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 performance, and by the number of filler words I used—ums, ers, and READ MORE→
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 video tips you haven’t read before but should.   READ MORE→
Public Speaking Tip: Body Language and Spoken Languagebody language header (3/17/2020) Body language and spoken language: Combine them strategically to enhance audience engagement. In my 2019 Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest entry, I parodied the “speaker’s journey” from being paralyzed by fear to joining Toastmasters to becoming a confident presenter. (Toastmasters International READ MORE→
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 MORE→
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 MORE→
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 MORE→
Public Speaking Tip: Speechcrafting Goes Beyond Speechwritingspeechcrafting (1/21/2020) Speechcrafting is a special discipline of which speechwriting is but a single element. The effective speechcrafting professional understands the art of narrative and also the power of stagecraft—timing, pauses, dynamics, gestures. Eloquent words delivered by a lackluster presenter will miss READ MORE→
Public Speaking Tip: Use Your Full Speaking Rangespeaking-range (11/25/2019) Speaking range is as important to a presentation as musical range is to performance. Actors refer to the combination of body and voice as an “instrument.” A piano has an eight-octave range of pitch, and the piano was originally named READ MORE→
How Many Spaces After a Period? A Battle of Stories (11/11/2019) How many spaces after a period? One or two? I researched and wrote an article about this frequently debated matter in my publishing blog that attracted hundreds of thousands of readers. The meaningful answer is that it really doesn’t matter READ MORE→
Public Speaking Tip: Speaking is a Service Industry (10/28/2019) Speakers are commonly asked, “What’s your topic?” or “What’s your message?” Such questions may sound intuitively reasonable but they lead would-be speakers astray before the first word is written. Questions about “your topic” or “your message” imply that your speech READ MORE→

 

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Every two weeks, I send out a new article about business communication. Storytelling, writing, and presentation skills are common topics, though I’ve been known to throw in an occasional oddball post around the holidays. Your questions and comments are always welcome!