What It Takes to Succeed as a Public Speaker Today

What It Takes to Succeed as a Public Speaker Today

Motivational speeches have acquired a bad name in some quarters. In 2008-9, the market for them tanked, and ever since meeting planners, speaker bureaus, and people looking for speakers have insisted on something called “takeaways,” meaning practical things you can do right away to increase employee morale, productivity, and throughput per pod-human (TPPH), or whatever […]

Is the Ego the Enemy in Public Speaking?

Is the Ego the Enemy in Public Speaking?

What makes public speaking most difficult is that you’re putting yourself out there, and you’re afraid of judgment. You’re afraid of things going badly. You’re afraid of someone calling you out for the fraud you fear yourself to be. You’re afraid someone will ask you a question you don’t know how to answer. You’re afraid […]

Amy Cuddy on Presence

Amy Cuddy on Presence

Amy Cuddy’s wonderful book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges, published in 2015, begins with a story of her traumatic brain injury leading to her lifelong interest in body language and the deep connections between body and mind. Those of you who have read my book Power Cues: The Subtle Science of […]

How to write a commencement speech

How to write a commencement speech

It’s commencement season around the US. Several thousand universities, and tens of thousands of high schools, are gathering to bestow their degrees on proud graduates throughout the United States. And that means speeches – in particular, the dreaded Commencement Address. A recent New York Times article gives an excellent survey of some of the most […]

The Surprising Way Metaphors Will Strengthen Your Speeches

The Surprising Way Metaphors Will Strengthen Your Speeches

The human mind – especially the unconscious human mind – is still mostly a mystery to us, its owner. Neuroscience is helping to push back the boundaries of puzzlement; however, we have a long way to go. Psychology professor Adele Goldberg at Princeton University is doing her bit to help increase our understanding. In part, […]

Audiences Don’t Remember What They Hear – Here’s How to Fix That Problem

Audiences Don’t Remember What They Hear – Here’s How to Fix That Problem

Regular readers of this blog will know that the statistics of remembering are unkind to public speakers everywhere. The research shows that people don’t remember much overall of what they hear and see in a speech, they don’t remember the details well, and they don’t retain stuff, especially, that they disagree with or that conflicts […]

Hypothyroidism, Intelligence, and Baggy Eyelids

Hypothyroidism, Intelligence, and Baggy Eyelids

I am hypothyroid. It’s a curious disease that means my thyroid doesn’t make enough of the hormones that the thyroid normally makes and sends to every cell in your body. Symptoms can show up in a myriad of obscure ways, but the most common are slow metabolism and poor circulation, so you feel cold a […]