Speak Powerfully - Authority Resides in Your Experience

One of the things I do is work with executives, professionals and teams to improve their public speaking and communication. It would seem to be common sense, but it is astounding how frequently people will present on a topic or speak at a forum and launch into statistics, PowerPoints, breakdowns, evidence – even video and other support materials – but neglect to say how they are personally involved in the issue or case at hand. One of the key ways to enhance your authority, presence and power as a speaker is to draw on your own personal experiences.

Your experience denotes instant credibility as you are able to go into explicit detail about any finer point and explain processes, positions and consequences. An audience also unconsciously takes your perspective and inserts themselves into the narrative, positioning them alongside you (or even, within your viewpoint) in your experience. This is a powerful method for overcoming initial barriers, creating connection and gaining agreement. Additionally, it has the important effect of humanising a speaker.

When you speak, therefore, here are a few questions to consider in your preparation:

  • What have been my personal experiences with this topic?
  • How would I describe my reasoning processes, feelings and the occurrences?
  • What results were accrued?
  • How did this experience change or confirm my thinking?
  • How would I explain the personal impact to someone else? Would a narrative, analogy, metaphor, quotation or other rhetorical device help me to make the impact clear?

Your authority as a speaker rests in your credibility and experience is your greatest proof. Don’t forget to use it.

- Peter J. McLean








ur Coach


Peter J. McLean, B.A., PG Dip. Ed., Ct.IV TAA, M.Ed./Ph.D.(candidate)

Creator of the Authentic Speaking®* system, Peter McLean is a highly experienced and inspiring public speaker and coach who knows what it takes to grow as a speaker.

Peter has coached scores of senior managers, executives, Managing Directors and CEOs to help them become confident and powerful communicators.

As a young man, Peter was shy and lacked confidence in social and public situations. He joined local public speaking clubs in Perth to build his confidence and first started to learn his craft there. After working for private industry, he left his home town of Perth and undertook his first degree at University in the United States, taking advantage of unique courses in Public Speaking over a four-year period, during which he won university-wide acclaim in Public Speaking and was appointed as a public representative of the University. His development as a speaker has helped him build a highly successful career as a professional and a leader.


"You [were] passionate about public speaking, it was “hands on”, you were personable and engaging. . . . It was lovely to meet you and thank you again for a brilliant workshop" - Christina Camacho, Client Services Manager, WestScheme

Peter’s formal training includes studies in psychology and education, focusing on communication and on cognitive, behavioural and developmental aspects of learning.  He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Western Australia, studying the nature and impact of gifted teachers.  He is a passionate teacher who will help you to achieve your potential.

Peter is the co-founder and currently Managing Director of Lamplighter Performance Consulting, a company committed to the empowering the performance of individuals and organisations.

Based on over 20 years of research and experience in public speaking and training, Peter has developed the Authentic Speaking® system to help you to grow in your ability to impact others.

"I learned more in one day from your course than I did from all the other presentation courses I've attended combined!" - Bindi Allan, Client Services Manager, WestScheme


*Authentic Speaking® is a registered trademark of Lamplighter Performance Consulting. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2008-2010 Lamplighter Performance Consulting


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