How to Start a Speech with a Story

Struggling with a speech opener
How do you start a speech? Using a story as your speech opener is a tried and true method. I just attended the fabulous KEY5 Conference in Charlotte, NC.  The concept of the Key5 Conference is simple – put professional speakers on the stage for five minutes, create top notch videos […]

Turning Fifty: My One Word for the Year

Turning Fifty may be the new Forty, but 2018 is here whether you like it or not!
It’s a new year and I’m turning fifty!  I love the fresh start of turning the calendar and contemplating what will be different in the next 365 days.  In recent years, I adopted the practice of picking One Word as […]

By |January 3rd, 2018|Communication skills, Life, Philosophical|Comments Off on Turning Fifty: My One Word for the Year

Pomp and Circumstance

I went to my first graduation in years yesterday (I don’t consider a kindergarten or elementary school graduation a real event worthy of such a title — there needs to be a diploma involved).  I was there to support a speaker and discovered that there were lots of students I have had in the graduate […]

By |December 16th, 2017|Leadership, Philosophical|Comments Off on Pomp and Circumstance

The Role of Attitude in Speaking

Attitude is the single greatest factor in whether you can become truly great at any endeavor.
One of the negative aspects of my job is that I rarely get to see (live, anyway) the product of my efforts. If I train or coach a client, they are likely presenting at a location I cannot or will […]

By |December 6th, 2017|Communication skills|Comments Off on The Role of Attitude in Speaking

7 Speaking Tips for Handling Presentation Mistakes

Handling Presentation Mistakes
Handling presentation mistakes can be difficult, even for professional speakers, if you’re not prepared. My friend Karin (pronounced CARR-in) Wiberg recently blogged about lessons learned from speakers. Calling Karin a friend seems to be a bit understated. She is also a fantastic editor (the moving force behind Presentation Sin!), business motivator, analyst/strategist, and […]

By |November 1st, 2017|Communication skills, public speaking|Comments Off on 7 Speaking Tips for Handling Presentation Mistakes

Top 3 Mistakes Conference Speakers Make and 3 Easy Fixes

Top 3 Mistakes Conference Speakers Make
I’ve just come back from several conferences and watched many conference speakers in action.  One of the benefits of speaking at a conference is usually a full pass to attend the entire conference.  I like to get there early and watch other speakers (as well as learn what they are […]

By |October 10th, 2017|Communication skills, public speaking|Comments Off on Top 3 Mistakes Conference Speakers Make and 3 Easy Fixes

3 Tips for Handling Questions During a Presentation

Handling Questions During a Presentation
Handling questions can be the downfall of many presenters, even if their presentation is spot on. At most any conference you go to, the breakout sessions follow a predictable pattern.  The room host gets up and calls everyone to order.  They read the rules of the road, asking attendees to turn […]

By |September 1st, 2017|Communication skills, Delivery, public speaking|Comments Off on 3 Tips for Handling Questions During a Presentation

Speaker Evaluation: Three Tips for Dealing with a Negative Review

Dealing with a Negative Speaker Evaluation
A speaker evaluation is important to all speakers who sincerely want to improve their craft. As a speaker, I get lots of gifts.  The crystal clock (that got tossed in my carry-on and security picked up as a “dense object”).  Pencil sets.  Gift cards.  Coffee mugs.  Key rings.  They are all […]

By |August 4th, 2017|Communication skills, Leadership|Comments Off on Speaker Evaluation: Three Tips for Dealing with a Negative Review

Technology Failure During Your Presentation: 3 Tips for How to Handle

When Technology Fails During Your Presentation
Having a technology failure during a presentation is almost inevitable.   I recently gave a one-hour lunch-and-learn for some folks at a tech company.  They wanted me to talk about some of the common pitfalls that technical presenters face and what to do about them.  Giving excuses (or rather, NOT […]

By |July 5th, 2017|Delivery, public speaking|Comments Off on Technology Failure During Your Presentation: 3 Tips for How to Handle

Three Skills that Drive Confidence in Public Speaking

The most popular phone call we get at MillsWyck Communications
The situations are different but the calls are the same about confidence in public speaking: conference speaker, all-hands meeting, wedding toast, stand before peers speaking in a second language, or asked to give a testimony in a house of worship.  The call request is the same: […]

By |June 1st, 2017|public speaking|Comments Off on Three Skills that Drive Confidence in Public Speaking