Who's Your Meeting Monster?meeting monster (6/23/2020) What is a monster? My daughter asked me to spend some with her. “I can't right now,” I replied. I'm the meeting monitor today.” She shot me a funny look. “Daddy, what's a meeting monster?” The name stuck.… READ ON
Cigarettes,
Leaf-Blowers, and COVID-19
(6/9/2020) I'm that annoying neighbor—the bad guy—the one who's always complaining about my rights … . or at least that's the story my neighbors tell. While enjoying the sanctuary of my backyard one cool February afternoon, my bliss was interrupted by… READ ON
Speakers, Never Say You're Sorry (5/26/2020) Love means never having to say you're sorry. “I'm sorry, but I had only an hour to put this speech together.” “I'm sorry … I need to look at my notes.” “I'm sorry to get started late; the traffic was… READ ON
Don't Break the Fifth Walldon't break the fifth wall (4/28/2020) Actors refer to an invisible “fourth wall” between the stage and the audience. In a play, audiences view the proceedings with a special anonymity. Actors portray an alternative reality that rarely acknowledges the presence of an audience in an auditorium.… READ ON
Speak Standing Up!speak standing up (4/14/2020) I've been videoconferencing for years; this will be easy! I thought as I began my first virtual speech. When it was over, I was surprised at my lackluster , and by the number of filler words I used—ums, ers, and… READ ON
Videoconferencing: 11 Tips You Haven't Seen (But Should) (3/31/2020) You've already read at least a dozen articles about ZOOM and videoconferencing that remind you to mute yourself when you're not talking and look into the camera. Here are eleven important tips you haven't read before but should.  … READ ON
Public Speaking Tip: Body Language and Spoken Languagebody language header (3/17/2020) Body language and spoken language: Combine them strategically to enhance audience . In my 2019 Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest entry, I parodied the “'s journey” from being paralyzed by fear to joining Toastmasters to becoming a confident presenter. (Toastmasters International… READ ON
StorySailing®: Reconstructing the Gettysburg Address (3/3/2020) Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg address has been recorded by numerous orators over the years, including Orson Welles, but few of these works suggest that the speakers did anything more than read with conviction. How do you reconstruct a speech that… READ ON
Vote Yourself Off the I-Land; Sail a You-Boat (2/18/2020) You're either talking about your audience … or you're talking about yourself. Too many speakers are “opera singers” (me-me-me-me-me-me-me). Vote yourself off the I-Land; explore the world in a You-boat.   I believe speakers should focus on the audience. In… READ ON
Two-Word Clichés for Writers and Speakers (2/4/2020) Two-word clichés are perhaps the least obvious kind. Unless we're vigilant, they sneak into our prose, steal color, mask our individual voice, and make us sound like millions of other writers and speakers who all mindlessly employ the same worn… READ ON