The Uselessness of Speaker Ratings

One of the unfair realities of the professional speaking business is that celebrities get a pass when it comes time to rate the speaker after the speech.  And ratings are incredibly important to speakers because they are so essential for good buzz, repeat business, and long-term success. I’ve seen my fair share of celebrities speak, […]

Pity Poor Prime Minister May

Pity Poor Prime Minister May

Pity poor Theresa May.  As the Prime Minister of England, she’s been going through a tough patch – self-inflicted, to be sure, but a tough patch – since her most recent election setback.  I say self-inflicted because she called the election (something you can do in the UK when you think that your party is […]

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 […]

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 […]

Principles of Public Speaking – IV

Principles of Public Speaking – IV

I’m continuing a series of public speaking principles in the next few blog posts that are a summation of what I’ve learned about this fiendishly difficult art and science over three decades of practice, coaching, learning from others, and research, especially neuroscience.  Here are the next seven, numbers 22 – 28.  These principles cover mainly […]

Principles of Public Speaking – III

Principles of Public Speaking – III

I’m developing a series of public speaking principles in the next few blog posts that are a summation of what I’ve learned about this fiendishly difficult art and science over three decades of practice, coaching, learning from others, and research, especially neuroscience.  Here are the next seven. 15.A speech is performance art – and science. […]

Principles of Public Speaking – II

Principles of Public Speaking – II

I’m developing a series of public speaking principles in the next few blog posts that are a summation of what I’ve learned about this fiendishly difficult art and science over three decades of practice, coaching, learning from others, and research, especially neuroscience.  Here are the next seven. 8.A good speech is a contract that exchanges […]

Five Body Language Takeaways from President Trump’s Address to Congress

Five Body Language Takeaways from President Trump’s Address to Congress

President Kennedy began his famous inaugural address with a line about a torch: Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans. . . . And he closed it with another image about lighting up the world: […]