The Public Words 2012 Top 10 Holiday Gift Guide for Public Speakers

I first ran this list a few years back.  Here it is again, updated for 2012:  what to get your favorite public speaking family member or friend.  Following (in no particular order and at varying price points) are 10 suggestions for anyone who speaks, presents, or just worries a lot about speaking in public. 1.  A year of Improv lessons Great speakers are able to focus in the moment on the audience… Read More

Who Are the Best and Worst Communicators of 2011?

Once again, my fellow communication coaches Decker Communications have published a “10 best and worst communicators for 2011,” and the list is fascinating both for those it includes and those it doesn’t, as well as what it says about us and where we are as a nation.  Most of the 10 worst are there because they deceived the public in some way, or broke trust with their constituents.  Most of the 10… Read More

Can you inspire an audience with a negative message?

Can a speaker inspire an audience with a negative message?  The short answer is ‘no’, but of course you’re thinking about politicians – just to take a particularly blatant example – who appear to inspire their followers with all sorts of negative messages, so you’re thinking, ‘certainly a speaker can!’  But you would be wrong.    Why?  The answer is important, because it tells us something about how to construct a good speech. … Read More

Speakers worth catching – 3: Jacqueline Novogratz

For my third in this series on speakers you should cross town to see, let me introduce you to Jacqueline Novogratz.  Whenever I’m feeling discouraged about the state of the world, or the economy, I put on one of Jacqueline’s TED talks and get inspired again.  Jacqueline is the head of the Acumen Fund, an organization that funds businesses that are making the world a better place and making money at the… Read More

How to Give a Great Presentation

For my blog today, I'm linking to a new ebook I've just published on Amazon and iTunes:  How to Give a Great Presentation.  Most presenters start with their slides; I explain why that's backwards and how to do it right.  It's a quick read for less than a small cup of coffee, and it just might revolutionize the way you think about preparing a presentation.  Enjoy!

Speakers worth catching – 1: Mitch Joel

I’m going to start a blog series on current speakers worth watching and begin with Mitch Joel, author of the bestselling Six Pixels of Separation (what a great title!), prolific blogger under the same name, and frequent public speaker on the subject of social media and marketing.   Mitch’s blog is one that I never miss, because he’s always onto the trends and always saying something interesting.  If you’re new to the web… Read More

Can you fake authenticity? Body language quick take #10

For my final blog in this series on body language “quick takes,” I’m going to answer the question I get asked most often by interviewers, audiences, and fellow speaking coaches:  how do you show up with authenticity?  And what about the irony of practicing that authenticity?  Doesn’t that mean that any such ‘authenticity’ will be fake?  Thinking about authenticity in this way mistakes what it is and how it is projected.  Authenticity… Read More

What Is Charisma? – Body Language Quick Takes #9

Charisma is not what you think it is.  It’s not a God-given gift that you either have or you don’t.  It’s rather something you can learn, something you can turn on or off at will once you understand how it works.  Charisma is focused emotion.  Most of us go through our days unfocused and distracted, thinking about all sorts of things, a little upset, or perhaps in a good mood, chuckling at… Read More

Body Language Quick Takes 6 – How can you tell if someone is interested?

What does interest look like?  It helps to know the person a little bit, so you can factor out the idiosyncrasies.  But interest typically begins with eye contact.  Mostly, we look at what we’re interested in.  There are, of course, exceptions.  When people flirt, they play an age-old game of looking away and looking back, giving fleeting glances, making a game of their attention.  The purpose is to heighten the excitement of… Read More

Body Language Quick Takes 4 – How to tell when you’re disconnected

We’re living through a disconnected era in our nanosecond-based, 24/7, ADD, mostly virtual world.  Our colleagues and fellow workers nod and smile a lot to show that they’re listening, but it’s not really happening.  Real connection is rare.    Their internal monologues are too intense, too scared, and too far down Maslow’s hierarchy – will I still have my job?  How can I pay my mortgage?  Are my kids staying out of trouble? … Read More