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 […]

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 […]

How to Reduce Speech Anxiety – or Pre-Election-Results Anxiety

How to Reduce Speech Anxiety – or Pre-Election-Results Anxiety

If you’re an American – heck, if you’re anywhere on the globe – you would be pardoned for feeling a bit of anxiety today, the end of a long, dispiriting, and even embarrassing Presidential campaign.  The good news is that voting is finally here, and there’s a good chance we’ll have a new President informally […]

Your Questions and Answers About Public Speaking

Your Questions and Answers About Public Speaking

I’m a little slow to the party, I know, but I did my first Facebook Live chat last week for Harvard and had a fun time taking as many questions as I could.  If you missed it, it’s available here and here. I thought it was a great opportunity to see what’s on the mind […]

How to Renew Yourself as a Public Speaker

How to Renew Yourself as a Public Speaker

We’re finally in the last week of the US presidential election, and for most of us it will be a relief to stop hearing about deplorables, groping, and that ridiculous institution the Electoral College.  It’s not too early to think about refocusing our hearts and minds on important stuff like your public speaking career and […]

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. […]