How Your Unconscious Mind Betrays You – and What You Can Do about It

Back in the cave person era, by all accounts, we evolved this exquisite mechanism, the fight or flight response, to handle brief, intense moments of danger, when we needed to be on high alert and face the world ready to fight or get the heck outta there. We’re not even consciously aware of this mechanism, […]

Speakers: Your Vowels Matter!

I’ll be giving away some speechwriting secrets today.  In particular, how to create a mood with your words.  It’s not just about meaning.  Or even body language. A team of psychologists and phoneticists based in Germany has tested the effects that vowel sounds have on our moods.  And it turns out that “I” sounds (“hi”) […]

Speakers Alert: Here’s One More Reason to Exercise

Speakers need to understand how the brain works because, well, because they’re always talking to brains in the audiences they encounter.  At least, that’s the hope. Some recent studies shed light on an essential part of the way the brain works.  The findings have two implications for speakers – one for themselves, and one for […]

What’s Wrong with TED?

What’s wrong with TED?  There’s no question it has been an extraordinarily successful venture.  It has transformed the world of public speaking in a number of ways, most of them obviously for the better.  But it has had some subtler negative effects too, and that’s what this post covers. It’s hard to remember now, but […]

How to Fail as a Professional Public Speaker – the Seven Habits of Highly Unsuccessful Speakers

I work with professional speakers, people aspiring to become professional speakers, speakers on the way up, and all the variants in between.  There are as many stories about their roads to success as there are individuals.  And yes, of course, the road to success goes through the swamp of failure and frustration before it gets […]