Speak Schmeak

Why can't every talk be a TED talk?

Speak Schmeak

TEDxUCLA TED talks are the "it-girl" of speaking. Everyone wants their presentation to be as cool as a TED talk, as profound as a TED talk, and as viral as a TED talk. I'm a huge fan of TED talks (and their locally-produced TEDx brethren).

2019 170

Being vs. becoming

Speak Schmeak

Twice in conversations with a client, she's told me, "I'm not a writer." And yet, she is a writer, because she writes !

2019 179

Four reasons to stop using PowerPoint

Speak Schmeak

Many of my speaker colleagues reject the use of slides. They say slides are boring, prevent engagement, and distract the audience away from the speaker's message. And yep, they do.

2018 207

Speaking tips from "Serial"

Speak Schmeak

I finally got around to finishing the original season of the podcast "Serial," in which the case of convicted murder Adnan Syed is re-evaluated in detail by investigative journalist Sarah Koenig. I had listened to the first four episodes on a road trip last year, but never picked it up again.

2019 135

10 reasons to join the Presenting for Humans Success Circle

Speak Schmeak

Are you thinking about joining the Presenting for Humans Success Circle , but not sure if it's right for you? Perhaps I can help you decide with these points about the benefits of the program to you!

2018 195

Learning is not a one-way street

Speak Schmeak

I frequently hear colleagues and friends complain about all the money they’ve spent on coaching or training with disappointing results. Literally never have I heard someone complain about all the work and effort they put into coaching or training, with disappointing results.

2019 135

You don't need a stage to need stage presence

Speak Schmeak

I was recently contacted by a woman who manages a small team of young, inexperienced salespeople. She was primarily concerned with their lack of self-awareness; their behaviors in front of clients and prospects were less-than-stellar. One person bites their nails in meetings.

Stage 208

Is your life a constant audition?

Speak Schmeak

“I was so happy with how Freaks and Geeks came out, that in my head I thought 'my career is basically over.' I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish, and everything else is gravy. And so nothing else matters. I can experiment. I can do anything.

2018 167

Communication requires presence: Why I won't have a meeting with you while driving

Speak Schmeak

For those of you who are of the opinion that talking on the phone while driving (sometimes with yelling or fighting kids in the back seat) makes more effective or productive use of your time, I doubt you'll change your habits after this one post.

2017 203

Get your free copy of Presenting for Humans before April 15

Speak Schmeak

Hey y'all! I'm giving away 100 digital copies of Presenting for Humans: Insights for Speakers on Ditching Perfection and Creating Connection ! I'm celebrating the second anniversary of publishing my first book on April 14 and I want you to have a copy! The giveaway started today and 51 copies are already gone, so if you're a Goodreads member, get over there ASAP to reserve your free digital download.

2019 104

Your lizard brain doesn't want you to speak

Speak Schmeak

My clients will frequently say to me, "I don't understand why I'm so nervous. There must be something wrong with me." Well, if it's wrong to be human, I guess we all have something wrong with us! What we forget is that, while we are indeed human, we are also animals. Human animals, but still animals.

2018 151

Let go instead of holding on (to your content)

Speak Schmeak

"Perfection is finally attained, not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away." ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, aircraft designer and author of The Little Prince I'm fortunate that, in most of my speaking, I'm not required to be particularly concise.

2018 167

I can do anything better than I can

Speak Schmeak

Maybe you've heard the song "Anything You Can Do" from the musical "Annie Get Your Gun." It's a classic duet with the characters Annie Oakley and Frank Butler attempting to prove their ability to outdo each other in a variety of tasks.

2018 173

Your voice matters

Speak Schmeak

You're probably hearing a lot right now about using your voice. With elections coming up, it's important to be reminded that our voices—via our votes—really do make a difference. I know. sometimes it doesn't feel that way. Sometimes we feel small, we feel powerless, and we feel disheartened.

