17 Truths That Will Unlock Your Public Speaking Greatness

Rodney Denno
4 min readNov 18, 2020
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Nineteen years, four months and seventeen days ago I said yes.

One month later I was sitting on stage in the main auditorium of VISA International’s global headquarters in Foster City California. Five-hundred VISA employees and a massive camera — broadcasting the event live to the VISA world — stared back at me. Seated with me was an Executive Vice President in charge of…who the hell cares.

I was terrified! Why had I said yes to hosting this one-hour event!?

Fast forward one stress-filled hour. I did hold it together and even managed to enjoy a few moments. The Executive Vice President thanked me for being so well prepared. I was elated, exhausted, and curious.

Why had I felt the need to spend so much time preparing and why had I still been so nervous?

That curiosity started me on a quest to seek out the truths that great public speakers live by — and share them with others.

Since that stress filled hour long ago I’ve crafted and delivered over 500 speeches, talks, and presentations and talked to loads of people about the art and science of communication.

Here are 17 simple — and sometimes harsh — truths.

Identify your default public speaking settings

Each of us has default life settings — automatic behaviors that are comfortable and familiar.

Identify your default public speaking settings — ways of communicating and interacting with your listeners. Track the ones you think are important and make changes over time that help you connect more deeply with your listeners.

Listeners want insight and context…not just more information

Insight that will deepen their understanding of the subject matter and a context in which to more easily and more fully understand and assess the blizzard of information that comes their way.

Get over yourself!

Once I understood these three words I felt free.

Free to be me. Free to connect with each listener. Free to be what they needed me to be.

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Rodney Denno

Curious and Analytical — by Nature. Father, Writer, Inventor, Speaker, Educator, YouTuber, Technologist, Entrepreneur, Executive — by Choice. rodneydenno.com