Jeff Zelaya

7 Smart Ideas to Advance Your Public Speaking

It takes no particular brains to be able to talk to friends, family members or colleagues at workplace, does it? When then, do we have a hard time mastering public speaking?

It’s because public speaking is not something we are naturally trained for.

We learn to write, speak and communicate in many other forms at a young age.

But public speaking – it’s usually taken up as a separate vocation.

To make the matters worse, we develop stage fright and nurture countless other fears and doubts inside us with time that keep us from becoming powerful mass communicators.

Jeff Zelaya Public Speaking Marketing

If you want to be a public speaker who leaves his audiences spellbound, you’ve got to practice a lot and learn from those who’ve “been there and done that.”

Listed below are some smart ideas to advance your public speaking:

1. FEEL that You’ve Got there Already

First things first, you’ve got to “believe” that you will become a great public speaker. It’s important to do self-assessments every now and then but more important than that is the ability to “feel” that you’ve got there already.

Imagine yourself delivering a keynote speech at a big hall. Do it often.

Feel the excitement, hear the claps & watch people listening attentively to every word you say.

Spend at least 15 minutes a day imagining yourself as the public speaker you want to be.

You will be amazed at just how quickly you will overpower many of your limitations through this simple exercise.

2. Gather & Tell Stories Everywhere You Go

You don’t have to practice in a closed room or in front of your close friends at all times.

Gather and tell stories on the go.

If you observe or read something interesting, inspiring or “worth telling” today, how will you “narrate the short story” to someone else?

Do it and notice your audience’s reaction.

Can you make people laugh? Can you manage to get their attention? Can you make them THINK by providing suitable anecdotes or incidents?

You may have a hard time at first but keep doing it nonetheless.

Tips To Better Conversations3. Learn How to Make People Laugh

You’ve got to be an interesting person to be a great public speaker.

No matter how serious the topic, you will have to almost always make people feel at ease.

To learn how to convulse people with laughter, you’ve got to know what really “clicks.”

Keep in mind that the kind of jokes that make Indians laugh may sound like a puzzle to Americans and vice-versa. People have different tastes.

Start practicing at home, office, club and everywhere else you go. Don’t give up if you fail at first. A Wikihow link on how to make people laugh.

4. Do Your Homework for a Specific Audience and Occasion

Are you going to deliver a speech at a college function? Is your company launching a new product? What kind of people are in the audience?

Take notes and prepare for your speech accordingly. You can also read a good post called: 12 Points To Being A Better Public Speaker

5. Practice Loud Self Talk

This one is fun. It’s about practicing public speaking in your head.

Whether you are taking a shower in bathroom, preparing evening meals or just out for a leisure stroll, you can talk to yourself loudly in your head. Speak as loudly as you would on stage and listen to every word carefully.

It’s not easy but it can help you a great deal on how to connect ideas.

You can follow some inspirational speakers here to advance your public speaking. Follow them and see their videos to improve public speaking. It is a good idea and many people follow it

6. Practice Body Movements & Facial Expressions

man looking shockedPractice different body movements and facial expressions in front of a mirror and in a closed room at home.

How are you going to move towards the audience just when you have all their attention?

How will make a face when you say something very funny? What should your face look like when you point out something very serious?

7. Have a Backup Plan Ready

No matter how well you’ve prepared for a speech or how long you’ve been a public speaker, there’re always chances that you will lose track on stage or forget some ideas you planned to communicate to the audience.

Having a backup plan like is therefore important.

Some ideas are:

  • Some notes you can refer to in case you forget something important
  • A glass of water on stage that you can pick up if you need some time to think
  • Some ready questions you can ask the audience if they look bored
  • Crisp lines you will say just in case you fumble or move to a different slide

Jonthan Curran Promotivate Speakers AgencyWe are glad and hope you enjoyed the article contributed by Jonathan Curran on How to Advance Your Public Speaking. He represents PROMOTIVATE Speakers Agency Europe a group of motivational, conference, women, sports and after dinner speakers. Follow us on Google+ to get more updates.






How Companies Benefit from Guest Speakers

In the digital era, it seems like everything’s online these days. Your employees telecommute, share data on cloud storage from around the world, and Skype in calls from the CEO who’s in Japan. This can certainly make things more convenient, but there’s a reason executives like those at Yahoo! are trying to bring back simpler times. There’s a “disconnect” happening and technology is partly to blame.

