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Marcus Tandler about handling anxiety, rehearsing, Slidestorms and more!

Marcus Tandler about handling anxiety, rehearsing, Slidestorms and more!

At The Inbounder in Madrid, Bas van den Beld spoke to Marcus Tandler about his experiences as a speaker and any tips he has for other (new) speakers).

We discussed several topics: from Google to Slidestorms (301 slides in 30 minutes!), rehearsing, anxiety, tactics and much more!

Here’s the full video. See a breakdown of the video below!

How Marcus didn’t believe Google would make it big

When Marcus Tandler started speaking in public in 1999, he wasn’t so sure Google would make it. In fact, he didn’t believe it at all when a student in his workshop told him.

Listen to Marcus anecdote about one of his first talks ever:

Why Marcus uses 301 slides for 30 minutes on stage

In the interview we had with Marcus Tandler, we asked him why he has this method of presenting. His answer is both surprising as obvious.

Listen to Marcus talk about the number of slides:

With Slidestorms you have to be sure

If you use Slidestorms like Marcus does you need to be sure of what you say. That means a lot of rehearsal.

Listen to the specific item here:

How long it takes to prepare for a Slidestorm

When Marcus uses a Slidestorm as a presentation format, he needs to prepare. How much? He’ll tell you in this video!

Listen to the specific item here:

Marcus misses his own talks and uses a smiley face!

When Marcus goes on stage, he is nervous. He tries to make himself calm and uses a smiley for that. If it works? He’ll tell you in this video!

Listen to the specific item here:

Prepare your talk as if it’s a Hollywood script

When preparing for a talk, structuring a talk in the right way is important. You need to bring your audience with you.

When Marcus prepares a presentation, he looks at it as if it’s a movie script. In this video, he explains more.

Listen to the full item here:

How your grandma can help you become a great speaker

How barcamps, smaller conferences, your wife or your grandma can help you become a great speaker? They give you experience. As a speaker starting out, you should go to the smaller events and just do it. Get on stage and talk!

And when practicing, practice in front of your wife, your mom or your grandma. Because as Marcus says, if they understand, you do fine!

Listen to the full item here:

About Marcus Tandler:

Marcus calls himself a “search geek and absolutely in love with SEO”. He is known within the search industry by the Twitter handle “Mediadonis”. Many know him as a great speaker and organiser of SEOktoberfest.

Marcus is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at – a SaaS Tech-StartUp with the mission to help webmasters make better websites.

More about Marcus:

His personal website
Twitter: @mediadonis

Purna Virji (Bing): Speaker advise about Nerves, Structure and Preparation

In the past few weeks, you have seen parts of the interview with Purna Virji being published on our YouTube channel and through our social channels. Today, you can watch the entire interview with Purna!

Learning from Purna

Public speaking for some speakers seems to be easy. They look confident on stage. They have a great story and a lot of knowledge. It seems they have no problem being on stage. Speaking for them seems to come naturally.

Often appearances are deceiving. These speakers work hard to get a presence on stage that feels so natural. And they too get nervous.

As a speaker, it is great to learn from other experienced speakers. To learn how they handle nerves. To learn how they first got on stage. In a series of interviews, we talk to these experienced speakers. To get insights from them that help you, as someone who wants to be a better speaker.

In this series, we spoke to Purna Virji (Bing), Marcus Tandler (Ryte), Cindy Krum (Mobilemoxie) and Melanie Deziel (consultant, former NYT).

In the interview with Purna, we talked about a lot of different things related to public speaking.

Purna has been speaking in public since early 2012. She still loves being on stage. Actually, the more she does it, the more she loves it!

Preparing for a presentation

Purna spends a lot of time preparing for a presentation. Including design and everything around a presentation, she spends about 100 hours preparing for a one-hour presentation!

She will start by thinking about which issues the audience is facing. What can she give them which is of most help? The key thing is, how can she add the most value. She will then go and do research about what is available and what is out there.

Her next step is to create an outline in Word. She will fill that in, almost like she is writing an article. In the end, she will convert it to Powerpoint.

Rehearsing for a talk

Purna rehearses a lot for a presentation. She likes to get in at least three rehearsals for a talk. She finds that helps to get the talk to stick in her head and to know the flow.

Purna finds that if she hasn’t rehearsed enough, she will stumble and she will find herself say “uhm” too much. Rehearsal makes that her talks sound better!

Purna has an interesting approach to rehearsing. She doesn’t rehearse in front of a mirror. She rehearses to the wall. After all, the wall is a captive audience and never has a bad thing to say! She practices on her own, in for example her hotel room or her office.

The first rehearsal she does out loud. She then can adjust content and flow. And she knows how her time is! Purna can than adjust her slides accordingly.


Why Purna wanted to go into public speaking in the first place, is because she found it to be absolutely terrifying! She thought she would ‘die’ when she would get on stage. She hated it more than bugs or spiders. She wanted to conquer that fear.

For the first two or three years, she was still terrified. But the more she did it, the fear goes away.

Purna believes the fear isn’t a bad thing. The fear comes from caring how the audience perceives the talk and how they get value. Which is good.

To get rid of the nerves, she does things like deep breathing. She tries to change the nerves into excitement. She feels much more comfortable.


Purna’s advice for speakers who are just starting is to ‘just do it!’ If you give yourself time to think about it, you give yourself time to talk yourself out of it. If you feel there is something you have had a success in. If you have something you are proud of, know that you have value to add! Just go ahead and pitch!

Purna wants you to just go ahead and do it. The more diverse voices there are in this industry, the more the industry as a whole will benefit.

Want more advice from experience speakers? Subscribe to our YouTube channel to find more!

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