Procrastination can be a killer when it keeps us from moving forward and making true progress. But every now and then, procrastination can set the scene for a "happy accident" that sparks something new.

That happened to me the day I took a step away from my to-do list to check in on my youngest son, Ben, who had a report due on a famous Californian for his 4th grade open house. He wanted to focus on one of the greatest football players of all time (that’s my boy!)—but first he had to convince his teacher to let him pick Joe Montana.

He asked me for help crafting his argument, and as we talked, I realized he was missing ONE big thing—something that I realized YOU might be missing when you deliver your core message to your prospective customers. I’ll share it with you in this week’s blog.

And if you don’t have a signature talk, you should! It can have a huge impact in your business, and I’ll explain exactly why in the video. (As well as how to put yours together for maximum results!)

I know some of you may take issue with my statement about Joe Montana being “one of the greatest football players of all time.” 🙂 I’d love to talk football in the comments—or hear about your signature talk. Leave me a note below the video!

24 Responses to “What You Need to “Wow” Your Audience with Your Signature Talk”

  1. Michael

    When I click on the “Read Transcript” Icon, I get this message.
    I prefer to read them…

    • Pam Hendrickson

      Hi Michael! Thank you so much for your note. We had a small typo in the URL and it’s fixed now. Enjoy the transcript!


    Pam, in over 30 years of professional speaking, that’s one of the best outlines for a speech I’ve ever seen. The concept of “Core Talk” is right on the money and it will BRING the money and make our talks better crafted and enjoyable.

    I’m putting together a new presentaion now and be assured that “Pam’s Principles” will be my outline.

    Tom Justin

    • Pam Hendrickson

      Thanks Tom! It’s like Edison and the lightbulb – as I’m sure you can relate, sometimes it takes going through the 9,999 versions of the talk that don’t work to get to the one that does! Have fun with your new presentation!

  3. Heather

    Great video! I have a story that can be sharpened with your 5 tips. Thank you!
    ( I got the same error message when I tried to download the transcript. I just made notes instead.)

  4. Charles Shoten

    Very helpful, thought provoking. Thank you, Pam.

    We, ages 78 & 81, among the first commercial customers in 2011, are overcoming our concerns about growing older through our knowledge of the #1 genetic Nobel Prize Winning aging research proven to be the #1 cause of human aging itself. Frayed and shortened telomeres (protective caps on our 20-30 Trillion cells DNA).

    We will spoon feed you all of the most creditable current research on this subject along with our five year personal experiences taking 4 100% organic enhanced enzyme spirulina 400MG capsules a day along with our 2013 “How fast are you Aging” Spectra cell lab telomere length tests taken after two years in 2013 showing mine to be the average length of a newborn – age 10, and my sisters to be average age of a 30 year old woman.

    If you have any interest in this, I can e-mail it with copies of our telomere length tests and reports of our personal experience.

    Pam, thanks for helping me restructure our message as we are referring our friends after our experiences have proven all positive with no bad side effects.. Who isn’t concerned about aging?

    Our credibility is our own decision after years working with and learning about the risks and potential benefits, and the integrity of the 4 independent scientists who put this all together after 3 decades of research, and all the current Internet information on telomeres/telomerase enzyme.

    We are among the first commercial customers 5 years ago, and wish to provide and share with all, especially seniors.

    PS: You may wish to use this information for you companies benefits and life and health plans.
    I now play competitive handball 4-5 days a week, 2-3 hours a day. We have not had a cold more than 2 days in the past five years except my kidney stone attack. Imagine what a healthy immune system can do for every employee in your company.

    Sincerely with thanks,


    Best sites:

  5. Malcolm Manby

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    roadlites@gmail accidents by 75% day and night, which is over 1. and a half a million
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    the Institute of Highways and Transportation Sponsored by the Mobil Oil
    Company. The product is an update to the latest cats-eyes that are superior
    In every way, prices, efficency, quality, value and quantity with a lot more
    Information relayed to all motorists of danger, distance, directions, hazards
    and speed, with colour coming to assist with relaying relivent information.

  6. John Byler

    Excellent, as always Pam. I was feeling pretty smug about your five criteria because when I keynoted at a brain injury conference a couple months ago I did the first four! But after 90 minutes of presenting, I actually ran out of time and so skimped on the call to action. I would have liked them to have bought my book, “You Look Great!” — Strategies for Living Inside a Brain Injury! But I did hear that over the 2 days a number of them went went onto Amazon without my prompting and bought it. Thanks for the clarification and reinforcement on the five criteria! They’re all really important, and even when you find yourself running out of time as I did, you’ve got to nail the landing and give a call to action!

    • Pam Hendrickson

      Great comment, John! I agree that the close is where most people struggle. The key is slowing down, taking a deep breath and doing the close as a natural extension (same style, same tone) as the rest of the talk. I always stop right before the close, take a deep breath and think to myself, “I’m looking for just x more people, just like my favorite customers, to join us on the journey.” This helps associate to the people we’re here to help and I find it relaxes me, too. Also, as you say, practice the close 5x more than the rest of the talk. Thanks for the great points, John, and keep up the great work! 🙂

  7. Nobby

    Great opportunity to reflect that the story I tell is not about me, but the person I am.
    The person I am now and from where I have come. What I have been through to get to where I am now and the person I have become as a result of that journey.
    I never like talking about me, bragging about me or making me the focus.
    I much prefer to be getting past who I am and why you should listen to me – to actually listening to me and what I can do for you.
    My friend Andy Falco recently posted a video saying that he was ready to skip past who he was, but found his audience wanted to know, as it provided his credentials as to why they should listen to him.
    Perhaps it is time to stop trying to get to the core of the presentation as quickly as possible, and instead, getting the audience to know who I really am, and what got me to where I am.
    Some-one once told me to tell it warts and all. But I’m not prepared to go that deep, not just yet!
    Thanks for making me sit back and rethink it Pam as I am going through a another transition process right now.
    As always, you remain thought provoking.

