You Have to Choose

Powerful stories

I spent the day yesterday with a wonderful client who is exploring how he might develop a successful, sustained professional speaking career.  We began, as we always do, discussing the idea. That’s where a speaking career begins.  It doesn’t begin with the money, or the desire to perform on a stage, or the need for [...]

What Should A Public Speaker Wear?

Wardrobe what should a public speaker wear

One question that always comes up when working with a client on a speech – usually late in the process – is what should I wear?  I only have average Male Fashion Sense – which means I’m somewhere between hopeless and OK on a good day – but I have seen a lot of speeches [...]

The Basic Building Blocks of a Great Speech – 5

This post is the fifth in a series on the basic building blocks of a great speech.  You’ve researched your audience, asked the right questions, and learned the particulars of the occasion.  You’ve created the opening frame of the talk with an engaging story that hints at the glories to come.  You’ve plunged the audience [...]

The Basic Building Blocks of a Great Speech – 1

How do you put together a great presentation?  Here I’m presenting a series of 7 blog posts on the basic building blocks of a killer speech.  And no, for the pedants among my readers, I’m not very interested in the false distinction some maintain between a presentation and a speech.  Whether you’re talking to a [...]

5 Essential, OBVIOUS, Basic Public Speaking Tips

Basics of public speaking

Here are 5 essential public speaking tips that are so obvious you should be embarrassed if you’re not doing them already. 1.  Make eye contact.  That means picking individual members of the audience, talking to them just like you’re having a conversation, with the eye contact that naturally goes with that.  DON’T look over the [...]

7 Speaking Disasters You Will Experience and What to Do About Them

When Things Go Wrong Public Speaking

If you give speeches more than once a year, you will experience speaking catastrophes.  Here are 7 that have all happened to me and my clients, and will almost certainly happen to you – and what to do about them. 1.  Your Mind Goes Blank.  You’re going to have a Rick Perry moment – mostly [...]

5 Ways to Avoid Looking Like an Idiot as a Public Speaker

I let the doctor talk me into a flu shot during my annual physical this week, and I’ve had a bit of a reaction to it.  I bled, my arm swelled up, and now I’ve got the mini-flu.  So, needing a laugh, I am thankful to friend and great speaker Micah Solomon, guru of customer [...]

10 steps you can take right now to improve your presentations

Ten steps to improve presentations

Improving your presentation skills can be hard work. Changing behavior takes time. But there are some easy things you can do right now that will make a concrete difference in your presentation success rate. Some are physical, some are about a change in attitude. But they’re all practical, simple, and immediate. Get started now! 1. [...]

Why – and How – Your Audience Matters – Emotion. #5 of 5 Blogs. 5 Ideas. 5 Days.

The first question you should ask when preparing a presentation is, who’s my audience?  But that question requires more than a one-word answer.  It’s the beginning of an exploration of the exact circumstances of your audience – who, what, when, where, and why – everything about them you can determine.  Why should you care?  After [...]

Why – and How – Your Audience Matters. #3 of 5 Blogs. 5 Ideas. 5 Days.

The first question you should ask when preparing a presentation is, who’s my audience?  But that question requires more than a one-word answer.  It’s the beginning of an exploration of the exact circumstances of your audience – who, what, when, where, and why – everything about them you can determine.  Why should you care?  After [...]