If you really want to capture your worker’s attention and up the morale, nothing compares to a guest speaker that gets the audience. There’s simply no comparing this experience to a podcast or even an interactive virtual classroom. There’s something about “in the flesh” talks that connects people, inspires them and brings them back into the company fold. What can great guest speakers do for you?

Guest Speaker


Know what you’re getting

Think about online dating vs. that first in-person meeting. There’s safety behind the screen, you’re engaged in a different way, and it’s easy to not put in nearly as much effort as you would on a real-life first date. When you do meet in person, you pick out the right clothes, rehearse conversation starters and probably have quite a few butterflies in your stomach. That’s the difference between watching a speech in a screen and seeing one in real life.


A great speaker caters to the audience, does his research and comes equipped with the tools and information to spark excitement. Working with a speaker, companies can cherry pick exactly the outcome they want. Do they want to fire up the employees for a new venture, prepare them for big changes, or get everyone excited about a new philanthropy project? Whatever you want, a speaker can help pave the way.


The appeal of an outsider

It’s one thing for the CEO or manager to give a speech on going eco-friendly at the office. It’s quite another to have a professional stranger come in and do the talking. Familiarity breeds contempt, even in the workplace, but a speaker is a fresh of breath air. Your employees are naturally more inclined to listen and respond accordingly. It’s kind of how teens won’t listen to their mom, but they certainly will to the boss at their internship site.


When booking a speaker, make sure he has experience in your industry, a proven track record and clips of speeches so you can get a preview of what to expect. If possible, meet in person or at least on a video conference so you can see the charisma in the flesh. This is an exciting opportunity for everyone at your company, and you deserve an expert who meshes well with your crowd.


It’s all about timing

Choose the right time for a speaker, whether it evolves around other events or you just want to make sure your employees are alert. Kick things off with a bang the day before a tradeshow or get the Monday started right. You’re about to make big waves in all the right ways, so make sure your debut is perfectly timed.

About Guest Blogger Larry Alton:

Larry AltonLarry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Thinking of hiring guest speakers for your company?
Check out 


I’m Excited to be a Featured Social Media Speaker for the MACMA event

MACMA ConferenceOn May 1st, I will be a featured social media speaker at the Mid-Atlantic Club Management Association (MACMA) conference entitled:

“Always On. Always Connected. Social Networking is Now.”

This Social Media Conference geared for the health and fitness industry is being held at the Cherry Hill Health & Racquet Club on Thursday, May 1st from 10am to 3pm. I will be joined by two other expert social media speakers: Josh Gerber, VP of Marketing at Brick Bodies and also Dawn Taylor, Account Executive at Members First.

We will be doing individual presentations on the topics of Facebook, twitter, Content Marketing, PR, Email Marketing, Social Selling (wondering what “social selling” is? See the video below), LinkedIn and integrated marketing strategy. Afterwards, the three of us along with a moderator will lead a very engaging round table discussion with MACMA members. The morning promises to be full of awesome networking opportunities and valuable education. Both members and non-members are welcomed.

If you’d like to register please visit: to learn more about the Mid-Atlantic Club Management Association.


Social Media Speaker Reel Example from Jeff Zelaya on Vimeo.

Social Media Speaker, Jeff Zelaya is the Keynote Speaker at the Mid-Atlantic Club Management Association (MACMA) annual conference. MACMA held this special social media marketing workshop and networking event on May 1, 2014 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The event featured top social media experts such as Josh Gerber, Marketing Manager at Brick Bodies, Dawn Taylor, Account Executive at Members First and Social Selling expert and marketing consultant Jeff Zelaya.

Hanging out with Patrice K Cokley – Marketing Consultant

Meet Patrice K Cokley
Patrice K Cokley


Patrice K Cokley is a marketing consultant who specializes in helping small businesses and entrepreneurs build personal brands and improve their marketing and social media presence. Patrice K Cokley has a MBA in Marketing and over 15 years of sales and marketing experience.

