Slideware: Just Don’t Do It

I was talking this week to a very nice group of folks who were prepping me for a speech to their organization in December. We first talked about the audience, their issues, what they needed to hear, and what was keeping them up at night. Then, we discussed logistics. And during the course of this […]

The Five Basic Secrets of Great Speechwriting

This is my most popular blog post ever.  I’m trying to grab a little vacation this week, so enjoy, and forgive the summer re-run. David McCloud, the Chief of Staff of the Governor of Virginia, taught me how to write a great speech: •    Great speeches are primarily emotional, not logical •    Small shifts in […]

Which Is Better — A Humble Speaker or an Arrogant One?

Should a speaker be humble or – its opposite? Let’s call it ‘arrogant’? ‘Conceited’? ‘Egotistical’? Or the more neutral ‘assertive’? It takes some confidence to stand up in front of an audience and share your ideas, your passions, your point of view. And in fact, in my coaching, I spend a good deal of time […]

The Promises a Speaker Makes

A speaker makes two kinds of promises to an audience – the explicit and the implicit.  Explicit promises involve foreshadowing, framing, and creating signposts in your talk (by the end of the talk, you’ll know how to charm sparrows from trees and have them eating out of your hand; there are five ways to prevent […]

Storytelling, Framing, and Memory

We expect powerful people to give us the overview, the high-level view.  Specifically, a recent study found, we rate people as more powerful when they speak in abstract terms (9/11 was a terrible terrorist attack), rather than specifics (more than 3,000 people died). More generally, previous studies have shown that people learn new things using […]