Monday, August 8, 2022

Props for Writers to Use When Speaking

by Linda Goldfarb @LindaGoldfarb

Well-placed props can differentiate between an excellent talk and a life-changing experience. My first professional coach, Dwight Bain, is a prop master. Whether it’s a rubber band ball, a take-apart brain, or a simple piece of fruit, Dwight memorably drives home his point. I learned from the best.

On Stage, Props Make Your Presentation Pop

These props set the stage to provide your best presentation 
  • Table: a well-placed table can display a visual openly as in a book or stationary prop. You can also veil an item under a black cloth to reveal it at just the right moment to build a sense of anticipation within your audience.
  • Chair: a high back table height chair or sturdy stool can position you as a relaxed yet confident speaker.
  • Couch: a couch placed upstage effectively when two speakers are casually conversing invites the audience into your living room for a time of intimate communication.
  • Water: a bottle of water is okay if the cap is loose to ease its use. The last thing you want to struggle with is a stubborn lid and possibly a spill, but hey, it’s only water. 
  • Table topper: an arrangement of flowers or a stack of books works as long as the display size is large enough to be seen by all. 
  • Lectern drape: a signature or logo cover draped over the front of a lectern (the stand holding your notes) adds a constant visual reminder of who you are and makes for a good photo opp.

Topic Related Props Make Your Message Memorable

These props show what you're saying without slowing the program.
When I teach speaking, I bring timers to remind my audience to be timely in their arrival and when giving their speech.

Audio snippets (concise and time-wise) are helpful when you want your audience to close their eyes and concentrate.

Videos snippets move an audience down your path without you saying anything.
My friend and author, Deb DeArmond, recently shared how she used a video snippet from the movie, Monster in Law showing a hilarious interaction between Jane Fonda and her daughter-in-law, Jennifer Lopez, to help the audience self-identify with the roles.

PowerPoint slides are visual aids for our audience and prompt you in your talk, reducing your need for notes. 

Use hats, socks, and other clothing to transition from one persona to another, depict a timeline, or implement comic relief.

Floor stand mirrors are perfect props because they make a statement from the stage – big props create a significant impact seen from a distance, and that's always good.

Demonstration Props Drive Your Main Point Home

Use what you want your audience to consider the next time they think of you.
  • Model Sized Lamborghini. Note: Model cars are high-budgeted items to use as a giveaway. I attended an event on developing a successful mindset. The instructor used a large model of a Lamborghini for demonstration purposes, and when we left the event, we received a similar model-sized Lamborghini as a reminder.
  • A ball of rubber bands is a great choice when discussing; no matter our talents, we can achieve greater heights when we work together. Give each attendee a single-colored rubber band.
  • Table Talk cards. Place questions related to your talk on the tables for after-session discussion.
  • Oversized diamonds, flameless candles, a flashlight, and a basket are great props. Consider how you could use these in one of your talks.
Gift-Away Props Go Home with Your Audience

These take-home props keep on giving! Each option has numerous uses. I've included at least one as an example.

Consider ancillary props that go along with your theme and provide the audience with a reminder from you they will hold on to and use. I gift away four silicone de-bossed bracelets. Each has a distinct color, and the Mobilizer, Socializer, Stabilizer, or Organizer LINKED® personality designation with website on the opposite side.

You may consider: 
  • Bookmarks – include text worth keeping on one side and your info on another.
  • Email Sign-up Cards use in conjunction with a grand prize Gift-Away.
  • Multi-faceted jewels – attendees choose colors or shapes that 
  • Masquerade Masks – used for being someone you’re not.
  • Mustard seeds – used for a little faith, big God reminder. You can allow attendees to choose several or place one seed in a bottle stopper (beware of budget)
  • PDF downloads – create a multi-page booklet for a more significant impact.
  • Handheld mirrors – how would you use these?
  • Magnifying glass – So many thoughts running through my mind with these. What about you?
  • Use Attendees' Smartphones to collect emails. During your session, mention how easy it is to stay connected, and if they would like to learn more about XYZ or to stay up to date with your latest ABC, they can take out their cell phones and type 1234 in the cell number slot and Yes! Let’s stay in touch in the message portion. Check out 
What props do you currently use? 

I’d love to get your feedback and how you might incorporate these suggested props in your next talk.

Until next time remember, just because there’s nothing new under the sun doesn’t mean we stop being creative. 

Staying Real 
– Linda


Besides hosting the award-winning, YOUR BEST WRITING LIFE PODCAST, Linda Goldfarb is a multi-published award-winning author, audiobook narrator, international speaker, board-certified Christian life coach, and the co-owner, co-founder of the LINKED® Personality System, and co-author of the LINKED® Quick Guide to Personality series.

Linda and her hubby, Sam are empty nesters leading full lives. With four adult children and grand-baby #15 on the way—life is a new adventure every day. She loves sipping frothed coffee with friends, traveling the countryside with Sam, and sharing transparent truth to help others take their next best step—personally and professionally.

Connect with Linda 


  1. Great prop ideas. I would use the compact mirror as a prop with talk on perception of image. View ourselves through the eyes of the love of Jesus. Not negative emotions, hurts or hang-ups from the past. . The rubber bands could remind us not to stretch ourselves to a breaking point. We are women, not superheroes.

    1. Yess! Those are great uses.