I had the pleasure of meeting Patrice thanks to this Branding Muse article. Patrice reached out to me after coming across this article and once I got to know PKC, I knew at once that Patrice K Cokley would be the perfect guest for a Google+ hangout.  As an entrepreneur Patrice K Cokley built her marketing consulting business from scratch and has also secured a book deal, a consulting contract with JMH Cre8ive, and speaking engagements that include Social Media Week Chicago 2013. Additionally, Patrice has been pictured in Black Enterprise Magazine, and featured in The Entrepreneur Within You, TEW Radio, and The Business 101 Magazine. Learn more about Patrice K Cokley on her home page here. In this Google Hangout we discuss Beyonce, marketing tips for entrepreneurs and specifically those in the entertainment industry.

Click play below to check out our Google+ Hangout:


P.S: Here’s the link to the blog post that I mention in the hangout:

Not Everyone Can Pull a “Beyonce”


Thanks Patrice for this great interview!

Patrice K Cokley Logo


Would you like to be our next Google+ Hangout Guest?

Click for more info–> Google Hangout with Jeff Zelaya

Josh Altman From Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing Comes to Miami

My wife and I are avid fans of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing and we frequently debate about our favorite city. She loves Million Dollar Listing New York Josh Altman Speaker Miamifeaturing Fredrik, Ryan and Luis….between me and you I think it’s because she has a mini crush on Ryan…but she says it’s because of how entertaining Frederik is to watch especially when negotiating the tough deals. I however much prefer Million Dollar Listing LA because of the Joshes and Madison’s chemistry and unique personalities, I especially enjoy seeing Josh Altman negotiating and salesmanship, this guy is a class act and it’s no wonder that he closes the bigger deals and more of them.

Honestly, I love both of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listings and that’s why I was so excited when Josh Altman’s team reached out to my company Miami Public Speakers to help Josh expand his public speaking engagements in Miami and across South Florida. Bravo knows that Miami is a natural choice for Million Dollar Listing’s next location and Josh the expert businessman wants to get a head start and begin creating buzz for the Altman name in one the most desirable, expensive and glamorous luxury real estate markets in the US.

Miami’s full to the brim with Realtors and Brokers that could learn from the Real Estate Agent that:

  • Averages over 100 million dollars a year in real estate sales
  • Is in the top 1% of Realtors in America
  • Has had record breaking sales in Santa Monica ($10.5 Million), Beverly Park ($16.5 Million) & South Beverly ($20.1 Million)

WOW just imagine those commission checks!

Do you know of a South Florida organization or Miami Real Estate Agency that can benefit from hearing Josh Altman speak?

Josh Altman has a dynamic personality, provides customized and highly engaging keynotes with a lot of valuable content. Josh Altman will inject the ideas, information and motivation that your real estate team needs to take it’s sales to that Million Dollar Listing level. Who knows? Maybe someone in that crowd could be Miami’s Josh Altman.

Contact Miami Public Speakers To Learn More About How To Book Josh Altman For Your South Florida Event



Social Media & SocialFresh Emcee: Sebastian “SocialBuzz” Rusk

Today’s Social Media Speaker Spotlight: Sebastian Rusk

Sebastian Rusk - Emcee at SocialFresh
In early 2012 I attended SocialFresh EAST in Tampa, FL to cover the event as media, after the conference was over I asked Jason Keath, the founder of SocialFresh if I could help with the next conference as the emcee. Jason agreed and I did my first gig as Emcee in San Diego last year at SocialFresh WEST in September of 2012. I was well received by the attendees and invited back in early 2013 for SocialFresh EAST in Tampa, FL and again to San Diego this past August 2013 for SocialFresh WEST.
Because of this awesome opportunity with the SocialFresh Conference(s) it has now really become a strong part of my brand and I am now getting booked as the emcee for all kinds of events on a consistent basis. I became the SocialFresh Emcee.
The unique part of what I do and what really makes me an integrated solution for meeting and event planners, is that I’m not only the event emcee, but I act as the host and “Creator of Buzz” by helping the event planner and brand market their event prior to it, I cover the event via while at the event, and write about it after the event.
There is no event too big or too small and I go wherever an airplane goes.
Here’s my Emcee Reel:

Here’s my ePressKit:


How To Become a Better Public Speaker

Becoming a better public speaker takes practice!

Public speaking doesn’t have to be difficult or something that you fear. Use these simple but effective tips to become a better public speaker when you need to address an audience.

