What’s the Most Important Thing for a Speaker to Worry About?

What’s the most important aspect of speaking for a professional speaker to develop? I get asked that question all the time by people at the early stages of their careers, people who are passionate about some idea or cause or field of knowledge and who want to spread their expertise to the world. They’re thinking that they need to develop their storytelling ability, or their charisma, or perhaps just to create a… 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

You Have to Choose

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 the love of audiences.  All those things may follow, and all are potentially important aspects of a… Read More

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 and speakers, and I’ve learned a few rules.  Follow these and you won’t go far wrong.  And… Read More

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 deep into the issue that animates your topic.  You’ve bathed the audience in the keen light of… Read More