On Being Brief

Attention spans are shrinking. ADD and ADHD is on the rise – they say. People are overloaded with information. Keynote speeches are getting shorter – TED-talk formats are becoming increasingly common. Conclusion? You’d better be brief. But how? As Churchill reportedly said, “If you need me to speak for three hours, I can be ready in ten minutes. If you need me to speak for ten minutes, I need three days” to… Read More

Seven Books for Public Speakers

The pile of books by my desk has become a block to the fire escape, so it’s time to read and review some of them for the insights that they offer public speakers and communicators in general.  Following are quick takes on seven that you may find helpful. 1.Absolute Value:  What really influences customers in the age of (nearly) perfect information, Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen The authors of Absolute Value want… Read More

Are You a Freak? Then Chris Brogan Has Words for You.

When I first met Chris Brogan it was as a stage presence; he was holding forth with his co-author Julien Smith of Trust Agents at SXSW about the new world of the Internet.  The crowd was SRO and the mood was friendly: there were clearly a lot of Brogan and Smith fans in the audience.  I noticed that Chris had a warm, easy way of engaging with the audience, and that he… Read More

How To Reinvent Yourself – Or Detroit

I’ve become a story in a book.  In fact, it’s a story about stories.  I have Josh Linkner to thank for that.  I started working with him about five years ago, and while I’ve gotten a little older, he’s become a) the CEO of a venture capital firm, Detroit Venture Partners, b) a wildly successful public speaker, c) the author of two New York Times bestsellers, Disciplined Dreaming the first and The… Read More

How the World Sees Speakers – A Review of Sally Hogshead’s New Book

I first met Sally Hogshead when she was at the beginning of her author-speaker-wisdom leader life, fresh from a meteoric career as the youngest advertising agency chief in the U.S. with the coolest clients.  She’d handled a difficult pregnancy by, among other things, writing an amazing little book, Radical Careering. That alone should tell you something about Sally’s creativity, drive, and general ability to turn life’s lemons into lemonade.  But the thing… Read More