How Can a Good Presenter Get Better?

How can a good presenter get better?  That’s something many people would like to know.

I believe that we stand on the shoulders of people who came before us.

So, one of the golden rules of public speaking–at least in my mind–is to cheat and steal whenever possible.

Of course, I’m not being literal about that, and I’m not talking about plagiarism.

For a good presenter to get better, I’m talking about finding ...

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Oprah evokes MLK on her way to the White House

Talk about the power of public speaking! With one little speech Oprah is now a possible candidate for the highest office in the land.

How did she do it?

Well, she first built a room and decorated it so that we could look into it.

She started with specificity. The time: 1964. The place: a linoleum floor in her mother’s house in Milwaukee.

The situation: watching Anne Bancroft give Sidney Poitier the Oscar at the 36th Academy Awards.

We know Oprah is telling the truth ...

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18 Quotes from a Brilliant Eccentric

Cherish people who are eccentric. They see things differently.

Kurt Vonnegut authored several books that transfixed the reading public from 1959 to the posthumous publication of his last work in 2013, including The Sirens of Titan, Mother Night, Cat’s Cradle, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions, Jailbird, and many others.

Here he is on video demonstrating his theory of the shape of stories. He originally developed the theory for his thesis as a student at the University of Chicago. They ...

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The Happy Presenter

Most of us are not happy presenters.

Consider the complications: the drill of assembling our ideas, putting them in order, finding that, nope, they’re out of order, rearranging them, developing slides, exhausting our eyes as we create clever little graphics, only to find that they are way too busy, or not interesting enough, or the headlines need fixing. Or, worse yet, deciding not to use slides.

And then the attempts to get the whole damn thing up on it’s hind legs. How ...

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Importance of Capturing and Holding Attention

I can’t overemphasize the importance of capturing and holding attention. As a public speaker, it’s the first place you can fail to be understood, remembered, and believed.

Holding attention is very important in a presentation. Otherwise people won’t listen to what you say or hear what you say. That means you will also fail to persuade them to take the action you need them to take.

I think inside the mind of all your audience members, they are thinking that ...

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Quick! Name a Memorable Talk!

When I ask people to name a memorable speech, they seem to have a brain hiccup. The most common response is to talk about the most recent speech they’ve experienced.

If I had to answer the question at this moment I’d say I remember the talk Richard Brodhead gave at the Convocation of the Class of 2006 at Yale University.

Brodhead was Dean of Yale College at the time.  He has since become President ...

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