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Chris Baldwin: The cornerstone of powerful speaking is powerful storytelling

We’ve all experienced the nerves, cold sweats and stomach churning feeling before addressing a group of people. Chris Baldwin endured this same feeling when he addresses a crowd in NYC – this experience was enough to put him off public speaking for 13 years. Then as the Strategy Director of his company, he was asked to address his employees - that familiar feeling started making its way in, until Chris decided to do something about it.

He himself says that nearing 40, he was a poor communicator, and learnt that being able to speak well is the biggest ROI in life. Business and all relationships are fundamentally built on the basis of communication and in a manner that resonates with those that you deal with.

Chris’ fear of speaking in front of people is now totally a thing of the past, any and every possibility that he has to address people and transform their nervousness into excitement, their knowledge into a story, regardless of age, is an opportunity he takes.

When Covid hit, and globally we went digital, Chris made the choice that being a speaker online, is not something he would like to pursue. But, what he did find works really well is coaching online. So Chris pivoted his speaking business to a coaching business instead. While in lockdown Chris decided to film and release a 10-part, free coaching series which went viral and saw roughly 20,000 people taking this course. This totally skyrocket his coaching business.

Chris created the series with a few steps behind his model that sees a free 30 minute coaching session, then a group coaching session, and then levels up to a one-on-one session - so from this free course, Chris gradually builds his audience into potential individual coaching sessions.

He explores a four step methodology in his course. The first is to transform the nervous feeling into excited energy. Then develop a method of practice and repetition. Thirdly the formation of thought leadership – sharing your ideas and values, and the structure behind this. And, lastly creating a brand and story behind those values.

Storytelling is a massive part of public speaking. Bringing this element into the tale told to others via the 3 P’s: pain, potential and proof – and ‘storymapping’ your idea, means that you work according to a framework within your mind. By creating this visual map, you’re able to take your audience on a journey that stirs and inspires long lasting feelings.

Chris delves into a section of his course at this year’s Innovation in Speaking (UN)Conference. His topic ‘Innovative Keynote structure for maximum performance and influence’ aims to enable you to build your influence and business through powerful speaking, presentations and pitching. As the founder of, Chris is on a mission to awaken your speaker and 10x your results.

His tip for speakers: A message for all is a message for none. Define your story and own that. When you’re starting out, you tend to speak about everything, but resist that urge. Be everything for that one person that relates to your idea and solve their problem. Finding the people who already care about your cause means you don’t have to convince them, they’re already onboard.

Watch his interview with the PSA Netherlands here and get your tickets for the Innovation in Speaking (UN)Conference from 9-12 April here!

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