How to Avoid the Presentation Doom Loop

As I said in my last blog, modern presentations are doomed to failure because of ancient survival instincts.  Your body goes into flight or fight mode, and your audience responds similarly, thanks to mirror neurons.  Communication breaks down.  You sense that things are not going well, and you panic more completely.  The audience responds with […]

When Is Rehearsing a Presentation a Bad Idea?

When is rehearsing a presentation a bad idea?  Clients often try to talk themselves out of rehearsal, because they’re pressed for time, because they don’t like the feeling of rehearsal (you’re not in control yet), or because they argue that rehearsal will make them stale.  Those are bad arguments.  People who ‘wing it’ usually betray […]

What Happens When You “Wing” A Speech? Ask Tony Hsieh

In his NY Times Bestseller, Delivering Happiness, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh advises public speakers to “wing it.”  I am driven to take up the cudgels and protect people from that spectacularly bad advice.  What’s Hsieh’s story?  As CEO of the phenomenally successful Internet-based shoe company, Hseih received more and more invitations to speak as the […]

The Secret To Public Speaking Success: Focus

Consider the standard, garden-variety, dull-as-ditchwater business presentation.  A business person wanders to the front of the room, nervous as an auditor in a gambling den.  People look up briefly from their Blackberries, and, seeing nothing of extraordinary interest yet, return to their email and to-do lists.  After fumbling apologetically for a while with the technology, […]

For once, Seth Godin is wrong!

I’m a big Seth Godin fan, and usually find his blogs insightful and thought-provoking.  Rarely, I disagree with them entirely.  Recently, Seth posted the following blog, with which I disagree so violently that I have to blog in opposition:  Rehearsing is for cowardsJackson Browne gave us that advice. He would rather have you explore.Exploring helps […]