In Defense of Audience Interaction

In Defense of Audience Interaction

One of the unintentional by-products of TED is that speakers, in an effort to mimic TED’s success, have been making speeches shorter and more entertaining.  That’s alarming. Wait a minute, you say.  Alarming?  How so?  How could that possibly be other than a good thing:  shorter and more entertaining speeches?  Isn’t the alternative – what […]

Your Questions and Answers About Public Speaking

Your Questions and Answers About Public Speaking

I’m a little slow to the party, I know, but I did my first Facebook Live chat last week for Harvard and had a fun time taking as many questions as I could.  If you missed it, it’s available here and here. I thought it was a great opportunity to see what’s on the mind […]

How to Renew Yourself as a Public Speaker

How to Renew Yourself as a Public Speaker

We’re finally in the last week of the US presidential election, and for most of us it will be a relief to stop hearing about deplorables, groping, and that ridiculous institution the Electoral College.  It’s not too early to think about refocusing our hearts and minds on important stuff like your public speaking career and […]

Should You Interact with Your Audience or Just Hold Forth?

Should You Interact with Your Audience or Just Hold Forth?

What does a speaker owe her audience? And what does an audience owe its speaker? There’s a clear trend at conferences and events at the keynote level for more entertainment and less substance, for shorter presentations (a baleful effect of TED), and for less audience interaction. That’s not a good idea – less audience interaction. […]

Mr. Trump, Mrs Clinton, and Dry Mouth

Mr. Trump, Mrs Clinton, and Dry Mouth

We did it. We survived the angriest three Presidential debates in the angriest Presidential campaign since Jefferson versus Adams in 1800. I’ve been reflecting on what we can learn as public speakers from the debates, and even at this brief remove there is already one clear lesson: preparation counts. Basically, as we heard throughout the […]

Who Won The Third (and Angriest) Presidential Debate?

Who Won The Third (and Angriest) Presidential Debate?

The third and final presidential debate was the angriest, beginning with the opening, as the two candidates walked on. The walk on  Secretary Clinton walked on to the debate stage for her final debate with Mr. Trump with her usual confidence. Mr. Trump also took the stage with greater confidence than in his previous two […]

The Power and Purpose of the Pause in Public Speaking

The Power and Purpose of the Pause in Public Speaking

A reader of this blog asked me some time ago to post on pauses, something I’ve written about from time to time in the past. In fact, the reader referred to the primary debates, and at the time I was suffering from a surfeit of them and just couldn’t muster the enthusiasm. But something about […]

Five Tips for Starting a Pro Speaking Career

Five Tips for Starting a Pro Speaking Career

I’m often asked how to get started in a professional speaking career. Perhaps you’ve given presentations as part of your job to modest-sized audiences, and gotten a great response. Perhaps you find you love being on stage. Or perhaps you’ve got a burning issue you’re on fire to talk about, spread awareness for, and for […]