What to Do about Speaking Fear when Nothing Else Works

I had a question from a reader recently about what to do when all my usual prescriptions (see here, here, and here) for dealing with stage fright – physical work on breathing and muscle group relaxation, coupled with mental work on imaging and replacing the feared outcome with a positive one – don’t work.  Perhaps the […]

Body Language Basics, Part 1

Body Language Basics, Part 1

I’m finishing out the year with a back-to-basics 5-post review of the fundamentals of body language.  In this era of #metoo, it’s incumbent upon all of us to be aware of our body language — what we’re projecting, what other people are receiving — our intention, in short.  If you were thinking of making 2018 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]