40 Public Speaking Lessons from Andy Harrington

Andy HarringtonAndy Harrington – I remember seeing him performing live for the first time in 2006 at a motivational event in London. Last year I came across his book “Passion into Profit – How to make big money from who you are and what you know” from which I learnt a lot of highly interesting lessons, which I would like to share in this blog post. Keep reading and find out what 40 public speaking lessons from Andy Harrington we can learn.

Who is Andy Harrington? He is the Founder and CEO of ‘Public Speakers University’. He trains CEOs, entrepreneurs, business owners and key influencers on how to improve their brand and presence online or/and on stage. He offers different training and coaching seminars on public speaking skills and confidence to motivate, educate and inspire others, so that they can perform and excel at all times. He loves to improve the quality of life of people by telling them how they can increase their incomes and break through their limited mind set. He has shared the stage with Sir Alan Sugar, Paul McKenna, Anthony Robbins, Sir Richard Branson, Brian Tracy, Bob Proctor and many more at prestigious venues around the world.

I found his book really good. Being a public speaker myself, I found that many parts in his book sounded very familiar to me. However, there were lots of details and thoughts how I could still become a better speaker myself and also how to earn more money as a Content Creator. I felt that the book helped me to turn from a good speaker into a great speaker!

Book of Andy HarringtonNow let me tell you what public speaking lessons from Andy Harrington we can learn. But it also includes tips on influencing people and content creation.

40 Public Speaking Lessons from Andy Harrington


# 1 – If you have an idea or a dream or a particular talent, make sure you act on those ideas and make something out of it. Don’t find yourself in a situation in which you have to remind yourself: ‘I wished I would have done…. but now it’s too late and I can’t do anything about it.’ Act today, or even better, act NOW.

# 2 – Every person makes certain experiences in their lives on a private as well as professional level. That knowledge and those experiences (no matter how small, big or traumatic they have been) make you an authority/expert in a certain field. Everyone basically could take their life experience and transform it into real value. You might have certain knowledge that others don’t have, and those people would maybe appreciate to learn more about it from you. Let’s say you went through a painful experience, which then later you were able to overcome….. you could basically use this experience to teach others – finding themselves in a similar situation – on how to cope with that problem more successfully.

# 3 – Not everyone is prepared to buy at the moment you are trying to sell. So instead of trying to sell straight, first take always a more educational/teaching approach. The consequences will be that people will buy from you later on because they started to get to know you, like you and trust you as an authority. So even if people don’t buy from you today, it doesn’t meant that they would not buy from you tomorrow. They will definitely remember you and consider buying from you in the near future. Rest assured that if people have the choice to buy from a stranger or from someone who created already interesting educational content, in whatever form, they will surely choose the one they already know about and that they feel they can trust.

# 4 – Once you produce an asset, for example products such as books, CDs, audios, eCourses etc. you will get paid forever. You just create it once and your product will do the job for you. You don’t have to deliver it each time personally. If you offer it as a downloadable product you will have zero costs. You create basically your product only once (even though it might be quite time consuming initially to create and then also to promote it), but you keep on earing passive residual income on a regular basis.

However, if you have tangible products you can package your knowledge into such great products/services that people feel so excited about it, that they can’t resist not to buy from you. The ultimate goal would be to have them lining up for your offerings before your presentation is already over.

# 5 – You will make better use of your time, help more people and generate a higher income if you teach or mentor many people all at once rather than doing it on a 1-1 basis.

# 6 –  You don’t always need qualifications for everything. Your experiences can make you an expert in your field.

# 7 – When you get started it’s important to choose just one topic for which you want to be known. Later on you can focus on other subject matters, too. Avoid being a Jack of all trades, you will be perceived as a master of nothing.

# 8 – If you are not sure how to find out what your passion is, ask yourself this simple question. IF I WOULD NOT GET PAID FOR IT, WOULD I STILL DO IT? The answer will open your eyes and makes you realise how enthusiastic you are really about it. This is a question, that I – as a recruiter in the past – asked job candidates in an interview. It really told me a lot!

andy harrington# 9 – Every product or service that you want to create and sell, should either be able to solve a problem or enhance a person’s life! So watch out with what people are struggling and having problems with.

# 10 – When giving a speech or presentation, think about your own speaking style. Which approach do you want to take? Do you want to be educational, entertaining strategic, interactive, formal, tactical or relaxed?

