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#Public Speaking
For over a year or more as I walked the halls at a large executive speaking coach client organization, I’d been told about an executive with the UM, AH and LIKE problem. YOU KNOW, those filler words people use when speaking, and in public speaking in particular. They were correct but not complete. After a...
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So, are your presentations for your audience or yourself?  Are they thoughtfully planned stories with which your audience can relate? Convert your conversation into a presentation.
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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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I attended the TEDSummit 2016 conference in Banff, Alberta, Canada, listening to an array of provocative speakers for four days. The proliferation of compelling ideas, experiences, data, story and more is still processing in my overstuffed brain.   While I work through the ideas presented, It should come to no surprise that I have an observation...
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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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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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This month I’ve been asked twice to orient / train / tell / brief people on how to coach speakers inside their companies.  I’ve struggled with responding as I never like to say no, but in this case, it’s the only answer. I came to appreciate that I haven’t clearly articulated (pun intended) why I...
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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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We had two goals for this week:  to get them to understand (in their left and right brains) what it means to deliver a talk in front of people, standing up and secondly, to articulate the basic idea of their TEDx talk. Each student reviewed this handout –  5 Basics of Speaking –  to raise basic awareness about the best...
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Rose Smith, during her highly provocative poetry performance at TEDxColumbus, challenged us all to betools. You know, as in a conduit for helping others, making change or doing good. While my tip this month isn’t as deep, her challenge made me think about the tools that the speakers used during TEDxColumbus in their variety of preparation pathways (and...
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They say once is an event, twice is a coincidence and three times is a trend. As we organize the third TEDxColumbus event, we’re definitely feeling the trend. Consider our first year when no one knew what TED  or TEDx was. I had to explain, clarify, demonstrate and explain some more. Last year, we had some awareness but still needed to...
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Everyone has their own preparation path toward great speaking, we’re thrilled to see what changes our clients have made in theirs. One of our clients shared with me in an email that her speaking style had improved so much after her sessions with us. I asked her for what strategies were helping HER the most....
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Late last year when we started paying close attention to good opening hooks, we started noting those TED talks that had particularly good ones. In this 3 minute video we produced below, we’ve spliced out 6 really notable ones, and what we consider a represenative sample of the different types of hooks you can deploy. From self-deprecating...
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