Mistakes to avoid in public speaking: “Just Because it Happened to You, Doesn’t Make it Interesting”

Mistakes to avoid in public speaking can range from what you say, to how you say it.  In this case, though, I want to zero in on one particularly egregious mistake I see over and over again. Whether it’s telling a personal story, or whether it’s giving a speech to raise funds for your nonprofit, folks keep on doing one huge thing that’s shooting them in the foot and ruining their whole speech before they… Read more »


How to Improve Your Voice

If you’re unhappy with your voice because you think it sounds too thin, weak, or soft, you’re definitely not alone.  The question of how to improve your voice is one that comes up weekly with my clients, from men and women alike. It’s extremely common for folks to feel like their voices lack the depth and resonance they wish it had.  After all, when we imagine a powerful, charismatic speaker, one of the first things… Read more »


Donald Trump Speech Techniques

Donald Trump speech techniques–to some people, the words may seem like a contradiction in terms.  Even among Trump supporters, few would argue that Trump was a beacon of eloquence.  Even fewer would suggest that he was a better orator than his predecessor, President Obama. But…I must admit, after reviewing Trump’s public speaking style at length, as a public speaking professional with twenty years of experience, I’m going to go against conventional wisdom here–Donald Trump has… Read more »


How to Improve Your Eye Contact When Public Speaking

Learning how to improve your eye contact when public speaking is one of the most important skillsets you can pick up to connect with your audience. Giving poor eye contact when public speaking, on the other hand, is one of the fastest ways to lose an audience completely.

An Example of Poor Eye Contact When Public Speaking, and It’s Consequences…

I remember watching a politician come in to give a guest lecture while I was… Read more »


How to Project Your Voice More Effectively

How to project your voice more effectively.  It’s easily in the top ten of the most common questions I get asked by both new and experienced speakers alike. Voice project is also one of the most important aspects of delivery to nail down before you move on to the more advanced techniques.  After all, if no one can hear what you’re saying, nothing else will matter.

How to Project Your Voice–First Steps

When we’re nervous… Read more »


I Have A Dream Speech Analysis of Martin Luther King

We have seen I Have a Dream speech analysis from countless sources over the years.  Unfortunately, the quality of such reviews has varied wildly–with most just barely skimming the service. In anticipation for a July 4 post, I watched several videos on the subject, and finally found one I was happy to share. The video, produced by youtube channel “The Nerdist,” offers up it’s own I Have a Dream speech analysis with a focus on… Read more »


The Public Speaking Skills of Jon Hamm – Analyzing His Best Don Draper Sales Pitch

Following up from the last post, today we’ll be breaking down Jon Hamm’s “Carousel” pitch from Season 1, Episode 13 of Mad Men–hoping discovering some valuable public speaking skills in the process.

Context:

As a lead up to the pitch, the business representatives who have approached an advertising firm to market their new product, dubbed “The Wheel.”  The representatives focus on its futuristic technology–while Jon Hamm has other ideas on how best to frame the new… Read more »


The Best Speech In The History of Television? – The Presentation Skills of Jon Hamm

If I had to pick one speech, from any television show, that would help you improve your presentation skills, it would be this one. The clip comes from season 1, episode 13 of Mad Men, and is considered by many to be not only the best sales pitch in the entire series, but the scene that ultimately sold the show itself.  Hailed for its writing brilliance and emotional impact, it offers a treasure trove of… Read more »


It’s Not What You Say, it’s How You Say It – Connecting With Emotion

When it comes to writing a speech, deciding on the words you’ll use is only half of the job.  Unfortunately, that’s typically where most presenters stop. If you want to take your presentation to a higher level, it’s time that you start spending just as much effort on scripting your delivery. In fact, the emotion and tonality we choose for our delivery can sometimes carry more weight than the actual text itself.  One great example… Read more »


Video Review: Peter Dinklage

Today we’ll be checking out a segment of a commencement speech given by Peter Dinklage, best known for his role as Tyrion Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones.   One of the most defining aspects to the presentation is that it just feels real.  I often try to stress the importance of this, but hopefully getting to see an example as outstanding as Peter’s presentation will help to hammer the point home. From his speed and… Read more »