Can Political Beliefs Be Changed, or the Cultural Divide Repaired?

Can Political Beliefs Be Changed, or the Cultural Divide Repaired?

The proverbial visitor from Mars – especially one who was here for a return visit — might be pardoned for wondering how societies across the globe have become so polarized in their beliefs.  Whether it’s the Trump crowd, or its opposite, or the Brexit fans or the Remain folks, or the Marine le Pen people […]

Why Speakers Should be Helping Audiences Forget What They Know

Why Speakers Should be Helping Audiences Forget What They Know

There’s a particularly tedious kind of speaker that ostentatiously tries to teach his audience something by having the audience repeatedly recall some big idea, or some list, or the seven levels of . . . knowledge about a certain subject.  The hapless audience has to shout out, or chant in unison, or (worst of all) […]

What James Bond Can Teach Us About Public Speaking

What James Bond Can Teach Us About Public Speaking

Sometimes New Year’s resolutions have unintended consequences.  I started a new exercise program – with the usual results, which is to say, nothing much yet – and needed something to while away all those hours on the treadmill.  So I began watching all the James Bond movies in order, from the early, cool days of […]

No Excuses for Not Being at the Top of Your Game

No Excuses for Not Being at the Top of Your Game

Today I’m cross-posting with David Meerman Scott, speaker extraordinaire, who was kind enough to share his experiences when he had to speak with an injury.  I contacted my friend and speaker coach Dr. Nick Morgan. “Hey Nick, I have a speaker dilemma and I could use your input!” I had a speaking engagement booked at […]

An Analysis of President Trump’s Inaugural Address

An Analysis of President Trump’s Inaugural Address

What was uppermost in the mind of Mr. Trump on the day of his swearing-in?  Apparently, our new president deeply resented all those contributions he talked of making to politicians when he was campaigning. Because Mr. Trump signaled his change of tack and made his goals clear – at least at a high level – […]

President Obama’s Final Address – What Did He Say and How Did He Say It?

President Obama’s Final Address – What Did He Say and How Did He Say It?

My blog posts this week are all about presidential oratory.  First, in this episode, I’ll be analyzing President Obama’s farewell address.  In the next one, I’ll analyze the new President’s inaugural address.  Please note that one will go out Friday afternoon, since it seems best only to write about the address after I’ve actually heard […]

In Defense of Audience Interaction

In Defense of Audience Interaction

One of the unintentional by-products of TED is that speakers, in an effort to mimic TED’s success, have been making speeches shorter and more entertaining.  That’s alarming. Wait a minute, you say.  Alarming?  How so?  How could that possibly be other than a good thing:  shorter and more entertaining speeches?  Isn’t the alternative – what […]

Why Trump Won

Why Trump Won

Both Democrats and Republicans could be pardoned for feeling shell-shocked at the Trump upset win of the US presidential race.  Few of the pundits saw it coming; indeed, as recently as a few weeks ago, just about everyone here in the US was predicting a big Clinton victory. But with the benefit of perfect storytelling […]

Trump v Clinton, One Last Time

Trump v Clinton, One Last Time

And now for the acceptance and concession speeches after the U.S. Presidential Election.  It’s a chance to see Trump v Clinton, one last time.  What will the President-elect and the losing candidate each say about the experience of the campaign and the path forward?  What will President Obama say about the results?  And what will […]