What Health Care Executives Fear

I had the pleasure recently of working with a small number of health care executives on their public personas and speaking. Now, I have tremendous admiration for the vast majority of health care people because they’re in the business of saving lives, and that’s hugely important work. And it hits close to home for me. A gifted surgeon saved my life when I was in an accident at age 17. A health… Read More

How to Warm Up for a Presentation

Today’s the day. You have a presentation to give. It’s your biggest audience yet. The organizers tell you there could be as many as five hundred people in the room. You can’t afford to screw up now. What thoughts run through your mind? Will I screw up? Will it go well? What if the technology fails? What if the audience gets bored? What if they don’t laugh at my jokes? What if… Read More

The Public Speaking Secrets of Comedians

I ran across David Nihill the other day when he sent me his book and begged me with tears in his virtual eyes to say something nice about it. Actually, that’s what everyone else does. David just sent me the book and didn’t ask for anything, which was so charming that I immediately sat down and read his book. There’s a lot in it that’s funny, and a lot that’s useful for… Read More

How to Prepare a Presentation

How do you prepare for an upcoming presentation? Let’s say it’s an important one, so you’re not going to wing it, just showing up in the moment and saying whatever comes into your mind. Not a good idea, really, even for a minor presentation, so good for you for prepping – this time.

How To Review Your Own Videos

One of the wonders of the digital age is that video for speakers is now relatively cheap, easy, and of high quality. To be sure, there is still enormous art involved in getting good video for that speakers’ sizzle reel or for your website. But to get video for the purposes of review is no longer a high-cost item. Bad news for videographers; good news for speakers. This easy availability does remove… Read More

It’s the Little Stressors That Will Kill You

Recently I was busy in an airplane-hangar-sized room helping a couple of speakers get ready to speak to an audience of 10,000 people. That’s a daunting challenge for anyone, but the difference between the two people made for a quite different experience running up to the event. One was extroverted and the other introverted. As I blogged last time, if an introvert pretends to be extroverted, he or she will have a better… Read More

Ian Cunliffe, Ed Tate, Kuala Lumpur, and the Art of Visualization

Meet Ian Cunliffe.  His public speaking journey is an extraordinary one, from fearful to joyful, from never-going-to-speak-in-public to competing in world championships, from amateur to coaching others.  You can read about Ian in more detail here.  But for this post I’m going to focus on one particular aspect of Ian’s journey:  visualization.  Because it’s the use of visualization that has, in part, allowed Ian to come as far as he has as… Read More

Speaking as a Career, the Importance of Rehearsal, and Rodolphe Dutel

Entrepreneur and adventurer (I love that self-description) Rodolphe “Rudy” Dutel got in touch with me to help him kick off his new blog on self-improvement, Karma, and yes, adventures.  I think I checked the self-improvement box, since the discussion was all about storytelling, rehearsal, the career of professional speaking, and other public speaking mysteries.  We conducted the interview as a Google + hangout, a first for me, so perhaps that checks the… Read More

How to Coach Yourself – 3 Quick Tips

How do you improve as a public speaker without a coach like me?  I get that query from people who don’t have the budget to work with a coach, or who perhaps are inveterate do-it-yourselfers and can’t take anyone else’s advice. Rehearsal and practice are the most reliable means of improvement over the long run, but you also need feedback, because without it you’re in danger of repeating your mistakes and bad… Read More

How President Obama and Governor Romney Should Prep for their Debates

The first debate perpetuated a huge national misconception about Presidential debates and the job of a leader in general.  The two candidates evidently prepped mightily, trying to learn all the facts they could about the economy, the country, and the government, but the sheer amount of data that they were clearly both filled with got in the way of their ability to speak cogently about national issues.  As a result, they retained… Read More