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, […]

Body Language for Valentine’s Day

Body Language for Valentine’s Day

As most of us who are old enough to vote have learned, words and body language don’t always synch up.  When they do, the verbal message gets through, because it’s supported by the non-verbal one underneath, the emotional one.  When they don’t, the body language message is the one that people trust.  If you say […]

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, […]

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 […]

The Insider’s Guide to Successful Professional Speaking in 2017

The Insider’s Guide to Successful Professional Speaking in 2017

Happy New Year to all, and here’s to a successful, passionate, clarity-filled year for all of us as public speakers in 2017.  As I noted before the break, we are working in turbulent times – at least we truly believe that to be the case, which is what matters for our stress levels – and […]

How to be a Successful Speaker in Turbulent Times

How to be a Successful Speaker in Turbulent Times

(The second of two articles about preparing for 2017.) It’s official: we are living in turbulent times.  I’ve never seen such a high level of anxiety among fellow speakers, in the audiences speakers address, and in the industry itself – among the meeting planners, conference organizers, and speaker bureau reps. It’s not entirely clear why […]

Five Difficult Truths Speakers Must Learn

Five Difficult Truths Speakers Must Learn

Professional speakers, like most people, want a lot of things.  Good work opportunities, true love, and parking spaces whenever they’re needed come to mind, and that’s just for starters.  Then there are some things speakers want that most people would find quixotic, to say the least.  Speakers want an endless supply of gigs; most people […]

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 […]