Rob’s blog

Ep. 8: Consider all of your audiences

The folks in the room are just one of the audiences your speech is going to reach. Here’s how to think through who else may be listening in… and how you’ll account for them when you’re writing your speech.

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Ep. 6. Defend your narrative arc

Between “helpful” suggestions from others and your own creativity, it often isn’t easy keeping a speech on topic and on track. Here are some tools for sticking to the path.

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Ep. 5. Get vulnerable

Confidence isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. If you want to truly connect with your audience, a little vulnerability in your speech can go a long way.

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Ep. 4. Plot Your Emotional Arc

We’ve talked about your speech’s one big story, the narrative arc. But running in tandem with it is something at least as important to your audience: the emotional arc.

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Ep. 2. Know your audience

Before you can move an audience to where you’d like them to be, you need to know them. Here’s what to look for, and where to find it — so you know exactly how to reach and move them.

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Tidings of discomfort and joy

You probably have the same instinct I do when you’re speaking to an audience. You want to make them feel at ease. Happy. Comfortable. That’s understandable. The most immediate sign that a speech is working is audience approval: nods, applause, even cheering. And we’re...

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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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