How to make sure your 20-minute speech has a long-lasting impact

20 minute speech

I’ve been working recently with clients on more and more 20-minute speeches. As I indicated in an earlier blog post, it’s the era of shorter speeches. Fidel Castro holds forth no more, and Hugo Chavez is gone altogether, so multi-hour practitioners are on the wane, but the rest of us are expected to bring it [...]

How to write a great speech

How to write a great speech

A great speech puts the occasion, the audience, and the speaker together in an unforgettable way. All three pieces of the rhetorical puzzle are important. When Churchill was going to give his famous ‘Iron Curtain’ speech after WW II, he didn’t go over to the House of Commons, where he delivered most of his orations. [...]

Funny speeches: how to use humor in public speaking

Funny speeches

Humor can be hazardous to the health of public speakers. Most speakers want to be funny, but you’ve got to do humor well, or it falls flat and that’s worse than no humor at all. Here I provide a guide for avoiding the worst mistakes of traditional one-liners and cheap irony, replacing them instead with [...]

How to tell powerful stories in your speeches

Story telling in speeches

Why tell stories in speeches? Because they are interesting, they help people remember what you say, and they are a good way to convey information and emotion memorably. Mark Turner, a writer and philosopher who has been associated with the Institute for Advanced Study, and the Center for Neural and Cognitive Sciences at the University [...]

eBook: How to Give a Great Presentation

How to give a great presentation

How do you prepare and structure a great presentation? Too many people assemble slides from “decks” of previous presentations as if a presentation were like a pack of cards, writes Dr. Nick Morgan, one of America’s top communication theorists and coaches. The right process begins by focusing on a clear point of view and picking [...]

The Three Postures and Authenticity

Public Words Speaker Forum, June 2010, Harvard University. Nick Morgan talks about how audiences unconsciously evaluate the intent of speakers by how the speakers simply stand and walk on the stage. The result is that you can convey a message you don’t mean to, and give an audience the wrong impression about you. Nick shows [...]

Give Your Speech Change the World

Video Book Review by Chris Brogan. My friend, Tim Sanders sent me this book by Nick Morgan, Give Your Speech, Change the World: How to Move Your Audience to Action. I admit that as a pro speaker, I wasn’t sure what I’d take from it. Well, I took tons from it, and you might, too, [...]

Basic Principles of Persuasive Rhetoric – 1

Persuasive rhetoric is about phrasing your arguments so that your listeners can hear them.  I’m going to do a series of blogs on persuasive content – aka rhetoric – to match the series I just finished on nonverbal communication.  I have seen good speakers – and speeches – go bad time and time again because [...]

Authenticity and the Dalai Lama

Harvard University, October 2009. Authenticity is the single most quality demanded of public figures and speakers today. With authenticity, you can get a hearing, and maybe inspire a following. Without it, no one will pay any attention to you. Speaker coach Nick Morgan describes the most memorable instance of authenticity he witnessed in a speaker [...]