A Speech Opening Should be a “Hook”

Most people have never given the idea of a “hook” for their speech opening any thought at all. The vast majority of speakers start by introducing themselves, say what they’re going to talk about, and then launch into their presentation.  But a hook—such as a story, a quote, a visual, […]

Humanizing the Talk Adds Interest

Undoubtedly, you’ve heard more than your share of speakers who delivered a dry, fact-loaded speech. While there’s nothing wrong with facts, of course, it does beg the question: why am I here? Just give me the report, for crying out loud, and I’ll read it for myself.  But humanizing the […]

Pause Before You Answer Each Question

While there is value in taking the occasional pause when you’re speaking, I’m addressing here the power of the pause as part of the Q&A session. The Q&A session is a deceptively important part of your presentation. The audience instinctively believes that they’re going to find out what you really […]

Do Without PowerPoint!

Do without PowerPoint?! What? Blasphemy! But… PowerPoint has become the kudzu of visual aids, infesting our presentations with overdone graphics and walls of words. It has literally overtaken our talks. Speakers read from them and  become totally reliant on them. The result is a boring presentation, stripped of any humanness, […]

Energy Makes a Difference!

Here is Number Three of my “Seven in Eleven”–seven of my favorite “ah-hah” moments when my participants “get” some insight or gem of wisdom.  #1 was “I can do without PowerPoint,” and #2 was “I never knew about the black slide!” Ah-hah #3: “Energy, energy, energy.” A basic truism of […]

What’s Attire Got to Do With it?

No matter how important the content of your presentation is, it’s meaningless if your delivery is not engaging and compelling. Research has confirmed that 93 percent of your communication impact comes from how you look and sound, which is what your delivery is all about. I have captured the seven […]

Five Secrets to Appearing Unflappable Under Pressure

You’ve undoubtedly heard the saying, “Never let ’em see you sweat.” Why? When you appear uncomfortable under fire, people generally assume it’s because you lack competence or honesty. If your reaction when someone puts you on the hot seat is to get defensive or combative, it’s not gonna win you […]