On the Job: Don’t kiss off the Q&A

You’ve just finished your big presentation and take a quiet breath of relief. Not so fast. A critical part of your presentation is about to take place. And if you’re not careful, it could spin out of control and undo all your hard work. That’s because it’s now time for the question-and-answer period. Be prepared […]

How do you take an ordinary presentation and turn it into a powerful story?

How do you take an ordinary presentation about 3Q profits or the S-17 update and turn it into a powerful story? And why would you want to go to that effort; is it worth it? Let’s deal with the second question first. Our minds remember stories, especially stories with emotions attached, much better than they […]

The role of emotion in public speaking

Emotion – is it a good thing or a bad thing? For many years, people struggled to keep it out of business, thinking that to be emotional showed weakness, or indecision, or lack of judgment, or something equally damning. Today, attitudes have shifted, and we now recognize the importance of emotion in motivation, in communications, […]

How to decode other people’s 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

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 […]