Book questionI was inspired by one of those lists of questions that made the rounds on Facebook to create 10 questions to guide people who are serious about speaking as a way of connecting with the world.  How do you answer these?  What other questions do you have about your speaking?

1.  What do you love to do?  How does that come out in your speaking?

2.  What’s missing that you love from your speaking and your speech right now?

3. What do you want to accomplish with your speaking? And why?

4.  What would you like an audience to remember about your speech – and you – after you’re done?

5.  How does your speech help humanity?

6.  What are your fears about speaking?

7.  What speakers inspire you and why?

8.  How do you prepare to speak?

9.  What restores you after speaking – what feeds your spirit?

10.  How have you changed the world as a speaker?





  1. Nick – thanks for the thought-provoking blog. I took up your challenge and came up with 8 questions rather than start my planned work for the day!
    My questions obviously reflect where I am coming from as a public speaking trainer (I work with a lot of very nervous people) but I trust they will serve your audience too. I am sure there are lots more questions we could ask.
    Thanks for letting me post

    I. How are you serving the audience? Could you serve them even more?

    2. How does speaking feed you? How does it excite you? Can you find a way to make it exciting for you and your audience?

    3. How present are you? Can you allow some silences? Are you comfortable going off script and coming back to it or dropping the text altogether if need be?

    4. Authenticity. Are you fully here as you or are you holding back something because its safer to do that?

    5. What would you do if you couldn’t fail as a speaker? And why don’t you do that anyway? En-couraging you to be bolder!

    6. How much do you know about the brain and our tendency as a species to over-react to threat, to over-think and over-judge the audience and ourselves? Its not just you that gets freaked out by blank faces!

    7. How good are you with eye contact with individuals in the audience?

    8. Do you have the courage to be imperfect?

    1. John, I absolutely love these questions! I’m going to add them to my personal list. Thanks for your good work. Now, get on that to-do list.

      1. Excellent questions. I’m reflecting on these questions right now. This week I had a training event that I know I could have done better but something was holding me back. Thank you for the mental challenge.

  2. Nick, I thoroughly enjoyed sitting and answering these questions tonight. They were thought provoking and also inspirational. Thank you for all you do for thought leaders in helping them share their message with the world.

  3. Dear Nick,

    Thank you for all of your insights .I would be very interested in reading your thoughts on presenters who need to speak in public, in a foreign language – this idea introduces the fear factor, and the possibility that although English is not their mother tongue, not perhaps for the audience, a word can take on several different interpretations – how can they check their meaning has been conveyed?

    This is an area I lecture in, and find strategies in World Englishes fascinating

    Thank you

    1. Hi, Katherine — Thanks for your comment. I’m not an expert in that area, but I have worked with English-speaking clients tackling another language, and clients for whom English is not their primary language. In both cases, there’s a lot to be said, but what I’ve found is that cultural signals are more important in the end than perfection in speaking the language. In other words, both sets of audiences will work with you and embrace you if you make an effort to converse in the culture, even if your language command is faulty.

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