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“Be a Sponge!” Follows . . .

“My Way is Not the Only Way.”

In a previous post, I proposed telling your audience, early in your presentation, you are NOT the only authority on your topic. Inform them you are going to deliver great information, but others have points of view to be considered, also. Immediately that ‘admission’ gives you credibility. They are more likely to have an open mind when observing and  listening to your presentation. They don’t often hear a speaker use those words. The great benefit is they are more likely to trust you. Good!

The next step is to use verbiage such as: “My suggestion is to ‘Be a Sponge!’ Absorb everything. Then, squeeze out what you don’t think fits. It is your decision what to use, what to trash, and what, if anything, to save for future analysis.”

Since the goal of your talk is for the audience to GET IT!, those early statements will go a long way toward reaching it. If they don’t GET IT!, serious conversations going forward are unlikely.

Taking the temperature of attendees will let you know if you’re communicating effectively. Observe gestures, body language, and facial expressions.

  1. Are people leaning in?

  2. That’s a good sign if you see it!

  3. Are they sitting with arms crossed?

  4. If so, they might be showing they are listening but disagree with something you stated. That’s OK, also.

  5. They might ask questions during the Q&A session giving you an opportunity to clarify and expand upon your position.

  6. Are some resting their chin on their hand?

  7. Good, because those people are probably thinking about your message.

  8. Are they giving you eye contact?

  9. If they are, excellent!

  10. Are any sitting with eyes closed and appear to be sleeping?

  11. Don’t take it personally and don’t try to be a mind reader!

  12. Folks bring all kinds of “stuff” to events that has nothing to do with you, the presenter.

  13. Solution: Look at someone else!

Suggesting the audience absorbs your message like a Sponge increases the odds they’ll GET IT!

Everything you say and do may not fit everyone in the audience. That’s OK! You’ve given them the image of something that can dispose of some of your talk and retain what’s left – A Sponge!

Incorporate the “’Be a Sponge!’” verbiage early in your presentations and I predict they will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!


About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, an international coach, and the author of the books, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

They also know: We perceive really great speakers to be Experts, and we like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver ‘Knock Your Socks Off Presentations!’ with – NO SWEAT!


  1. Keynote Speaker

  2. Workshop Facilitator

  3. Breakout Sessions

  4. Personal and Group Public Speaking and Presentation Coaching


  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Crafting Your Elevator Speech, Floor by Floor with – NO SWEAT!

  3. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  4. We are All Self-Employed!


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