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Speeches and presentations

How to be confident when public speaking

To memorize or not to memorize? That is the question. If you want to know how to be confident when public speaking, do the work it takes to internalize your speech.   A common question I get from leaders preparing to deliver a keynote speech at either an in-person or virtual event is this: Should […]

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One of the best public speaking resources that leaders overlook

Your conference keynote may miss the mark if you forget to tap one of the best public speaking resources available to every speaker right now.   The email arrived late on a Monday evening: “I have to prepare the closing keynote speech at a prestigious annual conference for more than 1,000 technical professionals online. I’m […]

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Giving an anniversary or wedding speech? Do this to make it memorable

If you’re the one chosen to deliver an unforgettable anniversary or wedding speech in front of family and friends, don’t let the special occasion rattle you. Instead, follow this simple advice.   Last weekend I had the honor of delivering a speech and offering a toast during a small family gathering to celebrate my parents’ […]

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Notable, quotable lines of inspirational leadership that Lincoln wrote (but never spoke)

Inspirational leadership is what CEOs and business leaders everywhere strive constantly to provide. When leaders find themselves struggling to find just the right words, often it is helpful to go back in history for some quiet study and reflection.   Abraham Lincoln is the first of four U.S. presidents examined in Doris Kearns Goodwin’s 2018 book, […]

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10 lessons in effective leadership communication from an ‘ordinary’ budget speech

Even “ordinary” speeches call for effective leadership communication techniques. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Budget 2020 speech offers concrete ideas and inspiration for CEOs and business leaders everywhere.   Nations and businesses worldwide are opening back up – albeit slowly – after months of strict lockdowns since the coronavirus began traipsing across the globe. […]

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You might be missing this in your virtual keynote presentation

Don’t give in to temptation. All those digital tools available for your virtual keynote presentation should complement – not replace – time-tested methods to engage and persuade your audience.   No doubt you’ve been attending virtual events these days. Perhaps you’ve even delivered a virtual keynote presentation as more business is conducted online. Around the […]

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How to adapt your keynote speech for a virtual event

The fate of your keynote speech has been up in the air for weeks, and today you finally got the word: That association meeting or annual conference you were eagerly anticipating will now be a virtual event because the coronavirus remains a threat.   What does that mean for you and your keynote speech? You […]

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Your presence: Are you making these public speaking mistakes?

Use this checklist to determine if you are making mistakes with your presence when you speak in public:   1. Are you using your bio as your opening (“but first, a little bit about me”)? Inexperienced speakers sometimes bait and switch: They open by tempting the audience with the promise of a fascinating topic – […]

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Your message: Are you making these public speaking mistakes?

Use this checklist to determine if you are making mistakes with your message when you speak in public:   1. Are you being unclear about your purpose? If you can’t state in one sentence the purpose of your talk, you’ll find yourself including information that does not connect, is irrelevant or both. The fix: Take […]

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Your style: Are you making these public speaking mistakes?

Use this checklist to determine if you are making mistakes with your style when you speak in public:   1. Are you failing to reveal a little bit of yourself and your personality to the audience? As humans, we crave connection. The moment you reveal something about yourself to your audience is the moment you […]

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