By Breeda Miller, Breeda Miller Speaking, NSA Michigan President

NSA Michigan had the pleasure of experiencing our national President Dan Thurmon who led us through three hours of spellbinding, audience-engaging techniques while he shared wisdom and business acumen. Dan has a unique set of talents and skills that he alone uses to make his points memorable and sticky. I doubt that anyone else in NSA could replicate his program and the style he uses to deliver it. The points he shared with us are universal truths, not ideas that were foreign or earth-shatteringly new. Yet his presentation was fresh and exciting and totally authentic to Dan Thurmon.

As speakers we often struggle with content. We worry that we are not presenting original ideas or research, or that our audiences have already heard our information. One lesson I have learned from my work as a professional speaker is that, while some of my content may be known to my audiences, it’s my unique presentation, my true voice that makes my message come alive and become memorable. There is only one you. There may be hundreds of speakers presenting programs about sales or leadership or customer service. But there is only one you, with your point of view, your life experiences, and your stories told in your voice.

One hallmark of an effective speaker, a professional speaker, is to speak in their true voice. It’s wonderful to be inspired by other speakers. We must always remember that, while imitation can be considered the sincerest form of flattery–it’s not so much so when it comes to professional speaking. If you are tempted to incorporate stories that you have heard other speakers tell, please don’t. If you quote an idea or a story, give the proper credit. If you learn a new way to interact with your audience or other platform skills from another speaker, that’s terrific as long as you use it to create your own better version of yourself.

Speaking of You Doing You: We are so honored to welcome the one and only Jessica Pettitt to Michigan on May 11 for our next seminar. Jess Pettitt is a leading expert in the country on diversity and inclusion and she speaks to the power of the individual. I saw Jess speak on the main stage at Influence in Washington, D.C., and to say she turned my world view upside down is an understatement. Jess takes preconceived ideas about people and presents a world view that is both refreshing and hilarious. I can’t wait to see what Jess has to say in May and I hope you will join us.

All the best,

NSA Michigan Chapter President

About the Author

Breeda Miller is a published author, an award-winning storyteller, voice-over professional and successful businesswoman.  Of all her accomplishments she states that her most fulfilling role was caring for her frail mother at the end of her life. As a member of the Sandwich Generation, Breeda managed to run a household, manage a business and raise three teenagers (two with special needs) while providing ’round the clock care for her ailing mother.

The daughter of Irish immigrants, Breeda is a life-long Michigander who enjoys time on her screened porch, kayaking rivers and walking the Camino de Santiago with her husband.  Her passion is helping Caregivers Carry On as well as others who need encouragement and a bit of inspiration.