Principles of Public Speaking – X

Principles of Public Speaking – X

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 penultimate seven, concerning conditions around speaking and speeches. 64.The most […]

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 […]

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 […]

Should You Interact with Your Audience or Just Hold Forth?

Should You Interact with Your Audience or Just Hold Forth?

What does a speaker owe her audience? And what does an audience owe its speaker? There’s a clear trend at conferences and events at the keynote level for more entertainment and less substance, for shorter presentations (a baleful effect of TED), and for less audience interaction. That’s not a good idea – less audience interaction. […]

The Power and Purpose of the Pause in Public Speaking

The Power and Purpose of the Pause in Public Speaking

A reader of this blog asked me some time ago to post on pauses, something I’ve written about from time to time in the past. In fact, the reader referred to the primary debates, and at the time I was suffering from a surfeit of them and just couldn’t muster the enthusiasm. But something about […]

Your Stress Is Contagious.

Your Stress Is Contagious.

The second of two articles about the adrenaline response. We suspected it. The research and speculation about mirror neurons predicted it. Now a recent study shows it: stress – and the emotions of frustration, anxiety and fear that go with it – are contagious. Strangers leak their stress to you. Watching TV – with its […]