How Should You Gesture When Speaking?

How should you gesture in order to win the favor of the crowd, persuade the audience of your point of view, or appear most charismatic? I get asked variants on these questions all the time by speakers wanting to up their game, executives wishing to improve the odds of their success, and thought leaders wanting to get more attention for their ideas. The key to successful gesture is not what you think… Read More

Authenticity or Charisma?

Somewhere between the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries, the general public became tired of hype and decided that it wanted authenticity instead. It’s the most important quality in leadership communications today. Don’t believe me? Think about it: with it, you can move people to action. Without it, you can’t even get a hearing. You’re in Dilbertland. And then there’s charisma — the X factor every leader wants, even if some won’t admit… Read More

Seven Ways to Enchant an Audience

How can you go beyond the usual efforts to create a successful presentation – and enchant the audience?  What are the secrets to creating magic with a speech?  Here are seven ways to take your speech beyond the ordinary.  Some of these will be familiar to you, but I’m guessing that at least one will be fresh and help you find a new level of connection with your audiences. 1.    Tell a… Read More

The Zen Secret for Successful Public Speaking

Seth Godin’s latest blog post is very wise (as usual!) and reminds me of something I often say to clients:  the Zen of public speaking is realizing that it is not about you.  Once you have that realization, you are freed up to find joy in the act of giving a speech. Seth quite rightly locates the fear that most public speakers feel first in the idea that they’re being judged by… Read More

Why You Need to Tell Us Stories, Not Dump Information on Us

Everyone seems to get these days that storytelling is important, because we’re awash in data and information and can’t remember it all.  But we do remember stories. They’re even more important than that.  They are how our brains work.  For example, they are why we all feel that it’s safer to drive than fly, even though the statistics prove the opposite.  We remember the horrifying stories of plane crashes, and forget the stats. … Read More