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 […]

What’s Missing From Your Virtual Communications and How to Fix Them – 2

What’s Missing From Your Virtual Communications and How to Fix Them – 2

This post is second of two on virtual communications. The virtual world offers us two great conveniences; indeed, you can make a reasonable claim that the virtual world depends for its success on these twin pillars:  freedom from friction, and freedom from simultaneity. But those freedoms create new problems.  How can you solve the problems […]

What’s Missing from Your Virtual Communications and How to Fix Them – 1

What’s Missing from Your Virtual Communications and How to Fix Them – 1

The virtual world offers us two great conveniences.  Indeed, you can make a reasonable claim that the virtual world depends for its success on these twin pillars:  freedom from friction, and freedom from simultaneity. What does that mean?  Before email, we had to write or type out letters, memos, reports, white papers – the entire […]

Principles of Public Speaking – III

Principles of Public Speaking – III

I’m developing a series of public speaking principles in the next few blog posts that are a summation of what I’ve learned about this fiendishly difficult art and science over three decades of practice, coaching, learning from others, and research, especially neuroscience.  Here are the next seven. 15.A speech is performance art – and science. […]

Why Learn About Body Language? Here’s One Reason.

Why Learn About Body Language? Here’s One Reason.

Why do we bother with the hard and imprecise work of trying to understand body language?  After all, we’re already expert at it, more or less, with our unconscious minds, and those unconscious minds are faster, better, and infinitely more powerful human CPUs than our conscious minds.  Why do the hard work of taking this […]

What’s the Most Important Moment for a Speaker?

What’s the Most Important Moment for a Speaker?

What’s the key moment in the life of the speaker?  Is it the standing ovation? The off-script excitement of a Q and A session? The moment of connection with an audience at the beginning of a talk? All those moments are important, but the most important moment is the moment before you go on.  How […]

What if Donald Trump Were a Woman?

What if Donald Trump Were a Woman?

What is the role of gender in public speaking?  It’s an incredibly complex question, and one about which I’ve posted before. Recently, a couple of INSEAD and NYU professors teamed up to illustrate a particularly vexed version of this question: the role of gender in the recent debates and election for the American president. They […]