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 […]

What the *#@&! Should Speakers Swear?

What the *#@&! Should Speakers Swear?

Should a speaker swear on stage?  Is it ever appropriate, and if so when? These questions used to have an easy answer:  no, no, and never.  Profanity on stage used to be a deal killer, a contract ender and a career finisher.   Twenty years ago, I watched one promising speaker say “sh*t” on stage once, […]

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 […]

Five Difficult Truths Speakers Must Learn

Five Difficult Truths Speakers Must Learn

Professional speakers, like most people, want a lot of things.  Good work opportunities, true love, and parking spaces whenever they’re needed come to mind, and that’s just for starters.  Then there are some things speakers want that most people would find quixotic, to say the least.  Speakers want an endless supply of gigs; most people […]

The Five Mistakes Public Speakers Are Making Now

The Five Mistakes Public Speakers Are Making Now

I’ve written recently about insights, secrets and success factors for public speakers. Attending a conference a couple of weeks ago, I was more struck by the common mistakes that speaker after speaker was making and so I thought it was time to write about what to avoid. Here are five mistakes I’m seeing a good […]

Can You Handle Your Adrenaline?  Can Your Audience?

Can You Handle Your Adrenaline? Can Your Audience?

Most speakers get to know their adrenaline fight-or-flight response very, very well. To be sure, I’ve met a few speakers who remain as cool as ice in January and never experience the sweaty palms, the rapidly beating heart, the racing thoughts, and the unmitigated wish to be sitting in a bar somewhere nursing a gin […]

When Is It OK for a Speaker to Yell at an Audience?

When Is It OK for a Speaker to Yell at an Audience?

When is it OK for a speaker to upbraid an audience? A frequent reader of this blog sent me this link to a fascinating example of a speaker dressing down his audience. In this case, does the attitude the speaker evinces seem more palatable because the speaker is a grown up addressing teens? What exactly […]

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 […]