Communication Skills Library
After decades of communication skills coaching and hundreds of published articles, we’ve amassed a treasure trove of public speaking resources that we’re happy to share with you. They’re organized by general topic, so you can find lots of information on whatever skill you’re interested in learning more about. And if you have any questions or want to know more about how to become a great communicator, feel free to contact us!
Studies show that how you look accounts for the majority of the impression you make when you speak in public. From the gestures you use to how you stand, what you do with your body has an enormous impact on the message your audience receives.
Verbal communication is a limited medium, and it doesn’t handle lots of complex data and information very well. To be successful, you must be able to organize your thoughts into a simple, persuasive, listener-centered message.
• The Simplest Presentation Method Ever Invented: Audiences Love it!
• Topics to Avoid if You Don’t Want to Be a Bore
• What to Do About Smartphones During a Presentation
• Lessons in Persuasion from a Fishing Guide
• If You Want a Message to Penetrate, Repeat Two or Three Catchphrases
• How to Speak Like an Introvert
• Want to Succeed in Business? Learn to Remember Names with a few Simple Tricks
• How Would Steven Spielberg Present Your Data-Driven Presentation?
• What Listeners Have to Be Thankful for This Holiday Season
• How to Give a Great Webinar
• If You Want to Persuade, Less is More
• Lies We Tell Ourselves that Hold Us Back as Public Speakers
• The Persuasive Value of Three Key Points
• Your Presentation is Too Dang Long
• Support Your Data by Telling the Story Behind the Numbers
• Podcast: Polish your Presentation with Humor
• Topics to Avoid if You Don’t Want to Be a Bore
• Best Way to Use a Quote? Don’t Put it on Your Slide: Just Say It!
SPEAKING TIPS FROM CELEBRITIES
Whether they intend to or not, celebrities often provide us with some of the most eloquent and memorable advice related to public speaking. This collection includes some of our favorites. Enjoy!
• Public Speaking Tip from a Fortune Cookie
• How Can Ben Franklin Help Improve Your Speaking Skills?
• Public Speaking Advice from James Brown
• Holiday Networking Lesson in Personal Connection from Jimmy Carter
• Public Speaking Tip from Socrates
• Public Speaking Tip from Bruce Lee
• Public Speaking Tip from Farrah Fawcett
• The Public Speaking Value of Gray Hair, According to CNN’s Anderson Cooper
• Public Speaking Advice from Michael Phelps
• Public Speaking Advice from JFK
• Public Speaking Tip from Peyton Manning
• Public Speaking Idea from Elvis Presley
• Public Speaking Tip From Harry Houdini
When you’re speaking in a way that engages your audience, listeners are generally looking at your face. It becomes prime real estate, so use it! Smile, move your eyebrows, be expressive! Don’t leave your face in “park!”
• If You Want to Improve Your Hand Gestures, Focus on Your Facial Energy
• How to Find Your Authentic Speaking Style
• Great Presenting Style Starts with Strong Eye Contact
• Webinar: Five Keys to A Leadership Look for Women
• Webinar: Five Keys to A Leadership Look for Men
• If You Want to Improve Your Hand Gestures, Consider Focusing on Your Facial Energy
Being nervous about giving a presentation is normal. But by having a strategy to prepare your mind, body and attitude, you can harness that nervous energy and make it work to your advantage.
• It Takes Personal Courage to Give A Great Speech
• To Deal with Your Fear of Public Speaking, Focus on Helping the Audience
• Podcast: Stage Fright Strategies
• Overcoming Brain Freeze: Speaking With Confidence for Non-Native Speakers
• Podcast: Controlling Nerves
• What I Learned from Vomiting and Fainting in Front of My Class
• Public Speaking Tip from John Updike
Building your network is the most effective way to grow your sales funnel. But many people (wrongly) view networking as just schmoozing and glad-handing. We advise folks to simply stop selling and start helping. That way, everyone wins!
This section is the catch-all for our articles about sales and communication skills that don’t fit neatly into another category. They’re interesting reads, and who knows what you’ll discover. Enjoy!
• What to Do When Stumped By A Question; How to Coolly Say, “I Don’t Know”
• Keys to Listening
• How Jimmy Parker and The Home Depot are Revolutionizing Leadership
• VoyageATL Interview: Meet Joey Asher of Speechworks in Sandy Springs
• Negative Moods Might Make You a Better Speaker, Study Says
• Spotlight on our Coaches: Kim Cunningham
• Go Beyond the Data: How to Use Compelling Stories to Persuade
• Spotlight on our Coaches: JD Clockadale
• Spotlight on our Coaches: Marc Dorfman
• Spotlight on our Coaches: Kene Iloenyosi
• Spotlight on our Coaches: Jan McKenzie
• Spotlight on our Coaches: Nancy Vason
• Spotlight on our Coaches: Marilyn Ringo
• Be A Model: The Non-Speaker’s Role in Team Presentations
• Webinar: Leadership Communication for Women
• Webinar: Strategies to Become a More Confident Presenter – A Webinar for Non-Native Speakers
• Podcast: Driving Employee Engagement
• Six Rules for Successful Team Presentations
• Podcast: How Training Millennials Benefits the Entire Workforce in Campaigns
There are three foolproof things you can do to improve your presentation skills: practice, practice, and practice! Public speaking is a physical act, so you have to keep the muscles involved in shape!
• The Power of Speaking without Notes
• How Does the 80-20 Rule Apply to Presentations?
• Five Resolutions for Better Presentations This Year
• How to Present to a Tyrant
• Practice Not Being Perfect, Part 3 of 3
• Practice Not Being Perfect, Part 2 of 3
• Practice Not Being Perfect, Part 1 of 3
• The Key to Greatness: Rehearsal
• How Can a New College Grad be Successful? Rehearse Your Presentations
• Number One Crime Against Audiences: Speaking Too Long!
• Should You Memorize Your Entire Presentation?
• Three Things Needed to be an Effective Speaker
The Q&A portion of a presentation is never credibility-neutral: you’re always gaining or losing based on how you respond. By embracing and preparing for the questions, and giving tight answers, you can inspire confidence from your listeners.
• Use “The Matador Effect” to Impress Your Listeners
• To Get More Questions, Study “Joey’s Law of Audience Behavior”
• Why Ask “Why?” Here’s Why!
• The Perils of Saying “Great Question!”
• “Three Q” Method Creates A Simple Presentation that Audiences Will Love!
• What to Do When Stumped By A Question; How to Coolly Say “I Don’t Know”
There are some universal truths that can lead to sales success. One of the most fundamental is to recognize that people buy for their reasons, not yours. How can you know what their reasons are? Build a relationship, and ask them!
• Checklist for a Winning New Business Presentation
• When Trying to Persuade Your Audience, Try Using the Tools of the Ancient Greeks
• Learn to Sell Ideas Like the Girl Scouts Sell Cookies
• Podcast: Winning an Architecture Pitch
• Checklist For a Winning New Business Presentation
• How One Question Can Improve Your Sales Presentations
• Learning from Your Dentist: The Keys to Delivering Bad News
There’s no question that the speaker should be the focus of the presentation, but tools like PowerPoint, Prezi, Keynote, boards and handouts, if used correctly, can all add interest to your talk and help your message ‘stick.’
How you sound matters! Most people speak with vocal energy that’s more like a freight train than a roller coaster: boring! You can add interest to your voice by doing simple things like varying your pace and volume and incorporating pauses.