The Moon Landing and the Power of Storytelling


On May 25, 1961, President Kennedy spoke to Congress: I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important [...]

You Have to Focus


I wrote in an earlier post about the importance of making choices to a successful public career.  More bad news:  once you choose, you have to focus.  Specifically, in three essential ways. First, you have to focus on creating speaking opportunities.  But not in the way that you think.  Because professional speakers have the opportunity [...]

Don’t Do Irony Like This?

Irony in public speaking

I recently posted about irony as the humor of this era, and David Meerman Scott asked, naturally enough, for an example of someone doing irony well from the stage.  So here is a TED talk from Ze Frank that begins and ends with irony and has a lot in between.  And it’s hilarious.  Enjoy! Ze [...]

How to Change the World – 5 Lessons from People Who Have

I have the great good fortune and indeed privilege to work with a group of clients and friends that want to transform the world – or at least some piece of it – and are willing to put that passion on the line every day, often when it isn’t easy or comfortable.  They risk rejection, [...]

What Mick Jagger Teaches us about Public Speaking

Rolling Stones Boston 2013

Mick Jagger and his Rolling Stones rocked the TD Garden in Boston last night, and thanks to David Meerman Scott’s hard work on the Stones’ fan page, I was in the audience.  Thanks, David, for inviting me to come along!  Any time I get a chance to see a legendary performer like Jagger, I jump [...]

How Public Speaking Has Evolved, Part 2

David Meerman Scott

An astute reader of the this blog, David Meerman Scott, pinged me after Tuesday’s blog post and said, “Aren’t you going to provide examples?”  And that was such a sensible suggestion that I hasten to oblige.  So here is The Evolution of Public Speaking (and acting) Part 2.  I begin with the wonderful Sir Laurence [...]

Why do audiences applaud?

One of the details that speakers often miss is what to do at the end of the presentation when the audience applauds.  So the speaker is caught off guard.  Most just scuttle off the stage, a little shy and embarrassed, glad to be done, eager to leave the scene and hit the bar.  And of [...]

Ten Great Speaker Web Sites

Ten great speaker web sites

If someone is thinking of hiring you to speak at their next event, it’s almost guaranteed that they will look at your web site. It will help them determine what your message is, your typical audience and what your likely fee is. First impressions are important – people will assess you based on the quality [...]

People I’m Grateful for #4: David Meerman Scott

This blog is the fourth in a series of blogs on people that have added something important to the world of communications.  Today, my gratitude is for David Meerman Scott.  The series is personal and partial, but I welcome nominations for those you think I’ve missed.  I’m grateful to these people because understanding how we [...]

Do speakers still need a One Sheet?


I’m in the process of designing a speaker ONE SHEET for a client. This is typically a printed document (or PDF) that provides an overview of a speaker and their current speaking topics. It’s a useful tool for meeting planners who have to sift through many potential speakers. During the selection process they will lay [...]