2018 135

My triple Axel moment

Speak Schmeak

If you don't watch figure skating (and even if you do), you may not understand the importance of the triple Axel in competition. First of all, it's the only forward-facing jump in the skaters' arsenal. All other jumps are executed while skating backward.

2018 153

Why you need to take every speaking opportunity

Speak Schmeak

I forgot my stuff. I had a workshop Friday morning, and I thought I was ready, but I wasn't. I had finished my slides, I had finished my notes, I had printed my handouts.

2017 185

Big fish or little fish. what's right for you?

Speak Schmeak

It's a new year, and with a new year comes lots of marketing hyperbole. Lots of "New year, new you!" and "Step into your greatness!" kinds of posts, articles and of course, paid programs. Every January, I feel the pressure. Do you feel the pressure?

2017 205

Two-time Academy Award winner needs an acting coach?

Speak Schmeak

Billboard Daily Blog Are you a fan of "Grace and Frankie," the hot Netflix series starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin? My husband and I arrived late to the party, but are now all caught up and attempting to savor season 3 instead of bingeing, like some of my friends have done.

2017 195

You have a platform, but are you making it count?

Speak Schmeak

Whenever a celebrity—whether actor, singer, athlete or other entertainer—takes the opportunity at an awards ceremony or other public event to speak out about a political issue, certain segments of the public immediately begin scolding and lashing out. It's inappropriate!" they say.

2017 198

It's my tenth blogiversary!

Speak Schmeak

Ten years ago this week, I started blogging. My first post was published on October 9, 2006. Since that time, I've published 1,475 posts, I've saved 86 drafts that are still waiting to be finished and published, and I'm turning about 60 of them into a book to be published by the end of this year.

2016 206

I want to see the speaker, not the coaching

Speak Schmeak

I recently attended an event with a long lineup of speakers. I'm like a kid in a candy store at events with lots of speakers!

2016 207

How is dating like public speaking?

Speak Schmeak

Have you ever been on a date? Did you enjoy it? Did you hate it? You've probably had both experiences! Did you ask the other person out? Did they ask you out? Maybe you've just kind of eased into it by saying "We should do something sometime." (I

2015 254

Lessons from driving: Don't be a mechanical speaker

Speak Schmeak

(c) Jenny Rollo Do you remember what it was like when you were learning how to drive? There were so many things to pay attention to, so many details. Where do I put my hands and my feet? When is it too soon or too late to press the brake pedal? How much pressure do I put on the gas?

2015 238

You're not just competing with other speakers

Speak Schmeak

In the entrepreneurial world, and especially in the speaking and coaching worlds, we like to say "There is no competition." You see, we all have something unique to offer, we each have a unique voice and message, and no one else can do what we do in exactly the same way we do it. And this is true.

2016 203

Presenting for Humans: Insights for Speakers on Ditching Perfection and Creating Connection

Speak Schmeak

It's coming, it's coming! I'm expecting my book, Presenting For Humans: Insights for Speakers on Ditching Perfection and Creating Connection , to be available on Amazon by the end of March, and hopefully to have some hard copies in hand to sign for my VIP supporters!

2017 181

10 reasons to join the Presenting for Humans Success Circle

Speak Schmeak

Are you thinking about joining the Presenting for Humans Success Circle , but not sure if it's right for you? Perhaps I can help you decide with these ten reasons I think the program is worth joining!

2017 163

Storytelling in 30 seconds - can you do it?

Speak Schmeak

It's been a while since I posted about a TV commercial (ah, the beauty of the DVR), but here's one I came across recently that perfectly demonstrates the concepts of concise, compelling and clear storytelling.

2015 232

Fear of success is real, and it sucks

Speak Schmeak

At last month's Shake Up Your Speaking retreat, I gave the attendees an exercise that involve picking a temporary tattoo out of a bag, applying it to their arm, and then applying the message on the tattoo to where they were in their speaking journey.

2016 206

My 2015 holiday speaker gift list is here!

Speak Schmeak

It''s the most wonderful time of the year! And it''s also the time of the year, when I update my annual list of speaker gifts, to help you find the best gifts for the speaker in your life -- who might just be you!

