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Three Best Ways to Start a Speech

By Communication No Comments

You can start a speech a variety of ways, but please, pretty please, never start a speech by saying something like, “Hi, thanks so much for having me today, it is an honor to be with you… blah… blah… blah!”

What a waste of time!

Remember that more than 90% of people don’t change their first impression about you. If you come out doing something boring and generic in those first few seconds, you will be remembered as being boring and generic!

Begin your speech by talking about one or all three of the following:

Talk about the Culture: What do you find fascinating about their culture? What art, music, or fashion have you experienced while in town that you really appreciate?

Talk about the Cuisine: What local restaurant did you just eat at that your audience will know and love? What food did you try and not like, but are glad you tried it? What food do you want to get more of and wish you had in your town?

Talk about the Contributions: What has the organization or city given back to the community or world? What inventions, stories, people, or leaders have come from there? What contributions have they given, and why are you happy they made them? How has it helped you in your life?

While speaking in China for example, I started off my speeches saying, “Hello, how are you doing today?” in Mandarine (Culture). Then I went into talking about eating jelly fish and cow stomach (Cuisine) for the first time after we visited the Great Wall (Contributions).

This technique helps you build trust with an audience, gets you to explore their world and shows them you care about what they have done! Start your next speech using one or all three of these things. You will capture their attention, their minds and more importantly their hearts! As always…

Dream BIG,


8 Blogs Speakers Should Pay Attention To

By Motivation, Uncategorized 2 Comments

Here is a list of blogs I follow. I read some more than others, but they all provide me with excellent content on how to be a better speaker, leader and champion!

Brendon Burchard: He is one of the most followed personal development trainers of our time, and a  global Top 100 Most Followed Public Figure on Facebook. He is a #1 New York Times bestselling author whose books include The Motivation Manifesto, The Charge, The Millionaire Messenger, and Life’s Golden Ticket.

Ted: TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

Six Minutes: They are a public speaking and presentation skills website. They offer regular feature articles on speech writing, delivery techniques, PowerPoint and visuals, and speaker habits. In these articles, you will find tips, insights, and strategies which help you become a confident and effective speaker.

Public Words: Dr. Nick Morgan is one of America’s top communication theorists and coaches. A passionate teacher, he is committed to helping people find clarity in their thinking and ideas – and then delivering them with panache. He has been commissioned by Fortune 50 companies to write for many CEOs and presidents. He has coached people to give Congressional testimony, to appear on the Today Show, and to deliver an unforgettable TED talk.

Seth Godin: He is the author of 18 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything.

Storyline: We believe that your story matters. Storyline is a community of people living a better story. Started by Donald Miller, Storyline is not only a blog but a conference .

Marie TV: Her mission is to to empower you to experience happiness, love, fulfillment and prosperity in every sense of the word.

Check out one of these eight blogs today and start improving the way you communicate and operate! As always…

Dream BIG,

The Best Business Question You Need To Be Able To Answer!

By Leadership, Motivation 2 Comments

What is the best business question you need to be able to answer when determining your worth to a client or customer?

What value do I bring?

What is your answer to that question?

Can you quantify it?

Can you show and illustrate what value you bring to those who buy your product, service or ideas?

Until you know the answer to this question, you will never know what you are worth, what position you should be in, or what you should charge!

Take time this week to find out what value you, your team or company bring. Write it out and know the value!

Keep making things happen and as always…

Dream BIG,

One Awesome Way To Promote Your Book

By Motivation No Comments

(DISCLAIMER: My editor gets back this weekend from vacation so if there are any typos I am deeply sorry.  I am out of the country and she is on vacation and I still wanted to show you the best way to promote your book.)

My latest book, Speaker Leader Champion, came out in April and I wanted to sell enough copies at first to hit #1 on Amazon. We accomplished that goal but I wanted to do more. The book teaches people how to use their voice to make a difference in their personal and professional life and how to deliver a winning speech or presentation.

Besides the book tour, the World Record attempt, countless interviews and hundreds of emails I believe the best thing I did, and that had the biggest amount of engagement and long-term payoff, was this:

How to Promote Your Book with Ryan Avery

Screenshot from the backend of my YouTube channel where I uploaded almost 100 personal videos to promote the book!

Write down 100 people you know, who you believe the book will help, and create a personal video for them to say thank you for supporting you throughout the years you have known them, what the book is about and how they can help promote it. 

In fact, you could do this with anything you are selling and believe in! Today, people want that personal touch! How are you giving it to them?

I had a 95% response rate to those videos and in turn each helped me promote it, they shared it with their friends on social media and eventually helped us make Speaker Leader Champion a successful book launch. Did it take me a long time! Yes! Was it tiring and complicated at first! Of course! But was it worth it? Absolutely!

I am still hard at work looking for new ways to promote Speaker Leader Champion and to get it in the hands of as many people as I can because I believe in this book. The strategies inside it empower people to use their voice and make a difference and to learn how they can advance in their career by developing their public speaking skills.

