What was wrong with Governor Jindal?

Why was Governor Bobby Jindal’s response to President Obama on Tuesday night so bad?  Both the content and the delivery were, in plain words, awful.  Here it is on YouTube:  http://tinyurl.com/art66e.  But don’t watch it, unless you want to know how not to speak on television, how not to construct a logical presentation, and how […]

How did President Obama do?

President Obama’s address to the joint session and the country last night was a three-act drama.  The first third of the speech covered the economic mess, and was a well-constructed speech in itself.  Here, Obama addressed the short-term problems America faces.  The second act covered four initiatives:  energy, health care, education, and debt reduction.  These […]

Are rich people ruder than poor people?

According to a new study, your body language gives away your socioeconomic status (http://tinyurl.com/dyld5v).  At least, your parents’ social status:  the study was conducted among college students in California, where all good status studies seem to originate.  Students with richer, higher-status parents engaged in more fiddling, doodling, and grooming and other such rude behavior, while […]

Is an introduction important?

Why do speakers need introductions?  They’re often badly done – a hapless VP of Something has a piece of paper thrust in his hands, and he stumbles through a poorly written bio of the speaker that leaves everyone baffled about who she is or why she is talking to them.  Often, it’s a dry recitation […]

The Conference Information Overload Survival Guide

Sitting in the audience as a conference-goer, listening to a speech, or any kind of presentation, means working hard.  It’s difficult to retain information we’ve acquired through our ears.  Studies show that we only remember 10 – 30 percent of what we hear.  And judging those messages is a difficult task, too.  How do we […]

Elizabeth Gilbert’s vocal art

Elizabeth Gilbert was an accomplished author of journalism and fiction, with respectable sales and several awards to her credit, until 2006, when her latest work, Eat Pray Love, became an enormous bestseller.  Now people ask her to do things like give lectures on creativity, and she does that very well, too.  Check out her speech […]

What was wrong with President Obama’s first prime-time press conference?

President Obama forgot something during his first prime-time press conference last night:  hope.  His remarks were a stark reminder of Mario Cuomo’s line that ‘you campaign in poetry (but) you govern in prose’:  I took a trip to Elkhart, Indiana, today. Elkhart is a place that has lost jobs faster than anywhere else in America. […]