Slideware: Just Don’t Do It

I was talking this week to a very nice group of folks who were prepping me for a speech to their organization in December. We first talked about the audience, their issues, what they needed to hear, and what was keeping them up at night. Then, we discussed logistics. And during the course of this logistics discussion, The Question came up, as it always does: are you going to use slides?

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 in the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. In… Read More

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 to earn large sums of money, there’s a huge amount of competition.  Lots of people have noticed… Read More

Don’t Do Irony Like This?

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 Frank TED

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, fight indifference, and spend a whole lot of time on airplanes to bring vision to reality. Working… Read More

What Mick Jagger Teaches us about Public Speaking

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 at it, because it’s a chance to learn stagecraft useful for public speakers.  The rest of this… Read More

How Public Speaking Has Evolved, Part 2

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 Olivier’s Hamlet, the famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy. Olivier’s Hamlet   Now, here’s a… Read More

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 course, there are those who are secretly hoping for a standing ovation, that gold medal of speaking,… Read More

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 of your site. When assessing a speaker’s site, I look for three things: What do you say… Read More

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 communicate is desperately important to bettering our humanity in both business and life.  Miscommunications are sometimes merely… Read More