What Does Your Audience Want?

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So often speakers preparing a speech start with their passion, their expertise, or their response to an invitation.  But what does your audience want?  And is it helpful to begin preparation for a speech with that question? The answer to the second question is, of course, yes.   It is helpful because it focuses your attention [...]

Five Tips For Public Speaking Success

Powerful stories

I’ve seen a lot of speeches recently, coached and written a good number more for clients, and given a few of my own.  Here’s my latest list of good speaking habits, dos and don’ts, and lessons from the front, five this time, five the next time.  In no particular order except perhaps passion. 1. Don’t [...]

The World’s Second Most Famous Brain and What It Teaches Public Speakers

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In 1953, an epileptic had brain surgery to try to relieve the seizures he was experiencing that were making his life a nightmare.  A neurosurgeon, William Beecher Scoville, removed a piece of Henry Molaison’s brain about the size of an apple, and cured him of his seizures. Unfortunately, the operation also robbed H.M. (as he [...]

The FacebookIs10 Movie and Your Audience

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I’m pleased to welcome Public Words writer Sarah Morgan as a guest blogger for this posting.   How many Facebook movies have you watched this week? They’re probably all over your news feed–the delightful LookBack videos your friends are all sharing with the hashtag #FacebookIs10. And they’re a great example of how to make your [...]

How Do You Create Intimacy as a Speaker?

Andrew Stanton

I wrote last week about how speakers need to move deeper into authenticity to achieve intimacy with their audiences.  I see this new demand as part of the increasingly blurred working and home world that our always-on, Twitter and Facebook-saturated culture brings. The question is, how do you create intimacy?  I think you have to [...]

The 3-minute storytelling lesson you won’t forget

I was working recently with a team of executives on storytelling and delivery, and in one of the exercises I pressed them to present their pitches faster and in a more compressed style.  The world is impatient and you need to hook your listeners quickly. The executives struggled – and mostly succeeded – to tell [...]

Carmen Agra Deedy Reveals the Secret to Great Storytelling

Carmen Agra Deedy

If you want to master great storytelling, you have to learn 3 essential lessons.  All of them are contained in a wonderful TED talk by Carmen Agra Deedy about her mother, driving, and a universal insight. 1.  No story from your life is as interesting to others as it is to you.   You have to [...]

Why You Need to Tell Us Stories, Not Dump Information on Us

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Everyone seems to get these days that storytelling is important, because we’re awash in data and information and can’t remember it all.  But we do remember stories. They’re even more important than that.  They are how our brains work.  For example, they are why we all feel that it’s safer to drive than fly, even though [...]

7 Communications Questions Leaders Need to Ask Themselves

Power Cues By Nick Morgan

As a sneak preview for my upcoming book Power Cues:  The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact, here are the seven questions I argue leaders — or anyone who wants to communicate powerfully — need to ask themselves in order to stop leaving their communications to chance and to start [...]

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

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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 [...]