How to Communicate Change

How to Communicate Change

As I talk to audiences recently, and, in fact, as I get ready to talk to those audiences by interviewing the meeting planners, conference organizers, and potential audience members, over and over again I hear a strikingly similar plaint. They begin by saying, “Our industry differs from every other one you’ll talk to.  Change is […]

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 […]

Counter-intuitive speaking lessons from the road

Counter-intuitive speaking lessons from the road

I was inspired by some recent client stories of successes and failures to create a short list of counter-intuitive speaking lessons that most people learn the hard way.  Here you go: I hope this list saves you some pain down the road. First, a couple of thoughts about the business of speaking, then three about […]

Public speaking and emotional intelligence

Public speaking and emotional intelligence

Daniel Goleman’s brilliant 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence, gathered and synthesized some research about what it takes for people to get along in the world.  The phrase “emotional intelligence” has become part of the lexicon and indeed seems to be enjoying a bit of a renaissance just now, two decades later.  Perhaps because we are experiencing […]

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 […]

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 […]