You’ll find out what I’ve learned over three decades of speechwriting, speaking and communications strategy. And you’ll meet some guests with their own wisdom to share on reaching audiences with powerful messages.
Ep. 12. Make your audience a little uncomfortable
Every instinct tells us to make our audiences comfortable. Yet a little discomfort can lead to some of the most powerful experiences your speech can offer. Here’s how.
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
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!
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?”
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.
Ep. 7. Use plain language… but not just plain language
Plain language can make your speech a lot clearer. But there are times when speechwriters and speakers want to reach for the more complex words… and even use (gasp!) jargon.
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.
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.
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.