The single biggest mistake most public speakers make most often

Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re ill and you go to the doctor.  You get into the examination room, and the doctor arrives, and before you’ve even opened your mouth, she prescribes a pill for you.  What would you think? Of course, you’d think the doctor didn’t know what she was talking about.  You'd [...]

Why – and How – Your Audience Matters. #4 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. 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 [...]

What Do Audiences Owe Presenters?

We expect a lot of speakers and presenters.  We want them to be witty, wise, and gnomic.  We want them to give us insights we’ve never had before.  We want them to change the world.  We expect a lot.  But what about the audiences these speakers work so hard to please? Do we have the [...]

Body Language Quick Takes 3 – Are You Connected?

How do you tell – in body language terms – when you’re connected with someone?  A conversation between two connected people – lovers, friends, colleagues – who are in sync is a beautiful thing to behold.  If you’re one of the parties involved, it may spoil the connection to take time out to notice it, [...]

Why is most public speaking – especially in the business world – so bad?

(This blog is based on the talk I gave at the opening of the Public Words Speaker Forum, June 11-12, 2010.) Why is most public speaking – especially in the business world – so awful?  And how can we raise the bar, which is set distressingly low.  I think there are three principal reasons.  First, [...]

How to develop a paid public speaking career – IV: 3 Rules for Long-term Public Speaking Success

You’ve created both push and pull demand – you’ve wooed the bureaus and meeting planners and you’ve created a strong platform – and you’re getting inquiries.  What do you need to do to create a thriving, sustainable business?  Following are the three essentials for long-term success in the very tough business of (paid) public speaking.  [...]