The 3 Postures and Authenticity

When I speak to audiences, I often do a quick demonstration with a volunteer that reveals how audiences respond unconsciously to slight differences in a speaker’s posture.  Here’s a quick video that explains why getting your posture right is essential to connecting successfully with an audience:

How to work with publishers and agents: The Public Words Speaker Forum 2010

As I’ve blogged before, professional speakers need books in order to sustain a career over the long term.  And that means books published by traditional publishing houses for the most part, though there are exceptions.  The exceptions are speakers who already have a strong market for their speeches and can sell the books ‘in the back of the house’.  But for most speakers, the book helps generate the speaking, and so traditional… Read More

Pam Slim on Social Media and Purpose (Public Words Speaker Forum 2010)

Continuing with the theme of insights from the Public Words Speaker Forum 2010, one of the standout talks was from Pam Slim.  Pam’s generosity and openness made a deep impression on me and everyone else at the conference.  Thanks, Pam, for the inspiration! Once again, I welcome guest blogger Sarah Morgan.  The title of Pam Slim’s talk was “How to Use Social Media to Find an Audience That Wants to Hear You… Read More

How to make your book successful – a 5-step plan (PWSF 2010)

I'm delighted to welcome a guest blogger to this space:  Sarah Morgan, a writer for, attended the Public Words Speaker Forum 2010 and is writing up some of the speakers and sessions.  (Full disclosure:  she's my daughter.)  Welcome, Sarah, and thanks for this insightful piece on how to ensure that your book is a success in the marketplace!  Public speakers take note, because a successful book is still the ticket to… Read More

Why is most public speaking – especially in the business world – so bad?

(This blog is based on the talk I gave at the opening of the Public Words Speaker Forum, June 11-12, 2010.) Why is most public speaking – especially in the business world – so awful?  And how can we raise the bar, which is set distressingly low.  I think there are three principal reasons.  First, speakers make it about themselves, and their information.  Too many speeches are data dumps.  But the oral… Read More

Headlines from the Public Words Speaker Forum 2010

I’m going to do a series of blogs on what we learned from the Public Words Speaker Forum 2010.  If you attended, please add your own takeaways!  We felt extraordinarily lucky in having a wonderful group of participants.  There was a generous vibe in the air, and the conference was memorable for the enthusiasm and wholehearted participation of the attendees.  Before the conference began we were vowing we’d never do another one,… Read More

How to be a passionate speaker, part 4: your pitch matters

Some people pitch their voices too high or too low habitually. That puts a strain on the voice, prevents it from achieving its full authority, and undercuts passion. I worked with one consultant, a frequent speaker, who used a voice when she was speaking that was so high that people called her the “dolphin lady.” She was extremely smart, but her career was hampered by her crazy voice, which showed up not… Read More

How to be a passionate speaker, part 3

Your voice is one of the chief ways you have to give vent to your passion as a speaker.  Heck, as a human.  To be effective, you should care for and use your voice properly.  Following is a quick primer in the care and use of the voice; you can spend a lifetime practicing these techniques and improving your vocal tone.  If you don’t take care of your voice, fatigue and wear… Read More

How to be a passionate speaker

Many people will tell you that passion is everything in presentations and communications in general.  “Just be yourself – be passionate,” they say.  There are two problems with that advice.  What if you’re not passionate about the subject?  And what if “being yourself” means being shy, or geeky, or just plain terrified? Giving a speech or a presentation is not a natural act.  Fighting, eating, breathing, making love – these are natural… Read More

Perelmuter Live at the Public Words Speaker Forum 2010: a Speaker Bureau Chief Speaks

Ever wonder how you can launch your own (paid) public speaking career or take your existing practice up to the next level?  Here’s your chance to get the straight story from one of the best:  Martin Perelmuter.  Martin launched Speakers Spotlight a few years back and has already managed more than 12,000 speeches in over 30 countries.  In an industry that suffers from shady practices and indifferent quality, Martin is a standout… Read More