Why Speakers Should be Helping Audiences Forget What They Know

Why Speakers Should be Helping Audiences Forget What They Know

There’s a particularly tedious kind of speaker that ostentatiously tries to teach his audience something by having the audience repeatedly recall some big idea, or some list, or the seven levels of . . . knowledge about a certain subject.  The hapless audience has to shout out, or chant in unison, or (worst of all) […]

What the *#@&! Should Speakers Swear?

What the *#@&! Should Speakers Swear?

Should a speaker swear on stage?  Is it ever appropriate, and if so when? These questions used to have an easy answer:  no, no, and never.  Profanity on stage used to be a deal killer, a contract ender and a career finisher.   Twenty years ago, I watched one promising speaker say “sh*t” on stage once, […]

How To Be More Charismatic – Lady Gaga, the Super Bowl, and Neuroscience

How To Be More Charismatic – Lady Gaga, the Super Bowl, and Neuroscience

One thing that my clients and potential clients almost never ask me — at first — is how to become more charismatic.  I guess that’s because asking the question involves not one but two embarrassing admissions.  One, that you care about charisma, as opposed to the grand exchange of ideas.  And two, that you might […]

Simone Vincenzi, Michelin Stars, and Public Speaking

Simone Vincenzi, Michelin Stars, and Public Speaking

Today I’m pleased to chat with coach Simone Vincenzi of the UK, who left the restaurant business to become a speaker coach and coach for events. Nick: Tell us how you went from working in Michelin-starred restaurants to coaching speakers? Simone:  I started working in restaurants when I was 14, and at the age of 19, […]

No Excuses for Not Being at the Top of Your Game

No Excuses for Not Being at the Top of Your Game

Today I’m cross-posting with David Meerman Scott, speaker extraordinaire, who was kind enough to share his experiences when he had to speak with an injury.  I contacted my friend and speaker coach Dr. Nick Morgan. “Hey Nick, I have a speaker dilemma and I could use your input!” I had a speaking engagement booked at […]

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 […]

Why You Should Become an Intimate Speaker

Why You Should Become an Intimate Speaker

One of the unintended consequences of our new, amazing, super-convenient virtual world, where everything (almost everything) is a few clicks away, is that it robs us of real closeness.  More than that:  by spending time online we lose out on intimacy.  Facebook, your favorite airline rewards program, and even Amazon take away that real closeness […]

In Defense of Audience Interaction

In Defense of Audience Interaction

One of the unintentional by-products of TED is that speakers, in an effort to mimic TED’s success, have been making speeches shorter and more entertaining.  That’s alarming. Wait a minute, you say.  Alarming?  How so?  How could that possibly be other than a good thing:  shorter and more entertaining speeches?  Isn’t the alternative – what […]

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 […]

Should You Interact with Your Audience or Just Hold Forth?

Should You Interact with Your Audience or Just Hold Forth?

What does a speaker owe her audience? And what does an audience owe its speaker? There’s a clear trend at conferences and events at the keynote level for more entertainment and less substance, for shorter presentations (a baleful effect of TED), and for less audience interaction. That’s not a good idea – less audience interaction. […]