Marco Pesch is a Public Speaking Expert and the founder of the not-so-standard public speaking training agency Happy Good Talk. He and his team believe that your audience is fed up with standard speakers, tricks, and jokes.

In this episode, we talk about energy and presence on stage, storytelling, and authenticity, and how you can acquire those skills. We also look at great public speakers and what makes them inspiring.

How he started in the industry

Right after his studies, Marco has started as a consultant for a large financial company advising customers on how to be an entrepreneur and work better together. Then in 2008, a program they were working on became a success, and Marco was appointed to go around, present, and talk about it.

After that, he decided to enroll in an improv acting class. He learned how to present himself on stage and play with his audience. He then left his consultant job as he fell in love with acting.

After acting for seven years, he realized that he misses something and that something was the business world. He then merged both the corporate and performance world in his current job.

Who are the great speakers

Marco tells us to look around us – there are many of them, but not all of them are known. There are quite a lot of them that do not get the stages.

As a universal example, he mentions Stephen Hawking. Despite his disability, Hawking gave all he had. He said to the world – “this is me, and you better deal with it.” He was also an example of someone who cannot rely on body language or hand gestures, even voice tone, but he dealt amazingly with it.

Oprah Winfrey is another excellent speaker. She is a fantastic speaker in terms of authenticity, and she successfully employs all the storytelling techniques. Marco teaches people those techniques, but she does it naturally.

How the great speakers become so experienced

Marco says that their training goes beyond public speaking. He thinks that it has way more to do with who you are as a person, what you want to be, and how you can show that to the world.

He also says that you are not born with those skills – you learn them. And then, when you forget about all of it, you make it your own. It becomes natural behavior. Marco thinks that that is what we see in inspiring speakers – they have made those skills natural behavior. The level above perfection is automaticity.

You never stop learning

Marco notes that those skills are for everyone, not only for the rich and famous. Public speaking is a skill you do every day for your job, in the supermarket, and with your friends. It is about telling stories. 

It all comes down to continuous learning. Even Oprah Winfrey is still learning – and that is the reason she is such a great communicator. The same is with preparation – we are always preparing for the next thing. It is not about always writing a speech at every moment; it is about always being yourself and confident in who you are and what you have to say.

If I am in that state of mind, it means that I am always prepared for that interview that’s going to change my life. Bring it on, ’cause I’m ready for it,” Marco says.  

Authenticity and storytelling

Authenticity and storytelling are the components that make inspiring speakers, Marco tells us.

It is that feeling of being yourself. When we see people on stage, we know when they have got it. It has to do with a person who is at ease in their own skin, standing tall and confident without being arrogant or diminishing themselves, simply being present in the moment.

If you combine that with the great storytelling techniques that we know, then the magic happens. And the magic is connection. Connection leads to action, and that is what public speaking is all about – you communicating a story that leads to action.

How do you create an inspiring speaker

Marco’s simple piece of advice is to be yourself. When you are nervous, you become a lesser version of yourself. But how to be yourself in such circumstances?

We mention Patsy Rodenburg’s idea from her book Presence. She studies stage performers and why some have “it” and others do not. She explains what “it” is and how to reach your full potential.

It is a matter of energy. Patsy describes three forms of energy: when everything goes outside, everything goes within, and the in-between. People, for example, often pity those who withdraw within, and some people react to the third type of energy with irritation. The circle of presence is the space between where you are being yourself and allowing whatever occurs to happen.

The magic of that state is that you can make mistakes, but it does not matter because you can act on the situation. “Please make mistakes, please do a big fuckup. Because how you act with it is a great way of showing the audience who you are as a person.” Marco urges.

Comfort zone enlarger

Marco explains that this is his job. He also claims that he and his coworkers have a phrase that goes, “Whatever that water grows.”

It means they provide feedback, but instead of focusing on what is wrong or not there yet, they concentrate on what works and is already good enough and then enhance it.

It makes people consider what they already do well because the rest of the world already focuses on what is going wrong.

Representation in public speaking

The audience, according to Marco, has had enough of the norm. They want to see more of the other, more intriguing approaches, especially in terms of authenticity and representation. As a result, he promotes celebrating the non-conformist and not-so-standard speakers, either as individuals or for their work.


You can contact Marco Pesch on his personal LinkedIn. Check out his public speaking training agency at

The books mentioned in this episode are Presence by Patsy Rodenburg and Alberto Cairo’s How Charts Lie.

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