5 Fundamental Presentation and Public Speaking Tips

  A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with acclaimed executive speech coach Patricia Fripp for an hour-long chat about public speaking skills and how to be a better communicator. Part of her Fripp Virtual Training program, we covered the landscape, from rehearsal techniques to listening skills to my star turn playing a […]

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Tips for Public Speakers

3 Tips for Public Speakers: 2 Smart, 1 Dumb

If you want to learn to be a better presenter, be careful who you listen to. There’s a ton of advice for public speakers out there, and not all of it is good. In fact, much of it is outdated and just plain dumb. I was reminded of this yesterday when three interesting blog posts […]

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Excuse for bad presentation

Why Do Good People Give Bad Speeches? 7 Lame Excuses

I still don’t get it. Why do good, smart people still give bad speeches and presentations? It boggles the mind. It’s not like we haven’t been shown how it’s done. Examples of great speeches abound, from Martin Luther King to Steve Jobs to the latest TED Talks. But for some reason, we don’t absorb the obvious lessons. […]

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Your Presentation Sucks

Your Presentation Sucks. Here Are 6 Reasons Why.

I came across this cartoon the other day that shows what happens when a presentation goes off the rails. But I submit that the presentation as planned was doomed from the start anyway. Take a look at the “How You Planned It” section. If that looks to you like a solid blueprint for a speech then it just […]

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How to introduce a speaker

How to Introduce a Speaker: 8 Essential Steps

Most presenters—the professional ones, at least—work hard on preparing a speech that will delight and enthrall their audience. Unfortunately, the people assigned to introduce them don’t always put in the same effort. Having been there myself, I really feel for the speaker who suffers a bad introduction—one that’s uninspired, poorly written and carelessly delivered. If you ever […]

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Audience interaction

5 Way to Promote Audience Interaction in Your Next Speech

When it comes to public speaking, the age of the one-sided lecture is dead. Audiences today expect more of a conversation. Here are five ways to spur the kind of audience interaction that will bring your speech or presentation to life. 1. Take Questions The most obvious way to create a conversation is to set […]

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How to Recover From Mistakes When Giving a Speech

How to Recover From Mistakes During a Speech

Last week I was giving a really important speech and it almost went completely off the rails, due to technical and other issues. The only thing that saved me was my acting experience, which taught me how to recover from mistakes on stage. When you’re giving a speech or presentation, you have to be prepared […]

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Death by PowerPoint

Dull, Ugly Presentation? How to Cure Death by PowerPoint

Are your presentations ugly and boring? Do your slides lull people to sleep? Do your audiences suffer from Death by PowerPoint? Here are some warning signs to watch out for: You use your slides as a script. You follow a tired old formula like “6 lines of text per slide/6 words per line.” Your audience […]

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Practice Your Speech

Rehearse Your Speech, Early and Often

How long should you rehearse that big speech? How long have you got? A Lesson From a Wedding My wife and I gave ourselves just four months to plan our wedding, from proposal to vows. That kind of timeframe inevitably leads to tense moments. One of those occasions came just weeks before the big day […]

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Bad Motivational Speaker

I Am Not a Motivational Speaker

Why would anyone ever hire a self-described “motivational speaker?” Would you hire a motivational accountant? One who makes you feel great about your vital role in the economy but may or may not help you avoid an IRS audit? How about a motivational plumber? Somebody who gets you fired up about drainage systems but can’t […]

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