An Analysis of President Trump’s Inaugural Address

What was uppermost in the mind of Mr. Trump on the day of his swearing-in?  Apparently, our new president deeply resented all those contributions he talked of making to politicians when he was campaigning. Because Mr. Trump signaled his change of tack and made his goals clear – at least at a high level – […]

President Obama’s Final Address – What Did He Say and How Did He Say It?

President Obama’s Final Address – What Did He Say and How Did He Say It?

My blog posts this week are all about presidential oratory.  First, in this episode, I’ll be analyzing President Obama’s farewell address.  In the next one, I’ll analyze the new President’s inaugural address.  Please note that one will go out Friday afternoon, since it seems best only to write about the address after I’ve actually heard […]

The Mysteries of Eye Contact Explained

The Mysteries of Eye Contact Explained

I like to start each new year with some posts on the basic rules of the road for public speaking.  It’s a good chance to update what we know with the latest neuroscience and to review the current state of the art.  Let’s begin with eye contact, because it’s the first rule that every speaker […]

How to Reprogram Your Brain and Gut for Excellence

How to Reprogram Your Brain and Gut for Excellence

The human body is an assemblage of systems that have a surprising degree of autonomy from one another, and that are all busy managing various aspects of our mental and physical lives. Nonetheless, they do communicate with one another, and that’s why the human assemblage works pretty well most of the time. Except when we’re […]

How to Use Your Gut in Public Speaking

How to Use Your Gut in Public Speaking

Your body language at any given moment is a fascinating and formidable mix of history and how you’re feeling right then – the habit and the moment.  Your habits have developed over time and represent characteristic ways you respond to the world – how you think and feel about both good and bad events, stress […]

Trump v Clinton, One Last Time

Trump v Clinton, One Last Time

And now for the acceptance and concession speeches after the U.S. Presidential Election.  It’s a chance to see Trump v Clinton, one last time.  What will the President-elect and the losing candidate each say about the experience of the campaign and the path forward?  What will President Obama say about the results?  And what will […]

How to Reduce Speech Anxiety – or Pre-Election-Results Anxiety

How to Reduce Speech Anxiety – or Pre-Election-Results Anxiety

If you’re an American – heck, if you’re anywhere on the globe – you would be pardoned for feeling a bit of anxiety today, the end of a long, dispiriting, and even embarrassing Presidential campaign.  The good news is that voting is finally here, and there’s a good chance we’ll have a new President informally […]

Your Questions and Answers About Public Speaking

Your Questions and Answers About Public Speaking

I’m a little slow to the party, I know, but I did my first Facebook Live chat last week for Harvard and had a fun time taking as many questions as I could.  If you missed it, it’s available here and here. I thought it was a great opportunity to see what’s on the mind […]

Mr. Trump, Mrs Clinton, and Dry Mouth

Mr. Trump, Mrs Clinton, and Dry Mouth

We did it. We survived the angriest three Presidential debates in the angriest Presidential campaign since Jefferson versus Adams in 1800. I’ve been reflecting on what we can learn as public speakers from the debates, and even at this brief remove there is already one clear lesson: preparation counts. Basically, as we heard throughout the […]

Who Won The Third (and Angriest) Presidential Debate?

Who Won The Third (and Angriest) Presidential Debate?

The third and final presidential debate was the angriest, beginning with the opening, as the two candidates walked on. The walk on  Secretary Clinton walked on to the debate stage for her final debate with Mr. Trump with her usual confidence. Mr. Trump also took the stage with greater confidence than in his previous two […]