An Effective Speech Is Like Tomato Paste

Sam diningSo I've made for you…

If you have ever watched any food competition I'm sure you've heard that opening phrase out of every competitor's mouth. I'm a motivational speaker on health and wellness who has spent 30 years cooking healthy foods in my home kitchen and many professional kitchens.  Because of this immersion I tend to think of life in terms of food. Even when I'm teaching exercise classes I've been known to refer to shoulders and legs as "working the dark meat" ( you know, as in chicken wings and thighs).

With that insight I'll now tell you about a presentation I just made to a group of Wellness Directors of the greater Tampa Bay area. This group didn't need to know about the benefits of eating leafy greens and how strength training increases bone mass. They know all that and more. I was there to demonstrate my presentation style. For the first time it wasn't about the content, it was all about the delivery that makes the content memorable. I had to analyze the tools, tricks and methods we all use as speakers to engage the audience, to help them retain the information and hopefully apply it to their lives after they leave the room.

I explained to them at the outset that I was going to give them a "Cliff Notes" version of my presentation (content). I would deliver my keynote in my usual style and then "step out" of the presentation and point out the technique I just used to make the speech more dynamic.

"So I've made for you here today a presentation that's been simmered down to its true inspirational essence…"

  • Shock them with statistics then offer easy solutions
  • Personal stories
  • Music to get them moving                                                   
  • Keep it simple to guarantee success                                    
  • Make it fun and funny                                                      
  • Change the dynamics of presentation: serious/funny, loud/soft, lecture/participation, sit/move

Specific for my 6 week Lifestyle Challenge Course I teach at businesses:                                                     

  • Email support mid-week                                                       
  • Food (Talk about member retention! They always return for the free food!)
  • Goody bags/Rewards

As professional speakers these presentation techniques are a big part of what makes us great at what we do. I hope I gave this room full of educators an eye-opening look at how they can present their wellness programs in a more dynamic and engaging way.  

By the way, that's my youngest son Sam in the photo. He's a foodie like his mama.







Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford didn’t always know the phytochemical benefits of kale, in fact, those words weren’t even in her vocabulary 30 years ago. Neither did she see any reason to do jumping jacks on a cement surface for an hour. But all it took was a chance vegetarian cooking class and some high-energy music to open her eyes upon a whole new world of healthy living. For 30 years Polly has practiced, studied, taught, educated and lived a healthy lifestyle that makes her such a powerful speaker.

Polly’s down-to-Earth and humorous approach mirrors her own lifelong journey to lasting, positive changes. The audience walks away with tangible plans for improving their health and their lives through food, fitness and fun.
To book Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford, call 941-685-7725 or visit her at

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  1. Awesome post Polly! That was as good as a hot fudge sundae with chopped almonds and coffee icecream, topped with whipped cream and chocoate shavings scattered across the top.

  2. Thanks Polly – now I'm hungry for another…speech?  You could take the cooking analogy in so many different directions – this is awesome!


  3. Wow, yes, Polly! You were the PERFECT person to show them how to make their information more impactful! GREAT stuff! 

  4. Wonderful strategies to keep an audience focused and engaged like I am right now on getting some food! Your posts always make me hungry…after all, I'm a foodie too. Better get the dark meat moving later to allow the splurge!  You are FUN.


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