Be a Storyteller

You can be a better speaker by keeping your audience interested in what you have to say. Tell stories that relate to the topic you’re discussing. This helps people relate to the topic and helps them to understand what you’re trying to tell them. The story should be of someone in real life so people can see what happened. A good story can do wonders for your public speaking. Not every speech will require stories but fit them in where you can for more variety and interest.

Be Yourself

When you speak just be your old natural self. Let your personality come out in your speaking. Don’t pretend to be someone else when you speak because this isn’t natural and people will pick up on this. If you can just go into the speech in a relaxed manner you’ll do well when and not be tense.

Public Speaking Joke

Never ever, ever, ever do this.

Add Humor

Try to add some humor to your topic, especially if it’s a dry boring topic people might lose interest in quickly. Some humor can get people more focused on what you are saying and keep them engaged. Don’t overdue the humor just add it into your speaking were you feel it’s appropriate. Laugh off nay mistakes you make and just move on, people will understand that you’re only human and mistake sin your speech can happen from time to time.

Demonstrations or Props

Visualization can help people understand topics better. Diagrams, images, or even video can do wonders for your public speaking. You can explain the visual parts so other understand it better. This is important with difficult to understand topics as the images and diagrams can help people get the message easier. Sometimes pictures can be more powerful than words for some people. Add in the visual at key section to highlight points, benefit, advantages, disadvantages, and so on in what you’re trying to say and accomplish with the speech.

Speak More

To become a better speaker in public you need to practice it more. Don’t expect to be good with your first speech; you need to practice it just like any other skill you learn. The more speeches you give the easier this process will be and the more you’ll learn. Take both the positive and the negative from each speech you do and build upon those points from there. See where you can improve and where you went wrong during the speech.

Watch Other Speakers

Become a better public speaker by watching others at their craft. Make note of what they do right and how the audience reacts to it. You can pick up a lot of tips and pointers from speakers this way. If possible try to talk with them and see if there’s more information you can learn from them. Here are some of my favorite public speakers.

Audience Involvement

Try to get your audience engaged in the process. Have them vote for things or share their own experience for others. This makes the audience feel like they are a part of something not just listening to another speech by someone they probably don’t know.

Good Start and Finish

Try to start your speech strong and have a good finish too. You can rehearse what you want to say before you give the speech. Be sure to test your equipment too so you don’t get a surprise failure that can impact the flow of the speech if you’re using any type of equipment.

Save Handouts for the End

If you’re trying to sell something or just want to provide more information save this material for the end of the speech when people will be the most pumped about what you have to say. If you give it at the beginning it can get thrown away or stuffed in a pocket and never looked at again. Don’t overload people with too much material as one handout or two is plenty.

You Can Be a Better Public Speaker

You can be a good public speaker but like anything else it requires some work. The more effort you put into it and the more you work to make your speeches better for your audience, the quicker you will improve. Follow these tips and let me know how it goes for you.

Danielle Sylvester Shares a Testimonial for a Social Media Speaker

Danielle Sylvester – Program Coordinator for Encore! Leadership Broward shares a testimonial about social media speaker Jeff Zelaya. For more info visit: Best Public Speaker

What are your opinions regarding Senior Citizens and Social Media? Share your comment below and get featured in a future blog post.

The AMA Northwestern Mutual Sales Competition Champion!

My flight was scheduled for 4pm on Thursday, it was then pushed back to Friday at 10am then pushed back once again to Friday at 10:55pm and if that wasn’t bad enough the 10:55pm flight was delayed and didn’t leave Miami International Airport till 1:30am on Saturday. Tired, exhausted and hungry we arrived at New Orleans at 3:30 am and still had to drive to our hotel (30 minutes away) and then go grab a bite to eat. Long story short we didn’t go to sleep till 4:30am and try sleeping when you have to be back up at 8am.

But even the sleepless night and the excessive delays didn’t prevent us from walking away victorious.

