Ian Cunliffe, Ed Tate, Kuala Lumpur, and the Art of Visualization


Meet Ian Cunliffe.  His public speaking journey is an extraordinary one, from fearful to joyful, from never-going-to-speak-in-public to competing in world championships, from amateur to coaching others.  You can read about Ian in more detail here.  But for this post I’m going to focus on one particular aspect of Ian’s journey:  visualization.  Because it’s the [...]

Speaking as a Career, the Importance of Rehearsal, and Rodolphe Dutel


Entrepreneur and adventurer (I love that self-description) Rodolphe “Rudy” Dutel got in touch with me to help him kick off his new blog on self-improvement, Karma, and yes, adventures.  I think I checked the self-improvement box, since the discussion was all about storytelling, rehearsal, the career of professional speaking, and other public speaking mysteries.  We [...]

Communication is different now – part 2

The End of Big, Nicco Mele

The second in a series of three blogs inspired by Nicco Mele’s new book, The End of Big Twenty-first century communication has changed how we connect to the world in three essential ways:  connectivity, authenticity, and style.  I discussed connectivity in the last post; this post is about authenticity. Radical Authenticity Means Making What’s Staged [...]

How to Coach Yourself – 3 Quick Tips

How to coach yourself

How do you improve as a public speaker without a coach like me?  I get that query from people who don’t have the budget to work with a coach, or who perhaps are inveterate do-it-yourselfers and can’t take anyone else’s advice. Rehearsal and practice are the most reliable means of improvement over the long run, [...]

Seven ways to rehearse a speech

Public Speaking Rehearsal

Rehearsal is a practice more honored in the breach than the occurrence, and it should be the other way around. People wiggle out of rehearsal in a variety of ways. They say, “I’ll just wing it.” That’s usually fatal, and ends up turning a modern virtue — the casual approach — into a sin — [...]

Body language: how to master non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication

If you’re like most people, you think about body language as follows. I’m pretty much in charge of my body. I direct it, from the control tower in my head. I tell it what to do. ‘Make coffee’ I say, and it goes through the motions. ‘Now drink it’ I say, and it obliges. Sure, [...]

5 Ways to Deliver Someone Else’s Deck Successfully

One common problem in the business presentation world – and the cause of many a mediocre presentation – is when the speaker finds herself delivering someone else’s talk.  Perhaps the company line is tightly controlled, so you have no choice.  Or perhaps there’s a new product out and you have to grab the only available [...]

How to Avoid the Presentation Doom Loop

As I said in my last blog, modern presentations are doomed to failure because of ancient survival instincts.  Your body goes into flight or fight mode, and your audience responds similarly, thanks to mirror neurons.  Communication breaks down.  You sense that things are not going well, and you panic more completely.  The audience responds with [...]

When Is Rehearsing a Presentation a Bad Idea?

When is rehearsing a presentation a bad idea?  Clients often try to talk themselves out of rehearsal, because they’re pressed for time, because they don’t like the feeling of rehearsal (you’re not in control yet), or because they argue that rehearsal will make them stale.  Those are bad arguments.  People who ‘wing it’ usually betray [...]

Leadership communications — four steps to authenticity

Leadership Communications Authenticity

Authenticity is the most important quality in leadership communications today. With it, you can move people to action. Without it, you can’t even get a hearing. Where does it come from, and how can you achieve it? Every communication is two conversations. The first conversation in every communication is the one you’re aware of: the [...]