What’s the secret to learning?

What’s the secret to effective learning? That’s a question that educators, teachers, professors, researchers, and the Armed Forces have been asking for as long as there have been educators, teachers, professors, researchers and so on. It seems obvious that trying hard would be key to successful learning, doesn’t it? Surely the more effort you put into learning the better the result.

How To Review Your Own Videos

One of the wonders of the digital age is that video for speakers is now relatively cheap, easy, and of high quality. To be sure, there is still enormous art involved in getting good video for that speakers’ sizzle reel or for your website. But to get video for the purposes of review is no longer a high-cost item. Bad news for videographers; good news for speakers. This easy availability does remove… Read More

The FacebookIs10 Movie and Your Audience

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 message shareable by making it all about your audience. As a speaker or an author, you’re the… Read More

What’s the difference between watching a TED speech on your computer and attending an event?

We’re watching a great deal of video on our computers these days, and seeing fewer live human speeches.  That’s a perfectly understandable trend, born of time and money issues, but it’s important to understand that something is missing when you don’t attend the live event.  If you have decision-making power over a travel-and-conference budget, you need to know that shutting event-going down altogether will have some ugly unintended consequences. Here’s why. 1. … 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

5 Top New Year’s Resolutions for Speakers

Happy New Year, everyone! I’m back from a little skiing, a little overeating, and a little doing nothing. The perfect holiday break, in short. Every year I publish a list of New Year’s Resolutions for speakers in an effort to get us all thinking early about how we can improve our presentations in the coming months. This year I’m focusing on storytelling. 1. I resolve to find the story in the data…. Read More

The Public Words 2012 Top 10 Holiday Gift Guide for Public Speakers

I first ran this list a few years back.  Here it is again, updated for 2012:  what to get your favorite public speaking family member or friend.  Following (in no particular order and at varying price points) are 10 suggestions for anyone who speaks, presents, or just worries a lot about speaking in public. 1.  A year of Improv lessons Great speakers are able to focus in the moment on the audience… Read More

The Internet is NOT making us stupid – It’s making us different

Lots of commentators — like my old friend Nicholas Carr, for example –  have bemoaned the rise of the Internet, and before that television, arguing that these evil distractions have shortened our attention spans and caused us to become digital idiots, capable of only the briefest moments of focus.  Email, too, has come in for its share of blame and experts have recommended that you schedule it, or ration it, or avoid it… Read More

How to Fix What’s Wrong with Virtual Meetings

In an earlier blog, I identified 5 problems with online meetings.  What can you do to put the life back into that sometime blessing, sometime curse of the modern world, virtual meetings?  Accept the less-than-perfect nature of virtual meetings. Don’t try to make virtual meetings into something they’re not, or try to make them carry freight they can’t.  Do the less important things via virtual meetings whenever possible. Save the emotional stuff… Read More

Morgan’s Top 5 Communications Trends and Predictions for 2012

This year is already shaping up to be a fabulous year for communications mavens.  We have the quadrennial follies of the American presidential election.  We have Europe flailing its way through a debt crisis, with the heat of words rather than the light of action likely to keep us entertained for months.  We have the infection of democracy spreading from the Arab world to Russia and perhaps even China.  With all this… Read More