Can You Present Well Sitting Down?

One question I get asked regularly is about sitting down to present. If there are only a few people in the room, if it’s an informal setting, if we’re used to presenting seated, if it’s a board meeting and all the board is sitting, if I want to send out a casual message, if I don’t want to be too authoritative – then can I present sitting down? Often, the real reason… Read More

The Three Tasks of a Public Speaker

The work of a public speaker is never done. You can never complete your expertise – true knowledge of a subject is the work of a lifetime. You can never finish perfecting your presentation – even Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech had some slips of the tongue, and it is generally considered one of the best speeches of the last century. It’s too early in this century to talk… Read More

Eye Contact And Public Speaking — It’s Not What You Think

The invention and wide use of eye tracking technology in psychological studies means we can finally re-visit that old chestnut that absolutely everyone has heard of about speaking:  make eye contact. And apparently it’s time to re-think that old rule. A recent study, not surprisingly, perhaps, shows that it’s not as simple as just, “Make eye contact with your audience.”  It turns out that people are less persuaded by more eye contact… Read More

Seven Ways to Enchant an Audience

How can you go beyond the usual efforts to create a successful presentation – and enchant the audience?  What are the secrets to creating magic with a speech?  Here are seven ways to take your speech beyond the ordinary.  Some of these will be familiar to you, but I’m guessing that at least one will be fresh and help you find a new level of connection with your audiences. 1.    Tell a… Read More

How Public Speakers Can Use Body Language to Deliver Great Speeches – 2

So, if focusing on particular gestures isn’t reliable, what can you use to decode body language? Your unconscious mind. It’s already hard at work, practically 24/7, reading the body language of everyone who comes into your field of ken. What it looks for is intent. It checks people to see if they’re powerful or subservient, friend or foe, on your team or somebody else’s, and liable to tell the truth or lie—basic,… Read More

How Public Speakers Can Use Body Language To Deliver Great Speeches – 1

For public speakers the body language news is both good and bad. The good news is that you are already an unconscious expert, for the most part, in reading some of the body language cues and the concomitant underlying emotions of people familiar to you. For example, arriving home, you can tell in an instant if your significant other is in a bad mood, right? Or at work, you know instinctively if… Read More

Get a Great Book on Public Speaking Free

For an American Thanksgiving present to all my blog readers, I’m linking to Nancy Duarte’s free giveaway of her excellent book, Resonate.  She’s giving it away in iTunes and online in an HTML5 version as a multimedia experience.  Nancy is a good friend and a wonderful thinker about presentations, design, and public speaking, and Resonate is her best book.  If you haven’t read it, you should take advantage of this opportunity.  Happy Thanksgiving,… Read More

The Essential iPad Apps for Presenters

What are the essential apps for iPad presenters? I first compiled this list two years ago and updated it last holiday season; it’s time for another update.  I’m up to 17 apps so far.  I’ll do one more update in early December, in time for holiday shopping for that public speaker on your list. I love the iPad for presenting.  I use it to create my notes, and then put them up… Read More

The Basic Building Blocks of a Great Speech – 7

You’ve researched your audience, asked the right questions, and learned the particulars of the occasion.  You’ve created the opening frame of the talk with an engaging story that hints at the glories to come.  You’ve plunged the audience deep into the issue that animates your topic.  You’ve bathed the audience in the keen light of your expertise or experience.  You’ve painted a wonderful picture of the future for the audience if it… Read More

The Basic Building Blocks of a Great Speech – 6

This post is the sixth in a series on the basic building blocks of a great speech.  You’ve researched your audience, asked the right questions, and learned the particulars of the occasion.  You’ve created the opening frame of the talk with an engaging story that hints at the glories to come.  You’ve plunged the audience deep into the issue that animates your topic.  You’ve bathed the audience in the keen light of… Read More