the batting lineup, or (3) changing the coach.

    The conversations you have during your typical week are rich with ideas for your presentations. Mine them.

The leap in technology over the last hundred years has been truly remarkable. Computers, advances in transportation, and the Internet have generally changed our lives for the better. However, one constant that has been around for thousands of years has not changed – reading.

What You Read

Outside the base library at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, there is a sign that says “Readers are Leaders.”

When you speak, you are a leader. You are leading your audience on a journey. On this journey, you are attempting to convince and compel your audience to take steps to implement what you are recommending to them.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) was considered the last universal man. In his time, he knew all the knowledge available to a person.

With all the knowledge bombarding us in our world today, it is impossible to become a universal man or woman. There is just too much information for any one person to grasp. Therefore, you must focus on your area of expertise and become an expert in it. One of the best ways to do this is to read widely in your area of expertise.

There are many different ways to read now – reading a physical book, reading an ebook, and reading newspapers, to name a few.

Like all of us, you have a finite time in your day, week, year, etc. You cannot save time, but you can allocate future time. So why not allocate it to developing presentations in your general area of expertise. Remember, though, you will not be a successful speaker unless you analyze your audience.

So, what you talk about with others and what you read are a treasure trove of ideas for your presentations.

Finally, the news of the day is another gold mine of speaking ideas.

What You Observe in the News

When I was a kid, there were three major television network news programs for a half-hour each night. Now we have a myriad of 24/7/365 news programs on cable TV and the Internet.

We know what is happening close to home and the far reaches of planet earth when they are happening.

The challenge for you and your speaking is not seeking out ideas from the news. Instead, it is sifting through the endless news reports for the “gem of an idea” that will make an excellent presentation relevant to your audience.

Although the Internet can be a time sink, become a daily observer of what is happening in the news.

In journalists’ jargon, all you need is one idea to give you “the angle” you need to create and deliver a well-received presentation.

You can use news from an abundance of news outlets like newspapers, websites, magazines, word of mouth, etc.

If you become a daily consumer of these news outlets, your challenge will not be to find an idea but to decide which of the many ideas you will discover will be the idea for your presentation.

So, you now have your presentation idea. Now comes the “heavy lifting” for you. You need to turn your presentation idea into an actual presentation. Before you do anything else, read my blog entitled How To Reduce Your Speaking Preparation Stress to learn how to use the Cards on the Wall method to develop your presentation’s three main points. Then develop your opening and closing, and presto! You have your presentation on paper. Then practice, Practice, PRACTICE your delivery! As Brian Tracy says, practice doesn’t make perfect; it makes permanent.

You can break your speaker’s block and find ideas for your presentations by observing (1) what you talk about with others, (2) what you read, and (3) what you see in the news

Practice these methods to break your speaker’s block and reduce your presentation stress!

Call to Action

To have a “full quiver” of ideas for your presentations, keep a journal of:

“Leave your desk and shake up your surroundings. Try working from the living room, or in a co-working space for a few hours. Having a change of scenery is sometimes enough to give you some fresh ideas. Try writing or working on your project in a different room in the office, at home, in a coffee shop, or even on the train.”

– From the article 60 Ideas and Quotes Breaking Through Creative Blocks

Frank DiBartolomeo is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and award-winning speaker, presentation and interview skills coach, and Professional Member of the National Speakers Association. He was awarded Toastmasters International’s highest individual award, Distinguished Toastmaster because of his outstanding work in public speaking and leadership.

Frank formed DiBartolomeo Consulting International (DCI), LLC (www.speakleadandsucceed.com) in 2007. The mission of DCI is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence their colleagues and other technical professionals through improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence. Reach Frank at frank@speakleadandsucceed.com and (703) 509-4424.


Don’t miss Frank DiBartolomeo’s latest book!

“Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”

Available now at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Frank DiBartolomeo, Jr.
Title: President
Group: DiBartolomeo Consulting International, LLC
Dateline: Centreville, VA United States
Cell Phone: (703) 509-4424
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