Public speaking as empathetic assertiveness

When she was a year old, I held my daughter Georgia at the closed window of our 30th floor New York City apartment so we could look out over Times Square.

Across the street, stretching the full length of a 40-floor building, was a painting of Dwight Gooden, the ace Met’s pitcher, coiled in his wind-up with his eyes staring straight at us from under his cap.

I had the habit of asking Georgia, “Is it a cloudy day or a sunny ...

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Overcoming Speaking Anxiety: Step into your stage fright

The sensation of stage fright is bad enough, but what’s worse is the damage it can do to your career and your self-esteem.

If you let it stop you, your sense of self gets smaller and your stage fright gets bigger and more powerful.

However, when you step into your stage fright, you learn quickly that it’s a phantom–a fog—like most of our fears.  When you step into that fog, you soon realize that it is a figment of your ...

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Meditations on the perils of presenting at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

The perils are listed in no particular order.

Needle in a haystack

The audience will be drinking data from a firehose.  The savvy presenter recognizes this peril as an opportunity.

To capture attention—do something that stands out from the environment.  The opposite of getting attention is camouflage. Being attention-getting is not a quality; it is a contrast.

Trying too hard

Lots of people will be trying to stand out, and they’ll make the mistake of telling jokes, displaying cartoons on the screen, or ...

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Effective Public Speaking: The Cure for Stage Fright

I attended a great seminar this weekend at the Integral Yoga Institute in New York City. The teacher was Boris Pisman.

Boris teaches Yoga philosophy, and described one aspect of Yoga as the ability to learn how to handle anxious thoughts.

He said that Yoga makes an assumption that there is a natural state of mind in which human beings are free from anxiety.

Boris, who is a wide reader, mentioned a study called the White Bear Study (Schneider and Wegner, 1987, ...

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Fear and Hope in Presentation Skills

I am still holding my ground against Ford Harding.  We have been debating the relative merits of raising FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) in persuasive arguments, or GOG (greed, opportunity, and glory.)

For previous exchanges, please click on Fud, Gog, Ethics and Rhetoric and Fud in Public Speaking and Persuasion

Ford seems to think that GOG is better than FUD.  I think they work together, and that one is not better than the other.

I ...

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Public Speaking and the Importance of Character: A Life’s Lesson

On June 20th in the Wall Street Journal, in response to the media coverage of Tim Russert’s untimely death, Peggy Noonan wrote in her Declarations column, “When somebody dies we tell his story and try to define and isolate what was special about it–what it was he brought to the party, how he enhanced life by showing up. In this way we educate ourselves about what really matters.”

“In a way, the world is a great liar. ...

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