How imperfect are you? And will your audience care?

your audience will forgive imperfection if they see authenticity

When I first started coaching and speaking professionally, I was obsessed with being perfect – telling my audience everything I knew. If I left something out inadvertently, I would berate myself for being so stupid. I’ve learned a thing or two since those early days. First of all, less is more. We are all awash …

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Gutsy decision that led to ‘I have a dream’ speech

Abandoning script led to magic of 'I have a dream'

This month saw the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King. Over the years, speakers and presentation coaches have spent hours poring over King’s speeches, analyzing the blend of sermon and poetry, noting the rhetorical devices of rhyme and repetition, and the use of metaphor. But we should remember that …

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Appeal to emotions and you’ll engage audiences

appeal to emotions in order to engage audiences

What’s more important – appealing to the hearts of your audience or their minds? In my experience, heart trumps head almost all the time. The heart is the seat of emotions. Successful marketers know customers buy when they’re emotionally invested. Successful speakers know the audience will act on their message for the same reason. You …

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The silence that sounded round the world

power of silence

As a speaker, how do you make your audience think? I mean – really think. Think about nothing but your message and its implications. Eighteen year-old Emma Gonzalez showed us how, yesterday. Emma was one of the speakers in Washington, at the student-inspired ‘March for Our Lives’ anti-gun violence rally. Like many of the speakers, …

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Don’t make it worse – say sorry in verse

Airlines apologizes in verse

Have you ever needed to apologize to a client or customer? It’s not always easy – at least judging by some of the contortions some individuals and organizations go through to avoid saying ‘sorry’ when they are clearly in the wrong. In a moment we’ll look at the art of the apology, with some expertise …

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Skaters’ ‘bubble’ could help speakers

Ice dance stars show value of focus

Rumour has it that before Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir ice danced their way to a glorious gold medal in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, they were in an incommunicado bubble. They had asked not to be told how the other ice dancers performed or scored. So they saw and heard nothing before their show-stopping performance. …

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