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Public Speaking and Presentation Tips
record your speech
An executive communication coach explains why one of the most powerful tools for improving public speaking and communication skill is recording yourself.
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It’s been about 9 years since we opened up Articulation. Which means hundreds if not a thousand talks we’ve watched, coached, edited, coached again, reviewed, shared and more. It also means that it’s time for a little fun. As many know, we call out behaviors, never names. And our campaign that we are launching today...
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I work with a lot of speakers sharing personal stories. Patient stories. Caregiver stories. Stories of triumph. Stories of overcoming impossible odds. Audiences crave these stories— our social media feeds are filled with them. Why do we crave them? They connect us in a deep and human way. But what do you do, as a...
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  I wonder what Albert Mehrabian would have thought of the Royal Wedding. Or more importantly, the news reports of the non-verbal behavior sightings at the Royal Wedding. Mehrabian was the researcher that studied how much non-verbals impact our communication. Many people have mused and debated his findings that 93% of our communication is non-verbal. I’ve been...
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In the The Greatest Showman , P.T. Barnum uses a well placed story to recruit his first circus actor. The scene starts with a knock on the front door. The actor’s mother answers. P.T. says, “I’m looking for your son.” The mom replies, “I don’t have a son.” He responds, with paper in hand, “I see...
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We kicked off the DiscoveryX program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital last week. Now in its third year, this Transforming Talks, a white-label TED-style talk event, was brought to the hospital by Lara McKenzie, PhD. Lara is a Principal Investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital....
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This may be the shortest blog I ever write. With good reason. The message is simple: Trash the podium. Literally. Throw it away. Don’t ask your production company to bring one. Don’t ask for a new one to be built. Don’t dare let the hotel put one on stage for your event. Trash it. My...
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As I am writing this blog today, I am preparing to open a one-person show. I am sitting in my living room and my stomach is churning, my breathing is shallower than usual, and I can feel my heart pounding. I am “nervous.” I have coached many executives as they prepare to speak publicly and...
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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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