Why Your Voice Is Important

Why Your Voice Is Important

I’ve often posted on the importance of the voice to public speaking (here, here, and here, among many), and to leadership and authority in general.  Remarkable research in the last decade (that I talked about in Power Cues, Chapter Four) reveals that the undertones of the voice are essential to the endorsement of a leader […]

How to listen to a speech

How to listen to a speech

I so often write about how to create and give better speeches that I rarely write about listening to speeches.  But of course the audience is one of the three essential elements of a public speech – without an audience, it’s not a speech any more than it’s a speech without a speaker or content.  […]

What’s the Most Important Personality Trait for a Speaker?

What’s the Most Important Personality Trait for a Speaker?

What’s the most important trait for a speaker?  Extroversion?  Confidence? Charisma? I’m going to suggest something that may surprise you.  I think the most important trait is that one that has become obscured of late in our information-overloaded, media-hungry, celebrity-obsessed world:  humility. Why?  Because the only reason to give a speech is to change the […]

President Obama’s Final Address – What Did He Say and How Did He Say It?

President Obama’s Final Address – What Did He Say and How Did He Say It?

My blog posts this week are all about presidential oratory.  First, in this episode, I’ll be analyzing President Obama’s farewell address.  In the next one, I’ll analyze the new President’s inaugural address.  Please note that one will go out Friday afternoon, since it seems best only to write about the address after I’ve actually heard […]

How to Use Improv to Make Your Work Day Better

How to Use Improv to Make Your Work Day Better

Recently, I had the pleasure of engaging in a Q and A with Cathy Salit, head of Performance of a Lifetime and author of Performance Breakthrough: A Radical to Success at Work, Hachette, 2016. Salit applies principles from the world of acting and Improv to work scenarios in order to help individuals and teams improve […]

How Many Questions Should You Ask an Audience?

How Many Questions Should You Ask an Audience?

A recent question from reader and creator of the great blog and book about inquiry, A More Beautiful Question, Warren Berger, had to do with involving the audience. What is the right time, and what are the right ways, to involve audiences? Warren had heard a keynoter ask lots of questions of the audience, rhetorical and otherwise, and […]