Pity Poor Prime Minister May

Pity Poor Prime Minister May

Pity poor Theresa May.  As the Prime Minister of England, she’s been going through a tough patch – self-inflicted, to be sure, but a tough patch – since her most recent election setback.  I say self-inflicted because she called the election (something you can do in the UK when you think that your party is […]

What About Second Impressions?

What About Second Impressions?

I posted last time about first impressions and the unconscious biases we all have.  And how it’s therefore important to become an intentional speaker – by which I mean a speaker who takes charge of not only the content of her speech, but also the unconscious dialogue with the audience. The idea is not to […]

Neuroscience Sees Red – Insights for Public Speakers

Neuroscience Sees Red – Insights for Public Speakers

A pair of studies I caught up with recently (here and here) explored the very human reactions of men and women to the color red – as worn by the opposite sex.  It turns out that red clothing increases the desirability of the other gender.  Specifically, women find men wearing red to be “higher in […]

Caring for your Voice

Caring for your Voice

One of my pet causes in life – one of the reasons, apparently, that I am required to roam the planet, like the Ghost of Christmas Past, for my allotted time, is to help people with their voices.  Every single day, whether I’m coaching or not, I hear strangled voices, half-present voices, gargled voices, choked […]

Counter-intuitive speaking lessons from the road

Counter-intuitive speaking lessons from the road

I was inspired by some recent client stories of successes and failures to create a short list of counter-intuitive speaking lessons that most people learn the hard way.  Here you go: I hope this list saves you some pain down the road. First, a couple of thoughts about the business of speaking, then three about […]

The Neuroscience of a First Impression

The Neuroscience of a First Impression

You’ve heard the old saying that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so you know first impressions are important, and durable.  You may have heard that people make up their minds about each other within thirty seconds of meeting, or on some other equally flimsy basis.  So you know that […]

Why You Need to Pitch Your Voice Lower

Why You Need to Pitch Your Voice Lower

Back in the mid- or early nineties, I was videotaped for the first time, doing some media work for my then-employer, Princeton University.  Aside from the usual reactions – I didn’t like my hair, my clothes, my physique, or what I did with my hands – I was most astonished by the shrill, pipsqueak voice […]

Why We Need Conferences

Why We Need Conferences

Picture a worker in a cubicle. Gray walls, gray chair, gray computer. Gray hum of background noise all around. When she picks up the phone, the way in which the voice is processed over that instrument cuts out most of the emotion. That’s why telephone calls and webinars are so boring. No emotion. The rest […]

Why Speakers Need to Worry About Sleep

Why Speakers Need to Worry About Sleep

Back in the day when I taught public speaking at Princeton, one of the bits of bad news the students found most unfair was the attractiveness bias.  Basically, psychologists have found over and over again that more attractive people have an unfair advantage when it comes to attracting partners, getting hired, getting paid, being perceived […]