Three quick tips for improving your connection with your audience

Three quick tips for improving your connection with your audience

I posted the last time on the importance of the voice for an empathetic connection with your audience.  Of course, speakers who want to up their game will work on all possible ways of improving that connection; connecting with an audience is a goal all speakers want to achieve. And it can be tricky.  Becoming […]

How Long Is That Pesky Attention Span Thing?

How Long Is That Pesky Attention Span Thing?

There’s an urban myth doing the rounds that goes something like this:  recent studies suggest that our attention spans have shrunk to less than eight seconds.  Why is that number significant?  Because it’s the attention span of a goldfish!  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, our attention spans are less than that of the dumbest fish in […]

Seven Good Ways to Think About Your Audience

Seven Good Ways to Think About Your Audience

I was coaching a client recently and realized that this able speaker had some serious misconceptions about how to relate to the people sitting in the chairs in front of him.  It’s essential to keep the right attitude toward your audiences despite the stresses of travel, performance, and occasionally unpredictable audience responses.  A speaker can […]

The Eight Worst Ways to Start a Speech

The Eight Worst Ways to Start a Speech

Every year about now, the conference season kicks into gear and I hear — and coach — speeches and speakers under conditions of high stress and adrenaline.  Inevitably, I hear speech beginnings that don’t do either their speakers or their audiences any favors.  Some are small mistakes and some are more fundamental, but they’re all […]

Alan Alda on Improv, Empathy, and his New Book

Alan Alda on Improv, Empathy, and his New Book

I first encountered Alan Alda as the irreverent, anti-war doctor in M*A*S*H* the TV show.  It was one of those shows that seemed important at the time because of its anti-war attitude and other acts of rebellion.  It gave comfort to those of us for whom the war was a long way off, but the […]