When Should You Be Authentic?

My dad died a week ago. He had a long and honorable life, and had suffered a year’s illness before his passing at age 89, so his death was not unmerciful. Still, I was close to him and I’m grieving. This week I had to give a speech to a group of Harvard students. Of course the speech had been arranged long before, and of course the show had to go on…. Read More

What to Do with Your Stage Fright

A recent study from Harvard Business School of 400 participants found that if you tell yourself to get excited when about to do something stressful, like give a speech, you do better than when you try to calm yourself down. At least, that’s the way the study was discussed in the press – as a counter-intuitive finding promoting stage fright over stage calm.  But actually what was going on was that the… Read More

The Three Postures and Authenticity

Public Words Speaker Forum, June 2010, Harvard University. Nick Morgan talks about how audiences unconsciously evaluate the intent of speakers by how the speakers simply stand and walk on the stage. The result is that you can convey a message you don’t mean to, and give an audience the wrong impression about you. Nick shows how to create the right impression — and give your audience the chance to receive the authentic… Read More

What goes wrong when you try to communicate?

I spoke last week to an Air Force Special Ops team, and to a pharmaceutical company, about persuasive communications.   Today, I’m talking to a group of Harvard mid-career students from all over the world about the same subject.   Each time I talk I spend some time making sure I understand their particular issues in the realm of communications, so that the advice I give them is focused.  What’s fascinating is that such… Read More

How To Create A Great Speech Fast – In 5 Steps

The other day Harvard asked me to boil down the creation of a great speech into 5 quick steps for busy executives.  Here's the result in a short video.  Enjoy! How to Create a Great Presentation from Harvard Business Publishing on Vimeo.  

The Silent Speaker

Harvard Business Publishing, September 2010. Nick Morgan talks about seeing his most memorable speaker as a way of talking about the importance of body language in public speaking. Watch on YouTube»

J. K. Rowling, Harvard, and the memorable commencement speech

A reader was kind enough to send me a link to J. K. Rowling’s commencement address to Harvard in 2008 and ask what I thought of her performance.  Watching the video brought to mind how much public speaking has changed and what the new requirements are now for success in public speaking.  Let me begin by saying that if you’re a die-hard Harry Potter fan, stop reading.  You won’t brook any criticism… Read More

Five quick steps for a successful presentation

Last week I was talking to architecture and design students about delivering a great presentation and helping them think about how their body language was a second conversation that would dominate the first – the content – unless the two were aligned.  I asked them how much time they spend preparing their presentations.  “An entire term,” was the typical answer – because they work on their models for the whole term.  Then… Read More

Lesson from the Designers: Don’t Talk to Your Slides

Last week I attended a day-long conference at the Harvard architecture and design school, where I was speaking about how to pitch your project – your building, your design, your vision of a new landscape.  I was the last speaker of the day, so I had the fun of watching everyone else talk about the changing nature of design and how to sell it in the new world of complex teams and… Read More

Public Words Speaker Forum 2010

I’m very excited to announce our first annual Public Words Speaker Forum (2010) for June 11-12, 2010.  The professional speaking world is changing rapidly, the book business (speakers need published books) is changing even more rapidly, and we need to get some smart minds together to sort it all out.  The event will be held in conjunction with The Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School, in the historic Taubman building… Read More