The Official Public Words Gift Shopping Guide for Speaker – 2014 Edition

I first ran this list a few years back.  Here it is again, updated for 2014 and in time for Black Friday in the US, and general holiday shopping elsewhere:  what to get your favorite public speaking family member or friend for the holidays.  Following (in no particular order and at varying price points) are […]

Are Mirror Neurons a Myth?

For my second piece on neuro-myths, I’m tackling head-on the biggest, hottest development in neuroscience, according to some observers, in the last 20 years: mirror neurons. So enthusiastically have scientists embraced them, that they have become a kind of neuro-scientific Rosetta Stone, making all sorts of mental phenomena clear that have hitherto been obscure. They’ve […]

Some Myths of Neuroscience and Public Speaking

This week I’m addressing some of the myths of communications that get in the way of great public speaking. Today, I’ll take on the right-brain, left-brain idea, the you-only-use-10-percent-of-your-brain idea, and the learning styles idea. Next time, I’ll address mirror neurons. But first, congratulations to Dale Penn, who wins the scariest-moment-ever speaking prize. Dale, send […]

What John Lewis Can Teach Speakers About Storytelling and Emotion

Speakers often struggle with how to get the emotion they know they need to move audiences into a speech. Perhaps they’re not comfortable with emotion in the first place, or they don’t see the connection to their particular bit of the business world, or they don’t know how to get the right level of emotion […]

A Quick Hack for Public Speaking Anxiety

Your heart is racing. Your palms are clammy. Your stomach is starting to send distress signals to your brain. You’re flushed, and you’re feeling hot under your business attire. Your mind is rehearsing disaster scenarios. You’re just about to give a speech. It’s not a good feeling, for approximately 95 percent of the population that […]

The Greatest American Speech Ever?

Speeches, like flowers, are a moment’s monument. They exist most powerfully for a specific audience, a specific speaker, and a specific message. Attempts to make them have a wider impact usually fail. But of course there are some magnificent exceptions. If we attempted to create a list of the greatest American speeches, we could easily […]