The ultimate gift guide for public speakers

If you’re not sure what to get your favorite public speaker for the holidays or need to add a few items to your own wish list, here are some ideas.

I ran this list a few years back, and I’ve updated it for 2014: What to get your favorite public speaker for the holidays.

Following are 10 gift suggestions for speakers. Get shopping!

1. A new website

I regularly check out speaker websites, and they are pretty bad—overcrowded, underwhelming, inadequate and poorly designed for quick connections—the opposite of what the Web is all about.

Get a decent designer and writer, rethink the approach and get a website as good as this one: Note that it works well on mobile, too. Many websites don’t.

2. A tablet and apps

I recommend Apple, but Microsoft has plenty of options, too. Whichever you choose, a tablet will help you show slides, take notes and record a speech. It can also act like a teleprompter or white board.

This gift will bring your public speaker into the 21st century, and save room in his or her carry-on bag.

3. A year of improv lessons

This is my favorite recommendation. It’s a commitment, but if you’re a serious speaker, you must know how to respond to audience members in real time. Nothing improves a speaker’s ability to do so like a year of improv lessons.

Improv is hard, but you don’t have to become an expert to benefit from the increased ability to present on stage. Once you’ve done improv, public speaking will seem easy.

4. Something to read

Since it would be immodest to nominate my books, I suggest “Words That Ring Through Time: The Fifty Most Important Speeches in History and How They Changed Our World.” The speeches are inspiring, and the discussion on each is illuminating. Get a copy for your favorite speaker, and inspire him or her to greatness.

[FREE DOWNLOAD: 10 punctuation essentials]

5. A new speaker sizzle reel

Speakers always want better speaking videos. Your last one had less-than-perfect sound, was shot on a bad-hair day, is out of date or shows you muffing a critical line.

Whatever the reason, speakers are never happy with their videos. Find a video company, and do it right. With a little shopping, you can find a good company at a great price.

6. Thumb drives

The last time I checked, you could find thumb drives with 8 GB of storage or more for $6-12. You may even be able to do better. What’s more, you can get them in cute styles and configurations.

The idea is to have backups of presentations, videos, marketing information, etc. portable, safely replicated and ready to give to speaker bureau representatives.

7. A TEDx holiday

How about a trip to a TEDx talk fest (plus a few days to recover from the excitement)? Nothing says “I love you” more than a conference full of amazing speakers to emulate or envy. Apparently a TEDx event happens somewhere every day, so you shouldn’t lack for pleasant locales and options.

8. A shopping spree

You must look your best when you stand in front one thousand peers counting on you for inspiration and wisdom. You need to feel like a million bucks, and elegantly tailored clothing helps. It’s worth spending money on a great outfit or two, and your speaker will thank you.

9. A Priority Pass membership

Successful public speakers will spend a great deal of time in airports in 2015. A Priority Pass membership provides a quiet space between flights at many airline clubs around the world, as well as friendlier, more helpful staff to sort out inevitable travel delays.

10. A photo shoot

Don’t go cheap on a photo shoot. Public speakers need high-quality shots so they can claim to be high-quality speakers. Anything less makes them look like amateurs trying to play a pro’s game. Give your speaker the gift of a professional photographer to have it done right.

A version of this article originally appeared on Public Words.

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