Storytelling Insight: Should You Start With Your Story Or Your Message?

A common question in storytelling is, “Do I write the story and then create the message or do I start with the message and then work on the story?” There’s not a right or wrong answer to this. However, I’m a big fan of having the message first and then...
Improve the Impact of Your Speech Rehearsals With This One Trick

Improve the Impact of Your Speech Rehearsals With This One Trick

Picture this… You’ve written your speech. You’re satisfied with the flow of ideas. Now it’s time to internalize your talk. You begin practicing out loud. Five minutes into your rehearsal, your phone rings. Ahh! You forgot to turn off your ringer! But, you need to take...
Executives, STOP Thinking Public Speaking is Magic. Here Are Three Secrets to Influential Speaking.

Executives, STOP Thinking Public Speaking is Magic. Here Are Three Secrets to Influential Speaking.

“Michael, your presentations are awful. You fix this, or you’re finished.” Those are the words my boss said that “inspired” me to improve my public speaking skills. Up until then, I stood up and spoke to groups under duress. With my job at risk, I searched for...
Oh No! Some People in the Audience Don’t Like Me! What Do I Do?

Oh No! Some People in the Audience Don’t Like Me! What Do I Do?

Have You Fallen for the ‘Speaking Trap?’ My friend Tom frequently gives presentations. Recently he told me, “Six weeks ago, I got a last-minute opportunity to speak in person again. I grabbed it. “Then I learned it was a presentation to a group of high school kids....
3 Costly Public Speaking Myths That Hurt Leader’s Influence

3 Costly Public Speaking Myths That Hurt Leader’s Influence

Most business leaders know public speaking is a valuable skill. And many of them work hard at it.    They write their presentations, rehearse, and build slide decks.   They give their speeches.   But, they don’t get the results they expect.   Prospective customers...

Your Most Important Connection When You Speak

So Obvious I Missed It   For years, I have challenged clients to strive for connection with their audience. If you connect with the people sitting in front of you, they’re more likely to hear your message and act on it. Makes sense, right?   There’s one problem with...