# 11 – Get to know your audience. What are the problems that your target audience is facing and what solution/result do they expect to achieve? It is of paramount importance to create content that addresses the audiences’ hopes and dreams straight away. Focus on the problems and challenges that your audience is facing today and offer them solutions to achieve their goals. Your challenge should be to close the gap between where people are now and where they wish to be in the near future. The most effective strategy to promote your solution is to:

  1. Teach your clients.
  2. Remind them about the challenges and problems they have to deal with.
  3. Share your advice by giving answers to questions they raise.
  4. Present your solution and provide evidence of proof.

# 12 – If you show them the consequences that your inaction will have and the cost of not solving the current challenge, your will increase your chances of winning them over as your clients.

# 13 – If you want to become the Go to Guru number 1 in your particular industry, you should design, develop and deliver a personal story. The benefit of telling a story is that it grabs your attention and allows you to persuade others unconsciously. This way you are able to create an emotional connection with your audience.

# 14 – I consider myself as a good storyteller and I always used it for my own speeches, too. I know exactly how much more memorable and powerful it can be. I always thought my episodes, personal experiences and stories were presented really well. But it was only once I read Andy Harrington’s book that I realised that I can do it even better if I would follow his advice. For me personally the most important lesson from his book was this: when you tell a story you need to use DESCRIPTIVE language. The audience is not able to see what is in the speaker’s head. If you are able to describe every point that you want to mention in detail the advantage of it is that it makes the audience feel as if they were there with you. Think of mentioning little details, such as feelings, surroundings, sounds, smells etc. Don’t tell a story. You must relive it! Your goal in your presentation should be focused on initiating a transformation in peoples’ behaviours. When you tell stories, show your audience that you are also not perfect. Tell them episodes, lessons that you also personally learnt in your personal or professional life. It will make you look more human.

# 15 – It is more effective to avoid narration and instead telling your story through dialogue.

# 16 – Once you have chosen your niche topic do your research and see what other people in the same industry have already put out there. How do they present their knowledge? Make a list of all the points and see how you can differentiate yourself from them.

Andy Harrington# 17 – When holding speeches, make a video recording of yourself and see how well you are doing it. You will realise things that you never thought. I personally, used to walk around a lot when I was presenting. While one might think it’s nervousness, for me it was just that I felt bored of remaining stuck in the same place all the time. Believe me, I felt quite odd when I noticed that on videos. Ever since, I tried to move around less.

# 18 – When giving a presentation never write it down and memorize it word for word. You will be much more nervous and realise that even if you just forget few words, you might end up with a blackout and lose the thread of your speech. It’s important to internalize the content of your presentation in such a way that it comes naturally to you to remember it without big efforts. Once the moment of your speech arrives, you can fully concentrate on your audience. It allows you basically to read their body language and make alterations to your presentation if required. If you are so focused on each word that you have to think what you are going to say next, it will not be possible for you to read your audience’s body language at all.

# 19 – When giving a presentation make it sound like a conversation. After listening to many famous speakers I would say the good ones, all master this skill particularly well. This was often my secret to success too. The moment you don’t look at it like a monologue from your side, but a conversation with your audience your presentation will be perceived much better and delivered on a completely different level. Engagement with your audience is crucial. I loved doing it for each speech and presentation I gave and I can assure you it will be much more memorable.

# 20 – If you ask your audience a rhetorical question you will be able to put people into THINKING MODE and not just LEARNING MODE. A method which would be more effective would be this: Keep quiet for some time and let your audience first find an answer in their own head. The result? It will make them more curious and interested.

# 21 – Place questions throughout your presentation. It will make you a much more engaged speaker. Try to get agreement from your audience you could for example ask “Raise your hand if you agree with me.”

# 22 – The goal should be not just to inform your audience but to transform them (as mentioned previously). Don’t just bombard your audience with lots of facts but tell them what you believe in. You will notice that even your voice will sound differently by sharing something you truly believe in.

# 23 – If you want to be known and noticed quicker, then there is only one quick way of achieving that goal: come up with a statement which attacks the status quo. If you go against the flow, people will start noticing you more, you will stand out. Make a point and get your message across effectively.

# 24 – It will be more profitable and effective for you to focus first on delivering to big groups and only then to dedicate your time to 1-1 sessions.

# 25 – If you offer your customers a low-paid product, they have the opportunity to get to know you and your expertise with just a small investment. Once they go through your material, they will look at you like the expert authority you are. It will be easier for you to convince them to engage more with further services.

