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 […]

Public speaking and emotional intelligence

Public speaking and emotional intelligence

Daniel Goleman’s brilliant 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence, gathered and synthesized some research about what it takes for people to get along in the world.  The phrase “emotional intelligence” has become part of the lexicon and indeed seems to be enjoying a bit of a renaissance just now, two decades later.  Perhaps because we are experiencing […]

Trends in Public Speaking in 2017

Trends in Public Speaking in 2017

I’ve been chatting recently with speakers, clients, managers, speaker bureau people, meeting planners – the whole universe of people who are involved in public speaking and conferences.  It seemed time to update the trends I’m seeing in the professional speaking world.  Please note this is an unscientific survey, based on anecdotal evidence.  But also some […]

Alan Alda on Improv, Empathy, and his New Book

Alan Alda on Improv, Empathy, and his New Book

I first encountered Alan Alda as the irreverent, anti-war doctor in M*A*S*H* the TV show.  It was one of those shows that seemed important at the time because of its anti-war attitude and other acts of rebellion.  It gave comfort to those of us for whom the war was a long way off, but the […]

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 […]

When is it OK to swear in public?

When is it OK to swear in public?

Recently, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand swore during a speech at the Personal Democracy Forum at New York University.  She said, “If we’re not helping people, we should go the f**k home.”  And later on, talking about President Trump, she added, “Has he kept his promises?  F**k no.” There was a fair amount of scolding on line […]

Q and A with the Founder of the New York City Urban Debate League

Q and A with the Founder of the New York City Urban Debate League

I was amazed to discover recently that the New York City Urban Debate League – which brings debate to the elementary, middle and high schools of the New York City area – is only six years old.  It sounds like a program that should have existed since the 1800s.  So when I had a chance […]

Tough career love for speakers

Tough career love for speakers

I often get asked by already-pro speakers, and near-pro speakers, how to take their speaking game higher.  They ask me questions like: How do I kick-start my career?  What will be that easy path to success?  What are the secrets to cracking the nut of getting all the highly-paid speeches you can handle?  Ah, if […]