Article Category: Resources for Speakers

Gifts Public Speakers Really Want: Dozens of Christmas Ideas


Looking for the perfect gift for the public speaker in your life?

Looking for something to add to your own personal wishlist?

Here’s a great list of ideas inspired by emails telling me the gifts that public speakers really want.

Stocking stuffers, moderate, deluxe, and priceless gifts — a comprehensive list with dozens of public speaking gift ideas for you or the public speaker in your life.

Last year, I received a digital voice recorder for Christmas, and I’ve had lots of fun using it to get audible feedback during rehearsal and live presentations. I used my gift cards to load up on a stack of speaking books.

Many of the items on my wishlist this year are contained below. How many do you share?

Books

Public Speaking Gear

Flip Charts

Flip Chart and White Board Accessories

Lectern

  • Value: Deluxe
  • In an ideal world, you would never need notes of any kind, and you would stand in front of your audience without any barriers. That’s not reality. There are many cases when you do have notes (like being the master of ceremonies). Having somewhere to place them is essential. A tabletop is too low. Keeping them in your hand is too cumbersome. A lectern is the perfect solution, but you never know if your venue has one. A portable one keeps you safe.
  • Andrew’s Pick: Adjustable Speaker Stand
  • Options:

Attention Getter (e.g. Gavel)

  • Value: Moderate
  • How do you get the attention of a chatty crowd when it is time to start your presentation? One of the best techniques I witnessed was a master of ceremonies who had a series of chimes that he would strike into the microphone. Every time he used them, the audience got quiet immediately. Chimes have been on my wish list ever since, although some may prefer the traditional gavel for times when your voice or actions aren’t enough to grab attention.
  • Andrew’s Pick: Meinl Nino Energy Chimes
  • Options:

Pointers

  • Value: Stocking Stuffer
  • In my opinion, pointers are both over overused and underused. Some speakers use them for no apparent reason, and often distract the audience endlessly by fidgeting with them. Having said that, the primary advantage of using a pointer is to be able to refer to visuals while keeping your body out of the sight lines of your audience. It’s good to have one in your inventory for those occasions when you want one.
  • Andrew’s Pick: Acco Extendible Pocket Pointer
  • Options:

Public Speaking Electronics

Presentation Remotes

Digital Voice Recorder

Timers and Stopwatches

  • Value: Stocking Stuffer
  • A timer is critical for rehearsal and for delivery in front of your audience. When I’m teaching, I have often relied on using the clock in the room. But, now that I’ve been in rooms without a clock or (worse!) a clock that was incorrect, I realize the value of keeping time on my own. The key feature to look for is count down and count up timing, as well as large digits that you can read from a distance.
  • Bestselling Kitchen Timers

Laser Pointers

  • Value: Stocking Stuffer
  • Most presentation remotes come equipped with a laser pointer. If you don’t have one of those, then you will probably want a standalone pointer. I’m not a huge fan of them, but there are situations where it is simply the best way to draw attention.
  • Bestselling laser pointers

Thumb Drives (or USB Drives or Memory Sticks)

  • Value: Stocking Stuffer
  • Many of my presentations and courses involve slides of some sort. It’s best to bring your own laptop, or email your slides ahead to your host, but you never know when you need a trusty backup. (For me, about 20% of the time.) So, I always carry my slides on a pair of thumb drives.
  • Andrew’s Pick: SanDisk Cruzer Micro Flash Drive (I love the SanDisk Cruzer models because the USB connector retracts and you don’t need to worry about a cover)
  • Bestselling thumb drives

Digital Projectors

  • Value: Deluxe
  • Having your own personal digital projector represents the ultimate freedom for a professional speaker who presents often with slides. With few exceptions, your host or your venue (for a pricey rental fee) are equipped with digital projectors. However, I’ve been disappointed in the past when I create (in my opinion) beautiful visuals only to discover that the illumination quality of the projector is substandard. Ultimately, that poor quality reflects on you and your presentation.
  • Bestselling digital projectors

Great Speeches DVDs or CDs

The Gift of Toastmasters (or other training programs)

  • Value: Priceless (but the cost is only Moderate)
  • I strongly believe that a Toastmasters membership is an outstanding first step on the path to becoming a more effective speaker for many people. If you know someone who could benefit from the educational program, why not remove any financial reasons they may have for not becoming a member? Membership dues for six months are a tiny investment with huge potential payoff. What other gift can you give that changes someone’s life?
  • Having said that, there are many other options available. Give the gift of learning.

Gifts for Toastmasters

Any of the items in this article are appropriate for Toastmasters members, but some members may also appreciate items that are specific Toastmaster gifts. The Toastmasters online store has a wide variety of items, including some which are categorized as “gifts.”

Six Minutes

Give the Gift of Six Minutes

  • Value: Priceless (but the cost is and always will be free)
  • If you enjoy reading Six Minutes, please share the link with your friends, your colleagues, your students, or your fellow Toastmasters members. It doesn’t cost you a penny, but you would help my Christmas wishes come true.
  • The same goes for other public speaking blogs. Don’t keep them a secret. Spread the word!

What’s Missing on the List Above?

What speaking-related gifts are you hoping for this year?

What gifts have you received in the past (or bought for yourself) that you recommend?

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