Thanks  For joining me 

Hacking Public Speaking!

Please find below examples of the techniques described or outlined in the course and also some supporting images, links and additional resources. Hacking Public Speaking comes with a whole bonus course full of additional tips you can access free here

You can get your supporting 80 Tips Guide here and your Workbook here.

If you want to read more about public speaking I have lots of articles here. To watch more you can find all videos mentioned or recommended in the course in this Youtube playlist.

For more on my friend Arash and his recovery click here

If you want to see more of my comedy attempts I have a special you can watch for free here or a talk on here.


Books and workshops these days live or die by reviews. If you enjoyed this one please take 60 seconds to leave a review here, click here to tweet about it, or if you end up reading my wee book please leave a reveiw here on Amazon, saying something as deep as “Stuff good, me likey.” Feel free to get more creative, profound, or even (now that you know how) funny! Thanks a million for taking the time. 


My friend Arash’s TEDx Talk

Callbacks: How my TEDx talk really started

Moth Grandslam Final Story

Already Funny Content via TED

Joke Structure in TED talks

Robin Williams: Calling the Room/Riffing/Act-Outs

Comedy Techniques via TED

Gary V Example

Apple: In Joke Example

Start Strong TEDx Example

The Rule of 3 with Obama

Story Examples with Sir Ken

Tim Urban Expectation Flip Example

Start With A Funny Story Example

Comedy Techniques & Serious Topics

The Audience is Always on your side Example

Sammy Obeid and his 1001 Nights of Comedy

Richard who thought me the Memory Palace

My doing a wee bit of comedy

A Long Story to Start

Joshua Foer on the Memory Palace

Local Reference with JFK

Napa: A terrible joke that always works

Reagan Flip

Dave Eggers and Hamsters

How to Make Boring Stuff Funny

3 Images. Add Exaggeration

Funny story + business lesson

Great short story example

Bringing Stats to Life



This is the free timer app I use to never run the clock.

This is the slide advancer I tend to use. 

I had some great design help with the presentation used in the course and hightly recommend those who helped me. It was created using Prezi by Monserrat Molina and adapted to use for Prezi video by Mandy Schild

For additional reading and articles I’ve written about public speaking go here

If you wish to check out a great storytelling podcast I recommend The Moth and Snap Judgement. On my second ever storytelling show by some stroke of lunacy I got to perform along side the star of Snap Judgement and one of my all time favourite storytellers, Don Reed. Also a very nice chap! Check him out here

For more on FunnyBizz Conference click here, read about it here in Fast Company or watch this short video.

I want to get on stage“. I hear you. I recommend going along to the Moth and telling a story. Open mics also provide a great opportunity and run nightly in most major cities. (if you happen to be based in The Bay Area this is a great list). Otherwise just search open mics near you. If you are not quite ready for the general public Toastmasters groups can provide a solid starting point.

Rapid language learning article as mentioned here.

The Irishman who speaks as many languages as James Joyce is Benny Lewis. His great book here

For more on having comedians adding the humor for you, check out FunnyBizz Writer here

Listen to me taking about the processes outlined in the book here

Listen to me talking about the books unconventional creation and funding here

I had a great editor working with me on the book. Find our more about his skills here

I got some great wisdom on book marketing to help get this wee book to you. Initially as a self published book and then with a publisher. You can learn more about that here

If I missed anything don’t hesitate to get in touch. I can be reached at david (at) funnybizz (dot) co

Take Your Stories and Apply Joke Structure

Make a bullet point list of your stories on a smart phone. Take each one, identify the key part and apply joke structure. Word backwards and cut all unnecessary details. The funny part should go last and even better if you can break a sequence of 3 elements to reveal it. 

How To Get Engaging Fast

Take any of the stories you like to tell and set it up to reach and be relevent to the maximum amount of people. Ie, start generic before getting specific and put your time and creative energy into linking this story to your topic and a lesson. Use details to let your audience visualise the story and see themselves within it. 

80/20 Approach to Awesome Yet Relaxed Delivery

Start strong by outsourcing your intro, practive the first 30 seconds the most, score content from 1-5 and cutt as much as possible, speak up 20% to eliminate filler words, get out from behind podiums, use the memory palace, don’t pet hamsters, acknowledge the obvious, add act out, never finish on Q&A, never run the clock, practice in fast forward, stand still for main points, watch the 3 speakers before you, use local references, use callbacks and audio record, review and evaluate. 

Further Recommended Reading

I do not get any commission. They are all just great reads if you want further informatation. 