Andy Harrington Richard Branson# 26 – If you charge your clients premium fees, you will see that those clients will be more committed and focused to make a change in their lives. Remember that there are clients who want to buy the cheapest solution, but there are also those clients who look out for the best solution to their problem. Best of all they are also prepared to pay premium prices for it.

# 27 – If you really want to turn your passion into profit, start by offering an info product which can be presented either in written, audio or video format. As time goes by you can also think of offering seminars, workshops, group mentoring etc. and one-to-one mentoring.

# 28 – Get your live events recorded. This has the benefit that you can include snippets or the whole event in your product and offer it for sale.

# 29 – You might want to consider creating an online membership programme by crating modular trainings which you can release each week or month. Your client would pay a monthly subscription which would allow him to access existing modules as well as new modules.

# 30 – Create your information in different formats. Some people might want to listen to you, watch you or read what you have to say. Consider of approaching people who have different preferences in their learning styles.

# 31 – Remember to first add value by giving out great information for free. Once you are more established, you will have clients who are prepared to pay for your products or services. Never sell straight away without providing something of value first. It rarely ends in a sale.

# 32 – Another important public speaking lesson from Andy Harrington is to avoid talking too much in the “I” form, instead use the word YOU often. Doing it like that, every person in the audience would feel a bit more important because it’s about them and not about you!

# 33 – If you have a list of non-buyers (of your products/services) approach them with a follow-up campaign. Don’t let them go and persevere, the moment will come when they will also turn into customers. Just be patient!

# 34 – When you mention a conflict, a struggle that your audience is facing, do it early on in the process of your speech. This way you will get their attention quicker. Then plant a seed! Think of a phrase of 10-12 words that makes your message memorable and sticky to your audience. You need to install a key believe in peoples’ minds. Try to make your message to your audience as real as possible.

# 35 – If you find a celebrity or another authority to promote your service, you will be perceived as an even more credible professional.

# 36 – Whenever you sell something make sure you first talk about the VALUE the person can expect, and not the price straight away! Don’t sell upfront, and don’t wait until the end of the speech. Just mention your product/service once in a while during your talk. Create an unconscious desire in the mind of your audience that they will want to find out more about how you can help them.

# 37 – The right moment to pitch confidently would be two-thirds of the way through your presentation. Thus, don’t wait for your pitch until the last minute. Be aware that the audience will not have had enough time to think about whether they need your product/service or not. Make them an offer of something that is so good that they can’t afford it, not to take advantage of it.

# 38 – Now let’s focus on eye contact. Did you know that it is more effective and will make the audience feel more personally addressed to, if every time you make a statement or say something, you look every time at one person only.

# 39 – Making pauses during your speech can be a good thing. You allow your audience to think about your idea and compare it with their own situation.

# 40 – Andy Harrington also believes that walking purposely to the flanks and remaining there for some time, you will be perceived as a more approachable person who is willing to connect with everyone, not just those who are sitting in the front seats. It is important to always pause when you get to where you are going and communicate from that spot for a while.

If you would like to see Andy Harrington in action, watch this video right now….



Why not also following Andy Harrington on Twitter? You can find him @JetSetSpeaker.


Do you want to find out how good your Presentation and Public Speaking Skills really are? Take this very comprehensive quiz of 100 questions!


What was your biggest takeaway today  from these 40 public speaking lessons from Andy Harrington? Which lesson are you most excited to use in your own career? I would appreciate it if you could leave a comment and let me know. If you know anyone who could benefit from this article, make sure you share it. You’ll be helping them out and me too! Thanks!



Author: Karin Schroeck-Singh

Karin Schroeck-Singh is a trilingual Career Optimizer at www.Careerheads.com. She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Her passion lies in creating multilingual, high-quality content in career matters, giving highly engaging public speeches and helping job seekers to optimize their career by providing professional coaching. She is the author of several ebooks, among them “44 Tips for a successful Video Interview” (http://careerheads.com/product/ebook-44-tips-for-a-successful-video-interview/). She has written several career and business articles for international HR and Marketing companies. Her favourite motto is “Learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime!” Follow her on Twitter @CareerHeads.

One thought on “40 Public Speaking Lessons from Andy Harrington

  • Great content, great design, love it! Very useful tips for my next speech to remember after reading your article.

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