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 […]

How to Handle Q and A

How do you handle Q and A?  The traditional way is to take the first 45 minutes of an hour to talk, and then stop, saying, "I'd be happy to answer your questions now."  What happens?  You handle a few good questions, and then the session starts to run out of gas.  Finally, there's one […]

Here’s how to do it: a great speech with no PowerPoint

I’ve been blogging recently about the abuse and misuse of PowerPoint and other slide software.  Today I’m sharing an example of a great business speech that succeeds without using PowerPoint at all.  It’s Simon Sinek’s TED talk, and it’s worthy of study.   Simon’s talk is about “How great leaders inspire action,” and it succeeds in […]

Nancy Duarte’s “resonate”

Nancy Duarte’s new book resonate arrived in my mail box a few days ago, and I’ve been racing through it ever since.  It should immediately join the shelf of great books for serious students of public speaking; it’s destined to become another classic like her earlier book, slide:ology.  What’s innovative about resonate is that it […]

How to be a passionate speaker, pt. 2

What other verbal techniques convey passion? Oddly enough, perhaps, rhetorical elegance on more formal or important occasions can convey emotion when it isn’t merely pompous. Two main techniques, the rhetorical rule of threes and (appropriate) repetition, are the most powerful ways to convey emotion through rhetoric.  Let’s look at Martin Luther King Jr. giving what […]