Negative Moods Might Make You a Better Speaker, Study Says

Category: Other It’s been one of those weeks. You’re feeling low. You’re burned out. You’re ready to give up and become a professional fisherman. And you’re certainly not looking forward to giving that presentation tomorrow to the board of directors. At least you can take heart in knowing that you may be about to [...]

How Would Stephen Spielberg Present Your Data-Driven Presentation?

By Joey Asher Category: Practice This article is adapted from Joey Asher’s new book Riveting Data: How to Make Any Presentation Exciting Using Hollywood Storytelling Techniques. Why do so many data-driven presentations stink? They’re boring. They’re confusing. They’re stuck in the weeds. They fail to provide context. They fail to tell a story. With that in [...]

Public Speaking Wisdom from Yogi Berra

Category: Tips from Celebrities The late, great Yankees catcher, Yogi Berra, coined a sage bit of public speaking wisdom when he said, "I don't want to make the wrong mistake." What does this have to do with public speaking? The best speakers often make small mistakes because they speak extemporaneously, rather than relying heavily on a [...]

Why Do We Fear Public Speaking?

  By Joey Asher Category: Nerves and Facial Energy I have a friend who fears airplanes. Ask him why and he'll say, "If we were meant to fly, God would have given us wings." When people ask me why people fear public speaking, I have a similar response. “If we were meant to give speeches, God would [...]

Spotlight on Our Coaches: Kim Cunningham

Category: Other Speechworks coach Kim Cunningham understands the importance of speaking with credibility. For years, people relied on her weather forecasts to plan their days. And when she was in the Air Force, pilots relied on her to help plan their combat missions. “Getting the forecast right is critical,” says Cunningham. “And delivering the message [...]

It Takes Personal Courage to Give A Great Speech

By Joey Asher Category: Nerves I had an English professor in college who said, "If you write a really great story, you're screwed." He meant that the best storytellers have the courage to open up their personal lives and tell the truth about themselves, even if the truth is embarrassing. Similarly, if you want to give [...]

When Trying to Persuade Your Audience, Try Using the Tools of the Ancient Greeks

Category: Sales, Visual Aid When trying to sell a complicated idea, most business people fire up their PowerPoint and start creating slides and charts. I ask myself, “What would Aristotle do?” That’s what I did recently when I worked with Chris, a consultant who had invented a 17-step process for dramatically shortening the amount of [...]

To Deal with Your Fear of Public Speaking, Focus on Helping the Audience

By Joey Asher Category: Nerves There are many good tactics for beating the fear of public speaking. Extensive rehearsal helps the most. Physical exertion can reduce the adrenaline-driven jitters. Comedian Billy Crystal once said that he did push-ups to deal with stage-fright. Schmoozing with the audience before the presentation helps you relax. I’ve used all these tactics. [...]

Your Presentation is Too Dang Long

By Joey Asher Category: Content There's a political party in New York called, "The Rent is Too D*** High." I think there should be another party called “Your Presentation is Too Dang Long.” With that in mind, one of the best things you can do to make your presentation more exciting is to shorten it. So what [...]

Spotlight on Our Coaches: Jan McKenzie

Category: Other Before joining Speechworks as a coach, Jan was a Speechworks client (or, as she puts it, "a raving fan!"). She spent nearly 20 years at The Weather Channel. For 10 of those years, she served as director of their award-winning Learning and Development Department. During her tenure, she implemented training programs to develop [...]

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