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 […]

Principles of Public Speaking – VII

Principles of Public Speaking – VII

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 next seven. 43.A speech is a whole, not a collection of […]

The Greatest American Speech Ever?

Speeches, like flowers, are a moment’s monument. They exist most powerfully for a specific audience, a specific speaker, and a specific message. Attempts to make them have a wider impact usually fail. But of course there are some magnificent exceptions. If we attempted to create a list of the greatest American speeches, we could easily […]

Who Is the World’s Most Influential Leader, and What Does It Take to Lead Today?

Who is the world’s most influential leader?  According to our highly unscientific survey last week – a contest we ran in order to give away five copies of my new book, Power Cues – it’s Jesus by a whisker, followed closely by Nelson Mandela and Gandhi.  Martin Luther King, Jr, the Dalai Lama, the current […]

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 […]