Category Preparation

Public Speaking Disaster Averted

It could have been a speechmaker’s disaster. I first got a sense of this when asked to lead a presentation skills workshop for four panelists—scientific researchers slated to share findings and opinions with an audience of their peers. When preparing to lead such projects, I always ask for copies of the presentations well ahead of […]

Five FAQs About Public Speaking

As I go about my rounds, I hear lots of questions about the art of public speaking. Here are some of the most common queries, complete with answers. I don’t like speaking in public. Do I have to do it? Of course not. We all have different strengths and preferences. If you hate the limelight, […]

Back to Basics: The First Key to Great Presentations

Early in my consulting career, I noticed some confusion among my clients (no, this is beyond the confusion I managed to induce in that long ago time). The confusion was this: Those who wanted to sharpen their communications edge found the idea complex, believing there was too much to learn. They needed a system that […]

Keep the Audience on Your Side

I cannot emphasize often enough the value of ongoing professional development. Successful executives understand the need to enhance their knowledge, skills, and competence on a continuing basis. This applies to many areas, including public speaking abilities. Let’s examine the value of Preparation – the first of the Three Keys to Great Presentations™. Legendary comedian W.C. […]

To Toastmaster or Not?

I recently ran across a page on the Toastmasters web site titled, “90 Tips from Toastmasters.” I’m often asked what I think of this group. My answer? It’s a fine forum for practice, especially if you are relatively new to public speaking. All the same, there are some features with which I disagree. One troubling […]

When Things Go Wrong

Even the most carefully crafted communications plan can fall victim to the occasional kink. What can you do when things go wrong? Note well: If there is one guarantee when you speak in public or participate in interviews with reporters, it is that something, sometime, somewhere will go wrong. How can you minimize such problems […]

Lose that Lectern

Two lectern lessons from a communications training workshop I once led. If you don’t plan to use it, lose it. During one part of the program for which we were preparing, there were to be two panelists on stage taking questions from the audience. The set up consisted of a lectern and a table with […]