Aristotle Was Wrong

We want to persuade people to do something new.  It’s one of those fundamental – and fundamentally important – human acts.  And, it’s a tall order. But it is the essence of speech making: to move people to action. Anything else is wasted effort, because people simply don’t remember much of what they hear. It’s […]

Public Speaking and the Audience: We’ve Got a Problem

Most public speaking—especially business speeches and presentations—has never entirely caught up with its audience’s changed expectations. Our ordinary speaking styles have become more conversational, but public speakers haven’t learned to deliver the physical closeness that mirrors the closeness and casualness we see all the time on television.     Moreover, the candid personal disclosure that we […]

Music and Public Speaking – Nora York, Aerosmith, and the J. Geils Band

What can successful musical performers tell us about public speaking?  Having just sat in an uncomfortable seat somewhere around first base in Fenway Park to hear the J. Geils Band and Aerosmith, I’m thinking hard about the lessons that these performers can teach us.  I’ve come up with five so far, and I encourage you […]

A Speakers’ Bureau That Gets It When Many Don’t

The world of speakers’ bureaus in 2010 – after the economic crash – is a perilous one.  A number of forces are combining to make life more difficult for them, and some of the trends appear to be long-term changes.  Some bureaus have had lay-offs, and some have disappeared altogether.  One firm is thriving, however, […]

Summer Reading #15: The Buying Brain – Secrets for Public Speakers

Ever since I heard Dr. A. K. Pradeep, neuromarketing researcher extraordinaire, speak at SXSW this past March, I have been eagerly awaiting his book, The Buying Brain:  Secrets for Selling to the Subconscious Mind.  It’s out now, and I’m not disappointed.  Pradeep applies the new brain science to buying, advertising, and marketing, and the results […]