Leadership communications with Rob Cottingham

30 years ago this spring, I wrote my first speech as a professional — and started a career in leadership communications that has now spanned three decades.

To celebrate, I’ve launched a speechwriting and public speaking podcast: 30 short episodes with the key lessons I’ve learned in the business of planning, crafting and delivering powerful speeches.

Check for the latest episode every Tuesday and Thursday.

Ep. 17. Practice. No, really practice.

Ep. 17. Practice. No, really practice.

Think rehearsal and preparation kill your spontaneity? This episode could change your mind — by showing you how rehearsal actually frees you to make spontaneous choices in the moment. Tips, techniques… and an excuse to use coloured highlighters. What more could you ask from a podcast?

Ep. 13. Don’t meet your audience’s expectations

Ep. 13. Don’t meet your audience’s expectations

By all means, meet — or beat — your audience’s expectations for what they’ll get out of your speech. But not for what you put into it. Here’s how to be surprising and unpredictable, but still reliable.

Ep. 11. Use slides well… if at all

Ep. 11. Use slides well… if at all

The world is full of speeches weighed down with terrible slide decks. Don’t let yours be one of them. This episode, we look at how to make PowerPoint work well for you and your audience — and I make the case for not using slides at all.

Ep. 10. Ease up on the statistics

Ep. 10. Ease up on the statistics

A flood of statistics can lose your audience. Let’s talk about how to chose a gem of a statistic and put it in the perfect setting… and then make it part of what drives your story, instead of dragging it off course.

Ep. 9. Suspense!

Ep. 9. Suspense!

One of the most effective ways a speech can hold an audience’s attention is suspense. And withholding a little information can whet their appetite for the answer to the question, “What happens next?”

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