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 […]

Five Ways to Ensure Presentation Success

Five Ways to Ensure Presentation Success

Clients often ask me, “How can I raise my game?” or “How can I take my speaking to the next level?” or “How can I deliver a kick-ass keynote?”  It usually turns out that they’re thinking about delivery.  They’re looking for some secret voodoo hand gesture that will turn them into charismatic combinations of Mick […]

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 – […]

Is This Your Year to Write a Book?

Is This Your Year to Write a Book?

Should you write a book this year?  Do you have an idea that you’re convinced the world needs to read about?  Consider the strange experience of Mr. Franz Kafka. Apparently Kafka became obsessed as a young man with the idea of writing travel guides that would give real, detailed advice about the actual opening hours […]

How to be a Successful Speaker in Turbulent Times

How to be a Successful Speaker in Turbulent Times

(The second of two articles about preparing for 2017.) It’s official: we are living in turbulent times.  I’ve never seen such a high level of anxiety among fellow speakers, in the audiences speakers address, and in the industry itself – among the meeting planners, conference organizers, and speaker bureau reps. It’s not entirely clear why […]

Why You Should Become an Intimate Speaker

Why You Should Become an Intimate Speaker

One of the unintended consequences of our new, amazing, super-convenient virtual world, where everything (almost everything) is a few clicks away, is that it robs us of real closeness.  More than that:  by spending time online we lose out on intimacy.  Facebook, your favorite airline rewards program, and even Amazon take away that real closeness […]

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 […]

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 […]