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Public speaking tip: Connect the dots when sharing facts and figures

In certain speeches, sometimes it’s important to the message to share a few facts and figures, numbers and statistics. Here’s my question for public speakers: Do you take the time to connect the dots? A colleague of mine in the Professional Speechwriters Association, Carlos Razo, has a Ph.D. in economics. As special assistant and adviser […]

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The biggest mistake teams make when collaborating to write high-stakes brand content

The client on the end of the line was desperate. The clock was ticking, and internal attempts to write high-stakes brand content as a team weren’t working. Could I assist? I met with the client to discuss the scope of work. “What writing process have you used to work with the subject matter experts on […]

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Public speaking tip: Don’t play inside baseball

Every industry has a language that only insiders understand. But what if you’re presenting to a diverse group of people who don’t live and breathe the words you use every day? I once heard a logistics expert give an overview presentation to a roomful of business people – from attorneys, bankers, accountants and consultants, to […]

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Good public speaking starts and ends with this

“What Matters in Speech?” is a talk given way back in 1921 by Henrietta Prentiss, then a passionate teacher of speech at Hunter College in New York City. Prentiss answers her own question, “What Matters in Speech?” rather directly in her remarks about good public speaking: “The first thing … is my identification with my […]

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Speechwriting tip: Don’t let your speech look like grandma’s quilt

Have you ever seen someone patch together material from two or three off-the-shelf presentations and call it a keynote? A colleague admitted this to me moments before her boss went on stage to deliver a presentation to a roomful of business people. My colleague told me she’d spent the past few days cutting and pasting […]

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Speechwriting techniques: 7 reasons why you should tie your speech opening to your speech closing

In a recent post on 10 big mistakes public speakers make on stage, I said it was important to work hard on a blockbuster ending that answers three questions:  In the end, what do you want your audience to remember? How do you want them to feel about what you said? And why does it matter? You can […]

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3 visual cues to improve your public speaking notes

Recently I was challenged by an executive who’d been rehearsing diligently ahead of his national keynote. We both knew the success of his 25-minute speech – and the resonance of his important message and call to action – depended 100 percent on his ability to deliver some crucial lines exactly right. We’d already been through […]

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Public speaking tip: Be an impeccable time manager

Here’s one of my public speaking pet peeves: Don’t tell us you’re going to speak for 5 minutes (and then go on to speak for 20). This happened at a huge event recently (and it got worse when the speaker kept asking if his 5 minutes was up yet). Yes, I know: The speaker was […]

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3 public speaking rules for making speaker transitions onstage

Do you know how to get on and off the stage with grace when you’re one of several public speakers delivering remarks or making presentations? Here are three public speaking rules to ensure your next event flows seamlessly from one speaker to the next.   Rule 1: When you’re finished speaking, introduce the next speaker – and […]

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Speechwriting 101 (in three easy steps)

Do you need a speechwriting 101 process that helps you decide early on – with confidence – what you want and need to say? A chief executive I’m working with on speeches, speech coaching and executive communications forwarded this email to me a couple weeks ago. It was a speaking invitation from another executive on […]

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