The Problem With PowerPoint

The Problem With PowerPoint

One of the unintended consequences of the increased competition of the last few years in the public speaking world is perhaps surprising: it’s becoming harder and harder (at the keynote level) to persuade meeting planners to let the speaker go on stage without PowerPoint or some other such slide software. Their attitude is, “well everyone […]

My New Year’s Resolutions for 2019

My New Year’s Resolutions for 2019

Happy New Year 2019!  If you thought last year was wild, weird and, well, pretty awful, then obviously you were as fixated on the American political scene as I was.  And don’t get me started on Brexit!  Here’s the thing:  2019 will see the culmination of crazy trends in both realms.  If there’s anything we […]

How to Structure a Great Speech

How to Structure a Great Speech

How do you structure a great speech? Here’s a quick way to think about a speech structure that works in many situations.  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. Begin by considering the audience’s needs. Ultimately a great […]

Three quick tips for improving your connection with your audience

Three quick tips for improving your connection with your audience

I posted the last time on the importance of the voice for an empathetic connection with your audience.  Of course, speakers who want to up their game will work on all possible ways of improving that connection; connecting with an audience is a goal all speakers want to achieve. And it can be tricky.  Becoming […]

The Eight Worst Ways to Start a Speech

The Eight Worst Ways to Start a Speech

Every year about now, the conference season kicks into gear and I hear — and coach — speeches and speakers under conditions of high stress and adrenaline.  Inevitably, I hear speech beginnings that don’t do either their speakers or their audiences any favors.  Some are small mistakes and some are more fundamental, but they’re all […]

Speakers and Their Hair — How Should You Style Yourself?

Speakers and Their Hair — How Should You Style Yourself?

After all those principles, here’s a look at an arguably lighter issue:  speaker hairstyles. Here’s the problem for the modern keynote speaker.  You’re most likely going to be beamed onto a giant IMAG screen, often two of them, on either side of you standing there on the stage.  You may actually be overwhelmed visually by […]

Principles of Public Speaking – the Final Seven

Principles of Public Speaking – the Final Seven

With this blog post, I’m concluding a series of public speaking principles that are a summation of what I’ve learned about this fiendishly difficult art and science over three decades of practice, coaching, learning from others, and research, especially neuroscience.  The final seven concern general issues of delivery and the speaker. 71.Find ways to protect […]