Storytelling — 2

The next thing to think about when telling a story is structure.  And here again you’ve heard some pretty useless advice.  A story has to have a beginning, middle, and end, say the geniuses giving out that advice. But what does that mean?  To the extent that it’s true, it’s true in a meaningless way.  […]

Storytelling — 1

I’m going to write a few blogs on storytelling, because it’s so often talked about and so rarely gotten right.  Most of the time, when people talk about storytelling, they talk about the details — being vivid, concrete, and specific — as if that were all there was to it.  The gun she was holding […]

Rehearsal 8 — Conclusion

OK, I’ve given you lots of ways to rehearse.  You won’t do all of them, unless you really want to be good and you have the time, but you should at least rehearse several times before a big presentation.  The alternative, winging it, is never as good as you think it is.  And your audience […]

Rehearsal 7 — The Dress Rehearsal

The last full rehearsal you do should take place the day before, or 2 days before, the actual event.  It should take place in the hall itself, it should involve the full technical panoply of video, music, slides, and so on that you’re using, and you should go the whole distance.  By that I mean, […]

Rehearsal 6 — The Opening Rehearsal

The openings of speeches are incredibly important for setting the mood, the audience expectations, and the energy level in the house.  That’s tough, of course, because that’s when most speakers are nervous and tentative.  Don’t be.  There’s nothing natural about this.  It’s not about being yourself.  It’s about forcing yourself to walk — or bound […]

Rehearsal 5 — The Walk-Through Rehearsal

I’ve written about the deer-in-the-headlights phenomenon before, when a speaker faces one too many unexpected obstacles and finds himself losing concentration and staring blankly at the source of the latest disaster wondering, ‘what do I do now’?  It doesn’t have to be that way.  When you’ve got a big speech, insist upon a walk-through, or […]

Rehearsal 4 — The Logical Structure Rehearsal

Some 50 years ago, roughly speaking, giving a speech was a formal occasion.  The speaker stood behind the podium, read his speech, and received polite applause at the end.  Alternatively, candidates barnstormed around the country, speaking on stumps, or barrels, or whatever would give them a little height advantage so that the crowd could see […]

Rehearsal 3 — The Emotions Rehearsal

Emotion is captivating.  We like to watch it on TV, which is why so many people watch reality TV shows even though they know they shouldn’t.  We put actors on pedestals, because they are practiced emoters.  We even elect former actors President, because they’re able to look authentic doing what they do best:  playing a […]