How to Increase the Persuasiveness of Your Speaking

I was struck recently by a set of research studies that reinforced the importance of touch in persuasion. Touching people (in a safe place such as the upper arm) causes them to leave bigger tips, return lost money, provide help to strangers, sign petitions, and assign higher status to the person doing the touching. Touching […]

How to write a great speech

A great speech puts the occasion, the audience, and the speaker together in an unforgettable way. All three pieces of the rhetorical puzzle are important. When Churchill was going to give his famous ‘Iron Curtain’ speech after WW II, he didn’t go over to the House of Commons, where he delivered most of his orations. […]

The Secret to Powerful Communication in 2 Words

If I had to sum up in two words everything I’ve learned in 25 years of work on communications, rhetoric, public speaking, speechwriting, and body language, those two words would be:  charismatic storytelling. Charismatic because in an over-stimulated, impatient world, it’s passion and charisma that get attention.  But passion alone doesn’t get you to charisma; […]

Aristotle Was Wrong

We want to persuade people to do something new.  It’s one of those fundamental – and fundamentally important – human acts.  And, it’s a tall order. But it is the essence of speech making: to move people to action. Anything else is wasted effort, because people simply don’t remember much of what they hear. It’s […]