How to write a great speech

How to write a great speech

A great speech puts the occasion, the audience, and the speaker together in an unforgettable way. All three pieces of the rhetorical puzzle are important. When Churchill was going to give his famous ‘Iron Curtain’ speech after WW II, he didn’t go over to the House of Commons, where he delivered most of his orations. [...]

How to master your gestures to become a more effective communicator

Public Speaking Gestures

Every communication is two conversations. The first conversation is the one you’re aware of — the content. The second conversation is the one that you’re an unconscious expert on — the non-verbal one. These two conversations always go together. They are so integral to one another that most people tend to gesture with their hands [...]

10 steps you can take right now to improve your presentations

Ten steps to improve presentations

Improving your presentation skills can be hard work. Changing behavior takes time. But there are some easy things you can do right now that will make a concrete difference in your presentation success rate. Some are physical, some are about a change in attitude. But they’re all practical, simple, and immediate. Get started now! 1. [...]

How to interview well

How to interview well

How do you pull off a great job interview, especially if you need the job, or if you feel that you are the supplicant and the interviewer holds all the power in the situation? Only a very few people seem to enjoy job interviews, or do them well. Following are some tips on how to [...]

Seven ways to rehearse a speech

Public Speaking Rehearsal

Rehearsal is a practice more honored in the breach than the occurrence, and it should be the other way around. People wiggle out of rehearsal in a variety of ways. They say, “I’ll just wing it.” That’s usually fatal, and ends up turning a modern virtue — the casual approach — into a sin — [...]

Body language: how to master non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication

If you’re like most people, you think about body language as follows. I’m pretty much in charge of my body. I direct it, from the control tower in my head. I tell it what to do. ‘Make coffee’ I say, and it goes through the motions. ‘Now drink it’ I say, and it obliges. Sure, [...]

How to decode other people’s body language

How to decode body language

We are all unconscious experts in reading other people’s intentions toward us. We evolved these skills in the woolly mammoth era because our lives depended on them, and the unconscious mind works must faster than the conscious mind. But we are not very good at making this unconscious awareness conscious. We can react with blinding [...]

Funny speeches: how to use humor in public speaking

Funny speeches

Humor can be hazardous to the health of public speakers. Most speakers want to be funny, but you’ve got to do humor well, or it falls flat and that’s worse than no humor at all. Here I provide a guide for avoiding the worst mistakes of traditional one-liners and cheap irony, replacing them instead with [...]

Do speakers still need a One Sheet?

David_Meerman_Scott

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 [...]

How to Sell Yourself in 30 Seconds

How to sell yourself in 30 seconds

Attention spans are shrinking, the pace of life is accelerating, and no one’s job is completely secure. As a result, everyone who lives on the planet and works in a job needs at least two elevator pitches – one that tells the world who you are and the other that tells the world what you [...]