Your Speaking Voice in 2019

Your Speaking Voice in 2019

Strange things are happening to speakers’ voices.  As I’ve worked with public speakers on finding their best possible voice over the past two decades, those voices are changing.  (Caveat:  this is anecdotal information, but it is based on a fairly hefty sample size, so it’s at least interesting.) What’s happening?  Vocal ranges are narrowing.  Male […]

When The Show Must Absolutely Positively Go On

When The Show Must Absolutely Positively Go On

All professional speakers, and indeed virtually all speakers, have had days when they’ve been at less than their best.  They’ve had days when illness has made it really, really difficult to keep going.  And they’ve had days when travel problems mean that they are unable to be physically present at the gig.  None of these […]

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 […]

The Speaker Persona You Need to Develop

The Speaker Persona You Need to Develop

I’ve worked for many years with speakers on developing their unique personas.  What’s the exact right mix of charisma, authenticity, perspicacity, authority, expertise, approachability, charm, humor, strength, and credibility that works for each individual?  Of course, a few basic traits keep coming up – expertise and approachability are among the most often repeated desirable characteristics.  […]

What It Takes to Be Successful as a Professional Speaker

What It Takes to Be Successful as a Professional Speaker

I am often asked by clients and prospective clients about what it takes to succeed in the ever-more-competitive world of professional speaking.  My short answer is always that, even more than talent, what you need to succeed is the ability to work harder than your competition.  Those who show toughness and hang in there, I’ve […]

The Presentation Guild, the Salary Survey, and the State of the Presentation Biz

The Presentation Guild, the Salary Survey, and the State of the Presentation Biz

I joined the Presentation Guild just over a year ago, shortly after it began, because I wholeheartedly support its aims:  to further the professional development of the people who work in the world of presentations.  I did a blog post on the Guild at the time, outlining its basic goals.  Recently, I had a chance […]