2015 253

DIY speaker gift: Speaker Survival Kit!

Speak Schmeak

Last March, I had a booth at a local women''s business festival. I wanted to give something away in a drawing that would be useful to those who stopped by, and specifically useful to speakers.

2014 249

Stay weird.

Speak Schmeak

Our favorite, and most effective, awards show speeches tend to go one of two directions: Humor or passion. Both kinds of speeches have the same effect, to trigger an emotional response in the audience. The response to the humorous speech is laughter, if only a chuckle or an internal giggle.

2015 241

Thou shalt hide thy weirdness: Guest post by Jason Kotecki

Speak Schmeak

Jason is a non-caped crusader fighting against Adultitis. I've been a fan of his work for years, and when he offered me this post, I jumped at the chance to share his writing with you.

2015 228

Drowning your audience? Try these 3 livesavers.

Speak Schmeak

I''m currently participating in the Bloom Your Online Relationships Challenge , a 30-day free program to encourage relationship-building with our online communities, and today''s challenge dovetails perfectly with a post I''ve been wanting to write.

2014 252

Optimism: Finding the upside of the inevitable

Speak Schmeak

Today, I was lamenting the lack of rain in Southern California, as we come to the end of our usual "rainy" month with below-seasonal totals. The ongoing severe drought is our #1 concern here, and every day that goes by without rain puts us more and more into a water deficit.

Create a safe space for group interaction

Speak Schmeak

The other day, I was talking to a client about some problems she had experienced during a presentation. She had encountered a group who was resistant to some of her ideas and essentially put up a roadblock to any further discussion.

2015 212

Virtual networking: Open the circle

Speak Schmeak

As I've written here before, I can be shy at networking events. But I've trained myself to put out my hand and introduce myself to people even if I feel inside like I want to run away.

2015 223

Do your audience's filters override your message?

Speak Schmeak

It's a story about a fig. It's a very simple story. This fig is HUGE. I posted this picture on Facebook of the fig filling the palm of my hand. I thought the fig would speak for itself. But I was wrong. I started getting comments like, "Can't get them here!"

2016 186

A tale of two wineries -- and what speakers can learn from them

Speak Schmeak

Municipal Winemakers and Saarloos & Sons are two of my favorite wineries. Of course, I love their wines, and their wines are one of the ways they differentiate themselves among the many, MANY wineries in Santa Barbara County.

2014 267

It's a marathon, not a sprint

Speak Schmeak

In May of this year, a long-time social media contact got in touch with me and scheduled a coaching consultation. She knew she needed coaching and was ready to roll. We spoke a couple of days later and put our first session on the calendar.

2015 218

What does your audience really expect of you? Guest post by Barry Potyondi

Speak Schmeak

It is the most common sin among speechwriters, and almost all of us are guilty of committing it: in our zeal to sound authoritative, coherent and memorable, we forget that speeches begin and end with the listener, not us.

2015 234

Want to sound smarter when speaking?

Speak Schmeak

I received the following email the other day, and I thought it would be worth sharing my response with you, because it goes to the heart of my philosophy of public speaking. "I I am writing an article on ways to sound smarter when speaking.

2017 167

3 Ways To Listen To Your Inner Voice For A Happy And Successful Life - Guest Post by Debbie Lyn Toomey

Speak Schmeak

Have you ever woken up to a voice that came from nowhere? It has happened to me many times. In fact, it has gotten to a point that when I do hear it, I know enough not to complain but rather listen when it wakes me up in the middle of the night. No, I’m not crazy. I’m a believer. That’s right.

2016 186

Information doesn't excite your audience

Speak Schmeak

Photo Credit: Dan Harrelson via Compfight cc A client told me the other day that his wife says he never knows when to shut up. And he recognizes that this is a problem when he speaks. He told me he''s afraid that if he doesn''t give enough information, the audience won''t be as excited as he is.

2014 239