Looking for advice on public speaking, speechwriting and leadership communications? Here are some of my most comprehensive posts, on topics that people ask me about most often.
Especially for writers
How to use humor in a speech (without getting burned): The right joke can humanize a speaker and connect with the audience; the wrong one can derail everything. Here’s how to give your jokes every chance of success.
How to write the conclusion of your speech: Here’s the approach that has worked for me every time I’m stuck on ending a speech.
Using statistics with impact: Too many stats can put the “numb” in numbers. Here’s how to make those numbers count in favour of a powerful speech.
How to format a speech: This is it — the definitive guide to formatting speaking notes so a speaker can read them and make them sing.
The social speech: How your friends and followers can help you write your next presentation: You don’t have to be alone when you write a speech. Here’s how you can draw on the wisdom and ideas of your network of followers.
Five ways to break into speechwriting: Thinking of starting a career in speechwriting? Here, have a roadmap.
Translating client feedback: What they say vs. what they want: How speechwriters can make sure they’re hearing the real issue behind a client’s comments.
Why a seat in the audience can make you a better speechwriter: There’s no substitute for hearing a speech delivered… and hearing an audience respond. Here’s how to make the most of being in the audience.
Especially for speakers
Delivery: How to lift a speech from the page: Here’s my guide to delivering a powerful speech from a written text. If you’ve ever worried about sounding wooden or stilted with a prepared speech, this is the guide for you.
Engage your audience before your speech: And now that you know your audience, how about getting the conversation started well in advance of your speech?
Make the most of your conference sponsorship: One of the ways events recognize their sponsors is with a speaking slot. If you’re the one tapped to fill it, here’s how to make the most of it.
Vulnerability is your speech’s hidden strength: You speak confidently and well… but still have a nagging feeling something’s missing from your speech. It may well be vulnerability: your public-speaking superpower in connecting with audiences.
Using social media to turn your next speech into an ongoing conversation: Your speech can connect with an audience far beyond the walls of the speaking venue…and help build a network of conversation and impact.
Speaking at a rally? Here’s how to make it count: Written with the wise advice of rally veteran Tzeporah Berman, here’s a comprehensive guide to planning, writing and delivering a great speech at any political rally.
Know your audience before you even meet them: If you want to change the way an audience thinks, you have to get to know them long before you hit the stage. Here’s what you need to know… and where to do your research.
Getting better feedback: Want to get another set of eyes on the latest draft of a speech? Need to get an honest critique of your delivery? Here’s how to get the right feedback, from the right person, at the right time.