Comic Insights: The Art of Stand-Up Comedy by Franklyn Ajaye

Step by Step to Stand-Up Comedy by Greg Dean

How to Write Funny, by Scott Dikkers

The Comedy Bible: From Stand-up to Sitcom–The Comedy Writer’s Ultimate “How To” by Judy Carter

Comedy Writing Secrets: The Best-Selling Book on How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny, by Mel Helitzer and Mark Shatz

The Joke’s On You: How to Write Comedy by Stephen Hoover

Talk like Ted by Carmine Gallo

Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

The Definitive Book of Body Language by Barbara Pease & Allan Pease

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer

The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny by Peter McGraw and Joel Warner

Ongoing Charity Event: Comedy For A Spinal Cause

We kept the initial event that was the catalyst to my experiments in public speaking going and have now raised over $50,000 for San Francisco Bay Area residents on the road to recovery from serious spinal cord injury. You can learn more here. 

The Real Irish Comedy Tour & Festival

During my initial experiemnts in comedy I ended up speaking a lot about what I know: Ireland. The more I did so the more I realised that many of the commonly held views on Ireland or information about the country held by Americans and Irish Americans alike was often outdate. So I got together a group of Irish comedians to set the record straight in the US in the funniest way possible of course, and the Irish Comedy Tour and Festival was born. You can learn more about that here. 

Live Stroytelling 

I went on to host the Moth storytelling series and have continued to participate in storytelling nights. I strated by own series a few years back called “A Funny Thing Happened” which makes sure all stories have a funny side to them and often tours putting on shows at wineries. You can learn more about that or attend an event here. We have a monthly show in San Francisco. 


An unanticipated and slightly ironic consequence of all this carry on is that I, someone who still hates public speaking, ends up getting paid to speak on occasion. The cool part is I get to help folks get better fast at public speaking, and avoid all the lunacy I went through. I’ve been lucky enough to run talks and workshops for the likes of Google, Samsung, KPMG, Summit, Hubspot, GoDaddy, Web Summit, University of Oxford, Stanford Graduate Business School, and most ironically of all, where I had all my Shakin Stephens moments, University College Dublin. Click here for full info. 

“One of our most sought after trainers”

                                             — Celena Aponte | Nasdaq


I made Hacking Public Speaking because I want public speaking to be a fun and enjoyable for everyone. Not scary. For me it was always scary, and it shouldn’t be this way. I liked speaking. I liked speaking in public, but I hated public speaking. It made no sense. After eight years studying this not so sexy topic, I found the same old information was being recycled by a mix of people that were hard to relate to and whose training could actually make you worse. 

The reason: all too often the people training you in public speaking have no experience on stage, outside that spent in front of you teaching you about being on stage…because someone was willing to pay them to…strange right?  A handful of companies represent the bulk of corporate training delivery. Most have their origins with a well-intentioned founder who usually wrote a book around the topic and had a few initial high-level clients. Logically as demand on their time grew they hired extra people to train these clients and meet the extra demand. Not so logically, these new trainers often come from customer service roles and usually have no experience with public speaking and being on stage whatsoever. None. Nada. Zip…not even a wee bit. 

Usually the founder has developed a certain style of teaching. Their approach, system, or methodology. Rather than hiring experienced stage performers and speakers to add their wisdom they usually prefer to hire people who they train from scratch vs. the challenge of dealing with someone who has their own opinions about how to teach something…. from, well…actually being on stage and doing it. 

Worse still if the extra demand doesn’t exist to buy into their “methodology” they hire sales people to create it, who to maximise profits, they then train to also deliver this training. With no experience on stage whatsoever…getting worse. 

I found an industry full of up-sells, unnecessary coaching, weekend seminars, read this book…here are another eight I sell on the same topic (that isn’t very exciting to begin with). I wanted to put all the most actionable stuff in one place.

Businesses often happily accept a Tony Robins certified trainer in place of Tony Robbins but an audience expecting entertainment would never accept a Jerry Seinfeld certified comedian in place of Jerry Seinfeld. Modern day audiences have been socially conditioned to expect a level of entertainment and the people training you more often than not have no experience in delivering it. This doesn’t have to be the case. 

The very thought of teaching this for a full weekend scares me deeply. I’ve been studying this topic for years, am usually on stage about ten times a week, produce a content marketing conference, comedy festival, a storytelling series, and speak professionally and I would still struggle to fill 4 hours. I even struggled to fill one (short!) book on this topic. There is just not that much to it if you know a few techniques. So here they are all are in one place so you can learn way faster than I did (with a lot less emotional trauma!). It’s the best wisdom I could find from folks much smarter than I, and from public speaking’s true 10,000-hour masters. I made this course because I hope it helps you hack public speaking and make this a fun and enjoyable topic for everyone. 

That and income, which on reflection might have been a shorter answer. 


Disclaimer: I’m weak on social but strong in person and I wear a tie but only to bungee jump.

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