Ten Life Lessons for Public Speaking Success

From time to time it’s important to take a step back and put the world of public speaking into perspective. I do take it very seriously, and I am completely passionate about it, but it’s also important to recognize that public speaking is one human activity out of many, we don’t burn people at the […]

What Public Speakers Get Wrong And Audiences Need

What Public Speakers Get Wrong And Audiences Need

It’s been nagging at me for some time now that the speaking business is changing, because audiences are changing, and speakers are responding in precisely the wrong way. Meeting planners, speaker bureaus, and speakers everywhere take note. What’s happened? A little history is in order. In 2008-9, the speaking business – the conference business – […]

Bruce Lee Helps You Become a Black Belt in Public Speaking

Bruce Lee Helps You Become a Black Belt in Public Speaking

I’m a big fan – I was going to say “huge,” but Donald Trump has commandeered that word for the time being – of a blog that you should know about if you don’t already: Brain Pickings Weekly. It’s a compendium of wonderful musings on love, life, and philosophy, and I learn something from it every […]

Your Stress Is Contagious.

Your Stress Is Contagious.

The second of two articles about the adrenaline response. We suspected it. The research and speculation about mirror neurons predicted it. Now a recent study shows it: stress – and the emotions of frustration, anxiety and fear that go with it – are contagious. Strangers leak their stress to you. Watching TV – with its […]

Can You Handle Your Adrenaline?  Can Your Audience?

Can You Handle Your Adrenaline? Can Your Audience?

Most speakers get to know their adrenaline fight-or-flight response very, very well. To be sure, I’ve met a few speakers who remain as cool as ice in January and never experience the sweaty palms, the rapidly beating heart, the racing thoughts, and the unmitigated wish to be sitting in a bar somewhere nursing a gin […]

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 […]