Value Judgements

  Among our many hang-ups with public speaking is that we make value judgments about the feelings and energy we experience when we give or think about giving a speech. When we think of speaking, many of us assign words like ‘bad’, ‘scared’, ‘crappy’, or ‘terrible’ to ourselves as individuals instead of to the negative…

Early to rise, first to speak

I am an early riser.  Or rather, I pretend to be an early riser.   My alarm goes off at 5:05 a.m. I start drag myself out of bed with varying degrees of success. This morning I assiduously avoided hitting the snooze button, immediately hauled myself up, and staggered straight into the wall on the…

Experts of Everything

Don’t be intimidated by the level of prestige of your audience members. Just because a room is filled with C-level execs doesn’t mean they are collectively CEO of Everything. Speaking to a crowd of academics and researchers? Don’t cower before their gigantic brains.  I’ve met plenty of PhDs that couldn’t find their backsides with both…

Small Risks

Habit and confidence. These are the friends of anyone who wants to do something extraordinary. They are also the most high-maintenance friends you could ever imagine having. Neither of them simply appear out of thin air. If they did, we wouldn’t be so interested in exceptional people. Even those we know who seem to naturally…

Talking to strangers

Much like any other skill, we need to practice talking to be good at it. You don’t need to sweat buckets over complex presentations or formal speeches to become a good talker.  You just need to talk with people.  Lots of people.  Different people.  I know some great presenters who are surprisingly poor at just talking with…