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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Twain’s revelation about writing and speaking still good today

Mark Twain's revelation about writing and speaking

When legendary author Mark Twain was around 70 years old, he started dictating his recollections to his stenographer – and discovered the essential difference between writing and speaking. He explained it like this: “The moment you pick up a pen you begin to lose the spontaneity of the personal relation, which contains the very essence …

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Win your audience’s trust with authenticity

Beat the blues with authenticity

Sometimes, when we’re asked to speak or make a presentation or give a media interview, we strain to say what we think we OUGHT to say, in a way we think we OUGHT to say it. Two quotes from very different people, on very different topics, go to the heart of something anyone who speaks in …

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Focus on benefits for your audience

hook your audience with your opening words

We choose how we speak, to whom we speak and where we speak. But the greatest decision has to be the why. It’s doesn’t matter whether you’re speaking in a boardroom, in a classroom or on stage. You want your words, ideas, thoughts to mean something, to make a difference. “Wise men speak because they …

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Presentation skills tip from Einstein

Einstein liked to talk his words out loud before he wrote them

Improve your presentation skills with this tip from Albert Einstein. Even with all his amazing brain power, there was something the 20th century genius admitted he had trouble with… writing. Einstein once said “I am the acoustic type. I learn by ear and give by word. Writing is difficult.” Yet his letters were easy to …

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Four essentials for winning speeches

images rather than bullet points work well on slide decks

At the heart of all Podium Coaching sessions is something we call our Communication Mantra. It’s really simple (like all the best communications). If you want to make winning speeches, remember these four key points: Have something to say. Believe in it. Say it simply. Shut up. Have something to say. Really focus your ideas. …

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Three steps to fear-free public speaking

finding happiness in public speaking

Why is public speaking such an ordeal for so many people? There are probably as many reasons as there are people terrified of speaking in public. But for me, it boils down to 3 reasons: process, words and attitude. Process: Too often we create our speeches and presentations by writing them out first. We think …

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Tips to help you structure a speech

the personal element in stories

Before you get down to writing your next presentation, or speech… stop. Pause. Think. Often we find our clients are in a hurry to start writing their script. They’ve identified their key message. They’ve found the stories that will make that message memorable. They’re on a roll. Now they just want to start writing. And that’s …

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Invisible keynote speaker challenges pros

Keynote speaker says don't forget the audience

Does a speaker always need to be centre-stage? Apparently not. At least, not if you’re Paul Bridle. Bridle, a Brit who describes himself as a ‘leadership methodologist’, was one of the main stage speakers at the Toronto convention of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. And he delivered his entire keynote from off-stage. The only …

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