Why Your Voice Is Important

Why Your Voice Is Important

I’ve often posted on the importance of the voice to public speaking (here, here, and here, among many), and to leadership and authority in general.  Remarkable research in the last decade (that I talked about in Power Cues, Chapter Four) reveals that the undertones of the voice are essential to the endorsement of a leader […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Seven Good Ways to Think About Your Audience

Seven Good Ways to Think About Your Audience

I was coaching a client recently and realized that this able speaker had some serious misconceptions about how to relate to the people sitting in the chairs in front of him.  It’s essential to keep the right attitude toward your audiences despite the stresses of travel, performance, and occasionally unpredictable audience responses.  A speaker can […]

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 […]

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 […]