public speaking skills training

Face Your Fears: Ways to Conquer Stage Fright… Really!

By on October 7, 2014

October 14 is Face Your Fears Day.  Many people report public speaking as their number one fear–so why not use this upcoming “holiday” to push past that fear. Why?  Because nothing is as powerful as standing up in front of a room and using your words and body to convince others to see your way […]

Ways Great Speakers Capture Attention

By on July 1, 2014

In my mind, there are two kinds of attention: neck down, and neck up. Neck-up attention is when the listener has to make an effort to pay attention. Neck-down attention is when the listener is riveted to the speaker: she can’t help but pay attention. Please note that, in our language of English, attention is […]

Fear and Loathing of Public Speaking

By on May 28, 2008

No one likes to be pulled from a warm bed and thrust into a cold shower.  And many people I’ve met feel the same about being plucked from the blanket of everyday life to stand alone on a stage with a thousand pairs of eyes on them.   And so, when they find themselves on stage, […]

Public Speaking Training: The Dreaded just-after-lunch Slot on the Program

By on May 22, 2008

Effective speaking has many enemies. A partial list would include a speaker’s lack of experience, stage fright, lack of training, no clear point, too much information, and finally, no clear flow, or structure. We could go on. But the items on the list are only those enemies that hide within the speaker himself. What about […]

Effective Presentation Skills: Hang ‘Em in the Bat Cave

By on April 3, 2008

“What do I do with my hands?” is one of the most frequent questions I get from people striving to improve their public speaking skills. The answer is more complicated than you’d think. First of all, why is it important? It’s important because your hands speak quite loudly to the emotional radar of the audience. […]

Presentation Skills: Doing it in the road

By on September 14, 2007

I believe one of the best models for presenting skills is the act of giving directions to someone who has stopped her car, leaned out the window, and said, “How do I get to Bloomfield Avenue?” If you’re standing in front of your house, and you know how to get to the desired location (your own version of Bloomfield Avenue) you immediately […]

Effective Speaking: Keeping Attention

By on August 27, 2007

Back in the days before Gutenberg, it took months or years for a few dedicated scribes to create a single copy of a single book.  A literate medieval person, provided he or she was not interrupted by the Inquistion or bubonic plague, could probably read the book as fast as your typical modern high school […]

Communication Skills: The Head Waggle

By on June 12, 2007

Keep your head relatively still most of the time when speaking! A case in point. My daughter took me to see Romeo and Juliet at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park on Father’s Day.  Juliet waggled her head to express emotion.  We both get distracted by it.  The waggle was a personal mannerism that didn’t communicate effectively to […]

Presentation Tips: The Thoughtful Presenter

By on May 26, 2007

There are men and women who live on the back porch of their souls, and when you walk up on the front porch and knock on the door, they take a long time to open up.  You can hear their footsteps echo as they come cautiously down the hallway of their lives.  They open the door […]

Business Presentations: Women Admire Men Who are Good Speakers

By on May 9, 2007

Science is making progress in understanding sexual desire. Birds Do It. Bees Do It. People Seek the Keys to It by Natalie Angier was published in the New York Times on April 10, 2007.  It’s fun reading, and should provide even greater motivation for men to become more effective presenters. Stephanie Sanders of the Kinsey Institute and Indiana […]

Presentation skills as personal development

By on April 28, 2007

Let’s think of the mind of an audience as having two basic types of material–old impressions and memories of events actually experienced, and imaginative rearrangements of parts of these actual experiences which never really existed. For instance, remembering how your uncle looked when he got angry at you as a child is real.  Dreaming that your uncle is wrapped […]

Speech Training: Don Imus and Insult Humor

By on April 16, 2007

When I heard Daniel Shore on NPR blame the listeners for the implosion of the Don Imus show, I felt a little ashamed, because I tuned in, I listened, and I laughed at Imus. I liked how he insulted his colleagues and his guests on the air. His insults were pyrotechnical bursts of language that were Shakespearean in their […]

Presentation Tips: The Title Slide

By on March 23, 2007

Titles are important.  My Dad was an editor and sometime in the 1950s a manuscript crossed his desk entitled, “Big Yeller Dog.”  He liked the book and decided to publish it, but he asked the author if he could change the title to “Old Yeller.”  The author agreed, and the name has lodged itself in our collective […]

Effective Speaking: How Much Emotion?

By on February 26, 2007

First of all, Ellen DeGeneres is an amazing performer.  She is relaxed (or appears to be), self-effacing, and playful–not mean, like some of the previous hosts of the Academy Awards.  And instead of joking about things going on “in the industry”, she joked about what was going on in the minds of her listeners–their anxiety […]

Public Speaking Tips: What’s a Good Oscar Speech?

By on February 25, 2007

I will be glued to the TV on Oscar night because I’m fascinated by the power of the acceptance speeches.  They’re a balancing act between emotion and concision; between sincerity and craft.  Too much emotion and the speech can be embarrassing and silly; too little and it’s dull and offensive, because we want to see […]

Public Speaking Tips: What’s a Good Oscar Speech?

By on February 25, 2007

I will be glued to the TV on Oscar night because I’m fascinated by the power of the acceptance speeches.  They’re a balancing act between emotion and concision; between sincerity and craft.  Too much emotion and the speech can be embarrassing and silly; too little and it’s dull and offensive, because we want to see […]

Speech Writing: Nice Sermon, Pastor, Who Wrote it?

By on September 15, 2006

My friend Charlie Green, co-author of The Trusted Advisor and other books on the role of trust in selling (www.trustedadvisor.com), invited me to dinner with his speech coach, Patricia Fripp (http://www.fripp.com/). Patricia is a dynamo, and continues to send me fascinating material about speaking, including this article by Hal Gordon. Hal was a speechwriter for […]