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Public Speaking and Presentation Tips
If I asked you to hop into my car and I started driving, how long would it take until you were supremely uncomfortable with not knowing where we were headed? Are we headed around the corner? Driving to New York? Some people like an adventure. Me? I probably wouldn’t even get in the car to...
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This article on praise from TED was passed around the Articulation office/treehouse. It was an important reminder for any coach, manager, or even parent, that comparison, even positive comparison, can have negative (unintended) consequences to confidence. It was with this article at the top of my mind that I watched this year’s Women’s Skating finals...
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  When we coach cohorts (three to 10 speakers at a time for a specific event), we get a front row seat to the diverse emotions people experience in preparing a talk. I like to coach my clients (those that hire us to work with the speakers) that getting a speaker’s idea, content and story...
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The sound of silence – I’m not comfortable with it. Frankly, I’m still struggling to find my “inside voice.”  Silence, however, is a critical skill for public speaking. Understanding the importance of silence–what I call “oral punctuation”– is a necessary component of effectively sharing ideas. “But, if I pause, the audience may think I don’t...
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On November 19, 1863 Lincoln was not the scheduled speaker the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery in Gettysburg. After all, the country was in the middle of a Civil War. The organizers did not expect him to come, let alone speak. It was his request to say a few words when he did arrive....
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As we approach rehearsal day for a TED-style event, without fail the client asks, “Are you worried about any of the speakers?”  We’ve coached hundreds of people to give talks like TED, and only one type of speaker worries me. It might surprise you to hear that it has nothing to do with complicated content, or...
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This blog is in our series of coaching reflections, where we pick an experience while working with a client in public speaking, keynote talks, TED-Like talks, presentation skills, executive communication, storytelling, content framing and/or executive presence.  Background: Head of a division of a global company has been invited to give a talk at a a leadership...
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First, a quick refresher on the classic tale. Goldilocks, after breaking and entering into the empty home of The Three Bears, proceeds to eat the dinner the bear family worked very hard to prepare. First she tries one porridge and decides it’s too hot. The next bowl is too cold. The last bowl is juuuuuuust...
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In our classes, we often ask: Who gave the most important vision speech in U.S. history? Someone has always answered: MLK’s “I have a Dream.” (correct) I would argue that no one will ever be close in the gravitas of his words, during that time, with that consequence, and with his delivery. But last night,...
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Wow, what a way to start the year. I didn’t take my own advice. Mid way through a recent assignment (an event featuring 5 different talks from the same company), I was told that I offended an executive by what I thought was a simple suggestion. The suggestion was, “Have you ever recorded yourself?” I...
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Last night I coached a young woman who was being interviewed later this week for a $250,000 full ride scholarship to the college of her choice. She was tasked to give a 15 minute presentation and answer questions to an unknown panel. The challenge she faced is that the organizers from the admissions office gave...
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These are calls I’ve gotten recently from clients, concerned about performances of some of their key women. “She is fine when she’s one-on-one with colleagues, but as soon as she goes into a group meeting or presentation, she clams up. We know she has good communication skills, but she refuses to use them.” “During the...
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In Columbus, we have an awesome business (mainly tech) accelerator called 10x. I was invited to help these 10 companies prepare their final presentations/ demonstrations pitches to investors at the end of their, yep you guessed it, 10th week. Below is advice I sent to each of them as the entered the final stretch and...
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So a few years ago I wrote this blog post on how I thought the Pecha Kucha (Japanese for Chit-Chat) was a fun format for an audience but a really tough one for a speaker.  It dictates you deliver a talk with 20 slides on a timer for 20 seconds a slide. MXLLS​​   So last summer when I...
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As we close out 2012, I have produced another ‘best clips’ video (you may remember the first one on opening hooks), this time, on great closings.  As a speechwriter friend of mine told me once, the hardest part for her clients was “Getting into and getting out of the talk.”  So here’s some inspiration to...
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