  8. Marsha Eaton

    Great bit of advice!!! Great ending, with your son!!! I draw caricatures for parties and events. And I use the same message over and over again for all my potential customers, except that I change minor aspects about it to personalize it for them. I guess you can call it my “signature” spiel. Although I don’t think it is as good as it can be, based on the advice and information that you shared, I have been told that I’ve gotten the business–as opposed to other artists that bid for the same business–because of my spiel. Thanks, so much, for the advice!!! And that’s quite a fella you have for a son!

  9. Don Evelyn

    Hello Mrs. Hendrickson,

    I have found invaluable insight through the advise and tips you give to us, your honesty and sincerity have provided a strong foundation in assessing the content of so many people who claim to offer something of value that we most certainly must have. Through your blogs and other activity with Mike and crew you have allowed our department to focus on many presentations, as the audience.

    The five points you mentioned are all relevant and important elements towards success however the stumbling block for us has always rested in believing the speaker is himself/ herself believing and 100% behind the product/pitch. There is the saying one man’s floor is another man’s ceiling, and most times we find speakers are living in the other space , your honesty in the opening creates bridges of identity and aspiration. Thanks for being a dependable point of reference.

    • Pam Hendrickson

      Thanks Don, your message means a lot! I’ve spent 25 years backstage with every type of speaker imaginable and relate to what you say. Certainly, the more transparent we can be with ourselves first and foremost, and then with others, the more all of us can grow!

  10. Margy

    Thanks Pam for sharing this very thorough outline and terrific resource. A couple of products I promote use network marketing and the signature story is something that we are taught to use over and over again in presenting to a variety of audiences. It works. But your points bring much more meaning to the speech/talk.
    Thank you, again, from a die hard Steeler fan!

  11. Maggie Holley

    Hi Pam,

    Such good solid reminders of the “basics”in dealing with people.. Thank you.
    I am a former Sales Manager and NLP Coach, that now has her own Online Marketing Agency.
    I find I use those earlier skills ALL the time when dealing with my clients!
    It’s good to remember that those ’emotional connections’ you speak of build RAPPORT.
    This is SO important for us all, especially in an increasingly virtual world.

    You have reminded ME to stop procrastinating and start that video series I have planned on “What you need to know about SEO & SEM” in our Google-centric world!
    SO many people start grilling me about this when they learn I am Google certified- this is such a volatile topic!

    Liked what you said re :
    “Next, a signature talk allows you to put your focus and energy on getting your message in front
    of new audiences to build your list and your following instead of constantly creating new talks
    and content, which can feel disjointed anyway, when you’re putting out different things in
    different ways your market doesn’t really know what’s going on”


    • Pam Hendrickson

      THanks Maggie, yes, you have a highly valued skill and I’m excited for you to get it out! Love that you are a trained NLP coach – so many skills to help you communicate effectively in many different ways. Keep in touch about your progress! 🙂

  12. Cynthia Trevino

    Hi Pam,

    Thanks!! So insightful, as always. The “we” aspect hit home for me. I’m structuring my core story around being a ‘late bloomer’ and how I’ve learned along the way. My perfect client is a woman who left corporate a few years ago, is doing reasonably well with her business and now wants to get to the next level with meaty content + marketing strategies.

    Tip #4 is golden for me:” Give away your best 2-3 ideas that they can put to use right away that will get a result for them, that’s really going to help them.”

    I need constant reminders that we want to reduce feelings of overwhelm and inspire action–but NOT over-teach our prospects/customers. Even though you and Jeanne Hurlbert did an outstanding job in Marketing Roadmap of teaching this. –Cynthia

  13. Elena Korsakova

    Thank you Pam for a great content (as always)! 🙂
    You are so right about not giving too much information at the beginning. Yes, overwhelm leads to inaction! I can relate that to myself…
    You are an amazing Mom and your sons are receiving the best education in the world from you. What a blessing!

  14. Todd Marsh

    That was a great video! I am for sure going to work on a signature talk and produce a video incorporating the talk and add it to my About Me page. The tips you provided were dead on and make total sense. Thank you for providing the video to us!

  15. Satish Thaker

    Hi Pam, great video and good 5 tips. I’m 68 and lots of stories but don’t know which one to pick as signature talk. I do go to different organisation and my signature talk has to be related to the organisation so I’ll use your tips and decide which story iron out to use as my signature talk for the next meeting.
    Thanks again,

  16. RomanBRuni

    thanks Pamela this talk on signature talk is really useful cause it gives an internal script to transition our long and tedious marketing conversation into a personal narrative… !
    working as a story consultant everyday I’m dealing with stories that are too much technical or too much ”’salesy”’. most of authors are not aware of form and function when dealing with own contents and follow the steps to conversion in a cold objective series.
    although the son’s grade project raised an alarm it soon becomes a shortcut that once crossed you realize that there was no other way to get to the understanding concept
    without a personal touch individual story. loved the Hopi proverb too !
    If you’d like to put all that in a screenplay format narrative with added emotional qualities
    take a look on my skillshare class ‘Turn-Memories to Screenplay with RomanBRuni
    just published ! skillshare
    cheers from Rio de Janeiro BRazil !


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