The AMA Northwestern Mutual Sales Competition began at 9am sharp – so we woke up put on our game faces…

The competition was fierce out of 50 students by 12pm only 5 were left. But it wasn’t over — at 12:15pm we begun the final round and had to do our presentation in front of a large audience and in front of a panel of five judges that will scrutinize your words, tone and body movement. After each contestants went the judges would furiously scribble down their notes and whisper among each other. After we all went the butterflies in the stomach were still not over..they wouldn’t announce the winners till that evening at 6:30pm.

ama northwestern mutual sales competition jeff zelaya

Jeff Zelaya wins 1st place at the American Marketing Association Sales Competition

6:30pm finally crawled along and it was show time. As they got ready to announce the winners, my heart starting beating super fast – I felt like it would give up at any moment and then it came 5th place – Jonathan Santana – my team mate snagged up 5th and I immediately got worried but still held on to hope. 4th Place…..3rd Place and so I knew I was in the top 2 since they had yet to call my name and then 2nd place was announced and my team went nuts.

You would have thought they were screaming for the 2nd place winner but 2nd place was won by someone else so they knew that the only name left unannounced was JEFF ZELAYA and so they called it and up to the stage I ran to take pictures with the big $500 check and claim my…

FIRST PLACE victory for the American Marketing Association Northwestern Mutual Sales Competition. 

An incredible moment and a very happy moment in my life. All the hard work had paid off. But the celebrations weren’t the award ceremony winded down there was still one more big award left unannounced and it was for the AMA’s Top Chapter of the Year AKA the Platinum Award…which FIU WON!!! The crowd once again went wild – everyone wanted to congratulate us and take pictures with us and so the trip that almost never happened concluded in the best finish possible. It was meant to be! Thank you for everyone that made this experience possible. Thank you to our ‘ama’zing AMA family and especially to our Advisors Tim Birrittella and Nancy Rauseo. Love you guys!!

Check our my very prophetic words in this video below…”FIU AMA will be number one!” Whatever you believe you will achieve!

2 Major Mistakes Made in Dressing for Success w/ Bonus Tips

My mom always told me “Don’t dress for the position that you have, dress for the position that you want.” Her advice has stayed with me and has made me a big believer in dressing for success. Although we teach that we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover the reality is that many of us do. Dressing sloppy, wrinkly or too casual although ok for some jobs, in the business world it could cost you a deal, a relationship or set the wrong first impression.

Depending on your career different dress code expectations are set. For example, a conservative blue suit although normal wear in the banking, accounting and the finance industry it could make you feel out of place at a Creative Type Marketing agency where the company culture is more casual and jeans are the norm. However, although the inter-office culture is laid back don’t take it for granted. I have seen many mis-steps by making wrong assumptions. For example here are two classic “dress for success” mistakes that I’ve seen.

Mistake #1 – Dressing too casually for an interview

Ok. So you’ve done your research and due diligence and you know that the accepted dress code at the job is casual so instead of dressing for success with a nice suit you show up to the interview in jeans and a t-shirt. Ouch! Big mistake. Just because the dress code is casual don’t presume that their interview dress code is casual too. This presumption can give the interviewer a bad impression and make you come across as unprofessional. You won’t go wrong by wearing your business suit. So just do it.

Mistake #2 – Dressing too boring

Just because your dressed in a suit doesn’t mean that you can’t show personality. Although your suit should be a conservative blue, black or grey you can spice it up in the following ways.

Wear French Cuff Shirt – French Cuff shirts are seen as more stylish and elegant.

Wear Cuff LinksCuff links are a requirement for your French Cuff shirt. You dress up the shirt with cuff links that can match your outfit. Word of caution – stay away from novelty cufflinks as they can be seen as too tacky.

Find a Collar Style – There are dozens of collar styles ranging from the traditional pinpoint to the spread collar to the continental collar. Find a style that can complement your face shape and size. Here’s a great site that can show you a sample of different collar types and how they can change your look. Pro-Tips: Make sure to put Collar Stays in your collar. The last thing you want is your collar curling up. I use Aluminum Collar Stays and they work extremely well.

Dressing For Success Collar Styles

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Change up your knot – There are so many different ways that you can tie your knot so don’t do the same one over again. Different knots also go well with different collars so make sure that they match up. Experiment with these 4 knots below and change it up.

how to tie your tie - different knots - dress for success

Click to Enlarge

Pocket Squares – This is my favorite way to spice up a suit. You can match a handkerchief with your tie or wear one that complements your total outfit. You can also insert the pocket square in different ways. Bunched, The One Point, The Square, has a great guide that teaches you how to fold your pocket square. Click here to check it out.

As you can see dressing for success is a combination of personality and professionalism. Dressing for success doesn’t mean you have to look plain and boring. You can still look professional and show personality.