Are you too old to be a professional speaker?

Paid public speaking often seems like a great second career idea for people who have achieved something worth talking about in their first career.  But if you’ve got the kids through college and you’ve sold your company or launched your clothing line or cured malaria – are you too old, in our youth-obsessed culture – [...]

How to Get a Standing Ovation


Be honest.  If you’re a speaker, you crave one.  Everyone else gets one, why shouldn’t you?  And those invitations to speak are going to flow much more often if you can say, “She’s greeted with rapturous audiences giving standing ovations wherever she goes!” So how do you get a standing ovation?  Three simple steps.  Simple, [...]

How to Wield More Influence

How to have more influence

How much do you dominate the conversation?  That’s one way of thinking about influence – how much you’re in control of the conversation in your work and in your life.  Influence in this sense is governed by four things:  positional power, emotion, expertise, and control of the interaction.  Do you have all the influence you [...]

5 Quick Steps to a Killer TED Speech

I spend a fair amount of time these days as a communication coach helping people prepare for TED speeches.  Even people who never prepared a speech before, preferring to wing it, suddenly get coaching religion when it comes to TED.  There’s something about knowing that 18 minutes of you will be there, forever, on the [...]

There’s No Such Thing as a Motivational Speaker

A friend sent this funny video dispelling the myths of motivational speakers.  It has a good time poking fun at the occupational hazards of the job.  But let me take the idea here one step further.  There is no such thing as the job category, “Motivational Speaker.”  At least, there shouldn’t be, and you shouldn’t [...]

The care and feeding of a public speaking voice

Public Speaking Voice

As a public speaker, you thrive — or are mute — because of your voice. The research is only beginning to reveal how much depends on the way we hear each other’s voices, but it is clear that voices convey surprising amounts of information about themselves and their owners. A recent study suggests that (men’s) [...]

Body Language Quick Takes – What Does Passion Look Like?

What are the body language signs of passion?  You’re thinking, this is a joke, right?  No, I’m not going to talk about sex.  I’ll leave that to the experts and the Internet.  What I’m talking about are the signs that a co-worker or friend or family member is about to erupt in rage, or frustration, [...]

Finding passion in your voice and gestures

For this penultimate podcast in the series, I talk about how to use your voice and gestures to generate passion.  The podcast is based on my book Trust Me:  Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma, and it's about 3 and a half minutes long.  Enjoy! Trust Me Podcast 9

Becoming a Passionate Communicator

In this podcast, #8 in the series based on Trust Me:  Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma, I talk about 4 ways of speaking that convey passion appropriately.  Passion — done right — creates charisma, and memorable communications.  This podcast is just under 5 minutes.  Enjoy! Trust Me Podcast 8

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 [...]