Rob’s blog

My four watchwords for positive on-stage vulnerability

One of the most powerful ways a speaker can connect with their audience is to show a little vulnerability. Letting your guard down can assure your audience that they're seeing the real you. It may help them relate to you and your story, and it builds a bridge of trust...

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Vulnerability is your speech’s hidden strength

So you delivered your speech with grace and style, even a little humour. Your body language was relaxed, the material was useful, and everyone stayed engaged. Heck, they even clapped at the end. And you were confident — super confident — and sure of everything. But...

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Stop warming up on-stage

I had a massive "aha" moment about speaker coaching earlier today when I discovered a client likes to spend a few minutes at the beginning of a speech getting comfortable "and warming the crowd up." I realized abruptly that he isn't warming the crowd up — he's warming...

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Media training shouldn’t make you “fake.”

Say the words "media training” to someone, and chances are good they'll have pretty much the same reaction musical artist Grimes did: https://twitter.com/Grimezsz/status/998741089346437120 To a lot of people, media training is a course in how to duck tough questions,...

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Public speaking photos, free to use

A confession: I bought a stock photo of a microphone and auditorium five or six years ago, and I've been using the same damn photo? ever since. What's more, a lot of other people have been using the same photograph too. (And not without reason. It's a natural: the...

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Join me at The Digital Nonprofit — Vancouver, June 11

tl;dr — Come join me at this day-long digital strategy event for nonprofit leaders on June 11 in Vancouver, Canada! I'll be speaking about how digital transformation often means surprising disruption for nonprofits. One of my very first projects with Social Signal...

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Five ways to break into speechwriting

Maybe you've written a few speeches for yourself or others that went over well. Maybe you're just attracted by the glitz and glamour of the profession. (Maybe you just fell over laughing.) Whatever the reason, you want to start speechwriting professionally. But where...

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Know your audience before you even meet them

Every speech has a goal, one that almost always involves changing the way your audience thinks and acts in some way. You can only do that effectively if you know your audience. But just how you do that isn’t immediately obvious. You probably won’t get to meet most of...

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A link is a promise.

A few years ago, I came across a "content curation" service that billed itself as the easiest way to share your "thought leadership." You'd enter a few search terms, hook up your Twitter account, and start sharing articles. It was a very generous definition of...

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