The Speakers’ Code – Ten Tenets of Public Speaking

The Speakers’ Code – Ten Tenets of Public Speaking

Speakers don’t have a union, and we’re a motley collection of thought leaders, experts, teachers, crusaders (in the non-twelfth-century, deracinated version of the term), and misfits.  We’re on our own a good deal of the time on the road, on the stage, and on the search for new ideas. So we need a code. Here’s […]

What We Think We Know About Lying Is Wrong

What We Think We Know About Lying Is Wrong

A recent study has overturned what we think we know about lying.  Most of us have a pet theory about how to tell if someone is dissembling to us.  We may develop that theory from observations of those people we know well and see regularly, but we tend to generalize from those ‘tells’ we’ve uncovered […]

Five Body Language Takeaways from President Trump’s Address to Congress

Five Body Language Takeaways from President Trump’s Address to Congress

President Kennedy began his famous inaugural address with a line about a torch: Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans. . . . And he closed it with another image about lighting up the world: […]

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 […]