Speaking tips  blog

Communication matters. What are you saying?

Confessions of a Public Speaking Coach

Confessions of a Public Speaking Coach

As a public speaking coach, I have a simple confession to make: When I was learning my way as a communicator, my primary method of improving myself was observation and study.  I watched thousands of speakers with one basic discriminating question in mind: What are...

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Dress Up

Dress Up

As a kid, I never got that excited about Halloween.  I probably went Trick-or-Treating a few times, and probably attended a community event or two.  I loved the candy, to be sure, but dressing up to fool people into giving me stuff never felt… genuine.    ...

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Adaptation

Adaptation

I was recently an invited breakout speaker to an organizational learning event.  They had devoted a full day for their 1500+ people to attend dozens of breakouts across a full day and most of a college campus.  I was given two slots for the same speaking topic.  Since...

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Tears and fears: Speaking Under High Emotion

Tears and fears: Speaking Under High Emotion

I recently had one of those once-in-a-lifetime, pinch-me moments as a speaker.  I was able to give two toasts/speeches in the context of my son’s rehearsal dinner and wedding reception.  As my oldest child and only son, the event was a wonderful mix of happiness,...

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Changing a Culture

Changing a Culture

Pre-COVID, I was given the opportunity to travel to three continents in the span of a year.  Those experiences had a profound impact on my view of the world and the people in it.  One of the most amazing aspects was my awareness of CULTURE.     One of the...

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Mimic The Best

Mimic The Best

Those who wish to become great at any craft are wise to study those who are already great. Winston Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 for his speeches.  He makes almost every list Google produces searching for “great orators”. (Interestingly,...

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Winning and Success

Winning and Success

“Second place is the first loser.” – Dale Earnhardt   “If you ain’t first, you’re last” – Ricky Bobby, Talladega Nights   “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” -- “Red” Sanders, UCLA Football coach, 1930s.     With quotes like those...

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Catchy

Catchy

You’ve got a lot to celebrate this week! May the Fourth be With You (Star Wars Day, followed shortly by Revenge of the Sixth) and Cinco de Mayo(interestingly, more popular in the US than Mexico).   While I will leave the merits of celebrating – and how – to the...

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Funerals

Funerals

It’s likely a statistical blip.  Maybe it’s the phase of the moon.  But after years of going without, I’ve been to four funerals in the past six weeks and have three more coming in the next few days/weeks.  With one notable exception, these are “expected” deaths;...

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Practice Makes…

Practice Makes…

Finish this sentence.  Practice makes…   I learned from the world of sports that “perfect” is not the right answer.  Just because you put in the time practicing does not guarantee that you’ll get good at something.  Shooting baskets for hours may make you...

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Being Memorable

Being Memorable

Years ago I coached a Fortune 500 executive on her quarterly Town Hall meetings for her division.  She wanted something fresh.  “It feels like I say the same thing every quarter.”  When I inquired further, she really was saying the same thing most every month but did...

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Opening Well

Opening Well

I love the New Year. It’s a chance to reflect on the past. To revel in the present and enjoy some time off with those we love. But it’s also a chance to start anew. Hang a new calendar. Clean up the office. Turn the page. Promise to do better. Plan for the future....

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What’s Your Gift?

What’s Your Gift?

As we careen towards year end, most of us will participate in the traditions of giving and receiving gifts.  No matter what metaphor we use around gifts or what they represent, it’s no mystery that most people enjoy receiving gifts.     It’s a wonderful metaphor...

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