Nine Steps to a Great Presentation

A presentation is performance art – meaning that you need both great content and a great delivery to hit the proverbial public speaking home run. Here are nine ways to ensure that you’re covering both aspects of this difficult art and that nothing gets in the way of success. 1.Never Sell from the Stage. The best relationship between speaker and audience is one of trust and authenticity. You can’t achieve that happy state… Read More

Comedians Really Are Better Talkers

Do you have the gift of the gab? Or do you struggle for words when you’re standing in front of your colleagues – or a conference full of expectant attendees? New research suggests that if you’re struggling for words, it might be because you’re going about speaking in the wrong way. A recent study of some real pros – professional comedians – found that they do indeed speak a bit differently than… Read More

The Public Speaking Secrets of Comedians

I ran across David Nihill the other day when he sent me his book and begged me with tears in his virtual eyes to say something nice about it. Actually, that’s what everyone else does. David just sent me the book and didn’t ask for anything, which was so charming that I immediately sat down and read his book. There’s a lot in it that’s funny, and a lot that’s useful for… Read More

How to Prepare a Presentation

How do you prepare for an upcoming presentation? Let’s say it’s an important one, so you’re not going to wing it, just showing up in the moment and saying whatever comes into your mind. Not a good idea, really, even for a minor presentation, so good for you for prepping – this time.

It’s the Little Stressors That Will Kill You

Recently I was busy in an airplane-hangar-sized room helping a couple of speakers get ready to speak to an audience of 10,000 people. That’s a daunting challenge for anyone, but the difference between the two people made for a quite different experience running up to the event. One was extroverted and the other introverted. As I blogged last time, if an introvert pretends to be extroverted, he or she will have a better… Read More

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 use of visualization that has, in part, allowed Ian to come as far as he has as… Read More

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 conducted the interview as a Google + hangout, a first for me, so perhaps that checks the… Read More

Communication is different now – part 2

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 Look Impromptu We want authentic people as leaders today, and what the world doesn’t realize is how… Read More

How to Coach Yourself – 3 Quick Tips

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, but you also need feedback, because without it you’re in danger of repeating your mistakes and bad… Read More

Seven ways to rehearse a speech

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 — verbal chaos of one kind or another. Or they say, “I don’t want it to get stale,”… Read More