What’s the Most Important Personality Trait for a Speaker?

What’s the Most Important Personality Trait for a Speaker?

What’s the most important trait for a speaker?  Extroversion?  Confidence? Charisma? I’m going to suggest something that may surprise you.  I think the most important trait is that one that has become obscured of late in our information-overloaded, media-hungry, celebrity-obsessed world:  humility. Why?  Because the only reason to give a speech is to change the […]

How to Increase Your Authority as a Thought Leader

How to Increase Your Authority as a Thought Leader

I grew up in one of those little towns in America where, if you’re not remarkable in some clear, school-approved, kid-friendly way, then your options appear limited.  If you’re not good at football or basketball or soccer, in short, then you’re on the periphery.  I was out there:  the periphery. Of course, I wasn’t the […]

Five Secrets for a Successful Job Interview

Five Secrets for a Successful Job Interview

Is it time in your career to look for a new job? Do you have that interview already lined up? Here are some modern, counter-intuitive takes on having a successful interview. The world has changed; so has job hunting. Be ready, and good luck! 1.Train like an Olympian. Malcolm Gladwell was wrong; it isn’t about […]

How to Use Improv to Make Your Work Day Better

How to Use Improv to Make Your Work Day Better

Recently, I had the pleasure of engaging in a Q and A with Cathy Salit, head of Performance of a Lifetime and author of Performance Breakthrough: A Radical to Success at Work, Hachette, 2016. Salit applies principles from the world of acting and Improv to work scenarios in order to help individuals and teams improve […]

A Speaker’s — and Audience’s — Bill of Rights

A Speaker’s — and Audience’s — Bill of Rights

We don’t have a speaker’s bill of rights, or an audience’s for that matter. But one day recently, after witnessing a speech gone wrong, and an audience angered, despite good intentions on both sides, I decided to rectify that lacuna. This week I’m offering the Speaker’s Bill of Rights as a way of addressing both […]

Seth Godin, Front Row Culture, and High School Holdovers

Seth Godin, Front Row Culture, and High School Holdovers

I’m a huge fan of Seth Godin’s amazing blog and I was fascinated to read his commentary recently on the difference between what he called front row cultures and the contrasting empty rows of some company meetings (and by extension, some conferences and meetings with the same strengths and weaknesses). It reminded me of parallel […]

How to Become a Happy Speaker in Seven Steps

How to Become a Happy Speaker in Seven Steps

As I wind down the year, and I talk to client, friends, and fellow travelers in the speaking business, I hear common complaints about what makes their lives miserable as speakers. None of these are particularly unique to 2015 – the miseries of the speaking business are the same year in and year out. Sure, […]

How Many Questions Should You Ask an Audience?

How Many Questions Should You Ask an Audience?

A recent question from reader and creator of the great blog and book about inquiry, A More Beautiful Question, Warren Berger, had to do with involving the audience. What is the right time, and what are the right ways, to involve audiences? Warren had heard a keynoter ask lots of questions of the audience, rhetorical and otherwise, and […]

How Many Questions Should You Ask an Audience?

A recent question from reader and creator of the great blog and book about inquiry, A More Beautiful Question, Warren Berger, had to do with involving the audience. What is the right time, and what are the right ways, to involve audiences? Warren had heard a keynoter ask lots of questions of the audience, rhetorical and […]