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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Q and A with Rick Altman of the Presentation Summit

Q and A with Rick Altman of the Presentation Summit

I’ve been a fan of the Presentation Summit and Rick Altman for a long time.  I even spoke at one a few years ago, and I’m up again this fall at the 2017 version, so I’m very excited to renew some old acquaintances, make new ones, and see how fast Rick falls apart under maximum […]

How to listen to a speech

How to listen to a speech

I so often write about how to create and give better speeches that I rarely write about listening to speeches.  But of course the audience is one of the three essential elements of a public speech – without an audience, it’s not a speech any more than it’s a speech without a speaker or content.  […]