The Problem with Email

The Problem with Email

When email first worked its way into most workplaces, it was part of a dedicated system, a set of interconnected computers limited to little more than email itself, with batch runs of data at night and that sprocket paper to print out on – like a slightly more flexible telex machine.  Then desktop computers became […]

How Long Is That Pesky Attention Span Thing?

How Long Is That Pesky Attention Span Thing?

There’s an urban myth doing the rounds that goes something like this:  recent studies suggest that our attention spans have shrunk to less than eight seconds.  Why is that number significant?  Because it’s the attention span of a goldfish!  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, our attention spans are less than that of the dumbest fish in […]

The Eight Worst Ways to Start a Speech

The Eight Worst Ways to Start a Speech

Every year about now, the conference season kicks into gear and I hear — and coach — speeches and speakers under conditions of high stress and adrenaline.  Inevitably, I hear speech beginnings that don’t do either their speakers or their audiences any favors.  Some are small mistakes and some are more fundamental, but they’re all […]

The Seven Worst Things That Speakers Do to Sabotage Themselves and Their Careers

The Seven Worst Things That Speakers Do to Sabotage Themselves and Their Careers

There’s something about the approach of fall that always makes me think about renewal.  Maybe it’s because I was tied to an academic calendar for a good deal of my work life.  The fall, then, is time for going back to school and learning something new to improve yourself, and your career, just as much […]

Speakers and Their Hair — How Should You Style Yourself?

Speakers and Their Hair — How Should You Style Yourself?

After all those principles, here’s a look at an arguably lighter issue:  speaker hairstyles. Here’s the problem for the modern keynote speaker.  You’re most likely going to be beamed onto a giant IMAG screen, often two of them, on either side of you standing there on the stage.  You may actually be overwhelmed visually by […]

Principles of Public Speaking – the Final Seven

Principles of Public Speaking – the Final Seven

With this blog post, I’m concluding a series of public speaking principles 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.  The final seven concern general issues of delivery and the speaker. 71.Find ways to protect […]

Principles of Public Speaking – X

Principles of Public Speaking – X

I’m continuing 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 penultimate seven, concerning conditions around speaking and speeches. 64.The most […]

Principles of Public Speaking – IX

Principles of Public Speaking – IX

I’m continuing 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, about the conditions of speaking. 57.Props enhance a speech […]

Principles of Public Speaking – VIII

Principles of Public Speaking – VIII

I’m continuing 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, about some structural issues of speechmaking. 50.In public speaking, […]