What are you doing to create and show a personal touch for your friends, family and followers who can benefit from your resources? Take time this weekend to plan how you can be more personal in your approach and see how you can make a difference and a dollar doing something you love! As always…

Dream BIG,

How to create a to-do list that works

By Motivation, Videos 3 Comments

Here is how you can improve your to-do list so you can accomplish your short-term and long-term goals! Make sure you have a balance between what you are doing to maintain your lifestyle and items you are doing to improve (gain) your lifestyle. If you like this method share it using one of the social media icons below!

5 Reasons Why You Should Start a Competitive Speakers Club

By Motivation One Comment

Last month I, along with 22 other Toastmasters, created a club in Portland, OR, dedicated to helping speakers improve the way they speak competitively at all levels.

Whether you are a Toastmaster or not, you should consider starting one of these clubs in your city.

Here are 5 reasons why:

1)   To surround yourself with those who are better than you

2)   To improve the way you develop and deliver your message so any audience would want to hear it

3)   To improve the quality and quantity of those who compete at all levels

4)   To improve the quality and quantity of those who are judges at all levels

5)   To receive expert feedback that executives would pay for

Our goal is to start a Competitive Speakers Club in every Toastmasters District around the world.

So far, we have started five. We have 86 more to go! We want to improve the quality and quantity of competitive speakers around the world and want you to join us!

If you are in Toastmasters, or want to join Toastmasters and would like to start a club, we have ambassadors ready to help you get your club started.

Email me at, and I will connect you with someone who can help get your club up and running!

Together, let’s improve the quality and quantity of competitive speakers around the world by creating a community of those interested in being better speakers! As always…

Dream BIG,

How to Stop Caring and Comparing

By Motivation 21 Comments

Without a doubt, my biggest struggle in moving forward and becoming more successful is figuring out how to stop caring what people think about me and how to stop comparing myself to others.

This might sound easy for some; but for me, it’s been my largest obstacle.

I can receive 100 emails a week: 95 amazing ones and five “not so friendly” ones. Out of all of those emails — which ones do you think I dwell upon the most? Sometimes, I am good at letting the bad ones go, but not every time.

I can speak in front of 200 people, rock the keynote to get a standing ovation, and be invited back to speak the next year, but then have one person come up to me and say, “Your style is way too much for me, and I don’t like it.” What do you think I think about most? Sometimes, I can let the negative comments slide, but not every time.

I have been blogging for over five years now and working to grow relationships with my readers. It has been paying off, but I see other speakers–who haven’t been blogging for as long as I have–claim 100,000 followers! I can’t help but wonder: What am I doing? Where am I slacking? Why am I not there, yet?

As the saying goes by Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy!” 

I am tired of living my life like this. I know I am capable of so much more! I must stop caring what people think and stop comparing myself to others. So, this weekend I decided to do something about it. I took time to define what success looks like to me and to figure out a solution to stop comparing myself to others.

In order to stop comparing ourselves to others, we need to first understand what makes us happy and feel successful. I needed to define what success looks like for me.

After some long walks, workout sessions, and coaching from my wife, I found my current definition of success: I am successful if I can do what I want, when I want, and with whom I want! As long as I can say this everyday, it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing because I am living a successful life.

What is your definition of success? Work hard to identify it! Identifying what success looks like to you is a first step in overcoming the tendency to compare yourself to others.

I haven’t mastered this, yet. I still need to work on not caring what others think of me, and I would really like to hear from you. I began this blog to help us all become better speakers and leaders. I hope I am not the only one who feels like this. So, let’s start a conversation: How do we stop caring about what others think of us? How can we stop comparing ourselves to others?

Leave a comment below, or start a conversation on a social media outlet. Let’s help each other out.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas. As always…

Dream BIG,

The Question You Should Be Asking Yourself!

By Motivation No Comments

When Chelsea and I were first starting out we asked ourselves, “What do I want to do?”

We pondered over this question, got frustrated by this question and often ignored it thinking that would help.

“What do I want to do?” became a common sentence that would run off our tongue so many times it sounded like it was on repeat!

“What do I want to do… with my life?” 

“What do I want to do… with my career?”

“What do I want to do… with my relationship?”

We would go in circles and become frustrated with the answers. Not sure of what we wanted. Until we changed the question with one word! Instead of “What do I want to do?” we started saying, “What can I do?”

“What can I do… with my life?” 

“What can I do… with my career?”

“What can I do…with my relationship?”

This opened up our minds and let a new light in. We were aware of what we could do and capable of. Once we realized all the things we could accomplish, that is when we moved to, “Now what do we want to do with it and why?”

What can you do? What can you do right now to make your life better? What do you have right now that can make you happier? What one thing can you do to be a better friend, family member or member of society?

Change the “what do I want” to “what can I” and your life will change. For us it did! It brought us clarity and keeps us focused on what is important in our life. We are not bogged down by the weight of what we want to do but rather understand we are capable of so much more. Focusing on the “can” helps you create your “why!”

So my question for you today is, “What can you do?” Think about it and use it to make things happen in your life! Enjoy your day and as always…

Dream BIG,

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