Not all public speaking is the same… 

Here’s why it matters: If you don’t know your intended outcome, your message will flop. A lot of speakers will flop, not because they are not effective speakers but because they don’t understand the needs of their audience. 

Being a public speaker is like being an athlete🏋🏽♀️; it is a broad category that does not always define the specific objective of the event🎤. 

To build confidence in your public speaking skills, knowing the top 3.5 types of most common public speaking objectives is crucial. And no, that’s not a typo. I believe there are three and a half types. Here they are:

     1. TEACHING

  • Teaching is a science and an art: how do you meet the needs of each individual learner while delivering your curriculum?
  • Great teachers create an experience for the learner, not just a transfer of information.
  • Pitfall: People wrongfully assume that teaching is easy. Those people have never taught.
  • Motivating is more than sharing a story or appealing to the audience’s potential.
  • Great motivators equip their audience members with the tools to be their own great motivators. 
  • Pitfall: A great personal story does not motivate on its own. Motivators can get trapped in the superficial. 
  • Disruptors are those willing to say something new that could go against the norm.
  • Great disruptors are courageous and wise; they must have the emotional intelligence skills to navigate many people’s emotions.
  • Pitfall: Everyone thinks they are disruptors. But disruption isn’t a temper tantrum or a protest. Disruption challenges the status quo with something meaningfully better, but it will cost the price of change. 

Finally, I mentioned the additional .5 of speaking strategies. I categorize it as .5 because I believe it is a significant part of ALL speaking. 


  • Coaching is part of being a speaker. If you are a speaker, you are a leader. As a leader, you need to be able and willing to step into coaching your audience members as you teach, motivate, and disrupt. The days of 45-90 minute keynote speeches may be dying as audiences are desiring more and more connection, conversation, and experience from their events. 
  • Pitfalls: Knowing your content doesn’t make you a great coach. Coaching is a skill. 

Whether you are a professional speaker or speaking is part of your leadership role, be sure you and your audience are aligned as to whether you are teaching, motivating, or disrupting. Knowing that alone would improve your effectiveness as a speaker, and boost your confidence in front of an audience.

If you would like to see my Youtube video on this topic, click below.

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