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 MORE→
Stage Fright: Turn Nervous into Service (5/12/2020) Advice on how to deal with stage fright ranges from absurd (don’t picture the audience naked unless you’re speaking at a super-model convention—and that could be distracting) to just plain useless. The popular assumption is that people are naturally fearful … READ MORE→
Don’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 MORE→
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 Language (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 Speechwriting (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→
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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!