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Jon Torrens

Guest Blog: Jon Torrens, How to do great public speaking

Today I watched a trailer for 'Robot and Frank', which looks very good. I know this because the trailer showed the initial scenario, the characters, snappy lines of dialogue, major plot developments, and, well... everything.

A movie trailer revealing every secret that the film had robs me of the desire to watch it. Action movies show their biggest 'wow' moments, comedies use their best lines, and all trailers show the entire plot. OK, that's just what Hollywood does now, presumably because the execs are worried that people won't come to see something if they haven't seen its best stuff beforehand.

I think good films need good stories. Good stories work for me because:

  • I like the main character, and empathise with them.
  • Dramatic, life-changing events happen to them.
  • Moment to moment, I don't know what's going to happen next.

You only need the first two in a trailer, but instead we get all three. Grrreat.

 Good public speaking works for me because:

  • I like the speaker, and empathise with them.

  • They present rich material that they really know and care about.

  • Moment to moment, I don't know what's going to happen next.

So: don't start by telling your audience what's coming next beyond a very rough outline, otherwise there's no reason for them to listen to the whole thing. Make it a story, with inventive, surprising and possibly even humorous twists and reveals. Take them on a journey, and they'll really listen.

Guest Blog by Jon Torrens- Communications Coach

I teach people how to enjoy public speaking.My students gain confidence through practical exercises in writing, speaking and approaching the whole communication process creatively. I use my adaptable people skills to quickly establish rapport and make the process genuinely enjoyable, to facilitate effective learning and high information retention. I’m a former professional stand-up comic and computer game designer, providing bespoke training to enable you to win pitches, give high impact presentations, and have meetings with no wasted time.

My philosophy is based on my stand-up comedy experience: Be creative, convincing and concise.

More information can be found at:


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