Speak Schmeak

It's hard to be human

Speak Schmeak

Pretending to be a giant at the Christmas tree lot Most of my clients aren't afraid of speaking. They're well past the point where they avoid speaking engagements or rush to get them over with.

2017 80

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 49

Trending Sources

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 73

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 75

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 43

High-ticket speakers have some of the worst habits

Speak Schmeak

You''ve seen them. The keynote and motivational speakers on the big stages who pull out the stagiest, old-timey shtick. You can''t relate to them at all, and in fact, you cringe through half the presentation.

2013 98

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 55

Your stats are paralyzing your audience

Speak Schmeak

When you''re using statistics in a presentation, it''s really easy to get caught up in the numbers. And unfortunately, just because those numbers are meaningful to you, it doesn''t mean they''re at all fathomable to your audience.

2014 89

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 77

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 78

Technology is a luxury, not a necessity

Speak Schmeak

Via ABC News By now, you''ve probably seen the short video of Michael Bay walking off the stage at Samsung''s Consumer Electronics Show. In short, the teleprompter stopped working, he got flustered, and took off.

Invisibility works for superheroes -- not for speakers

Speak Schmeak

How many times have you held yourself back from doing what you wanted to do because you didn''t want to rock the boat? How many times have you held yourself back because "That''s the way it''s always been done?" How many times have you held yourself back for fear of embarrassment or being ostracized?

2014 79

9 ways to use props for maximum impact in your presentations

Speak Schmeak

I discovered this fun challenge posted by Téa Silvestre Godfrey on Facebook, to use one of these 50 bizarre stock photos to inspire a blog post title. I couldn''t resist. And then I decided to go a step further and actually write the blog post inspired by the image!

2014 75

Is your audience suffering an engagement drought?

Speak Schmeak

One solution to the drought: Succulents! On my walk today through one of Santa Barbara''s more affluent neighborhoods, I made mental notes of all the ways the residents are dealing with California''s historic drought.

Excuse #923: "I'm not a presenter."

Speak Schmeak

Okay, I haven''t actually numbered the excuses people give for bad presentations, but maybe I should start. Watching a recent episode of " Shark Tank ," I thought the entrepreneurs'' presentation was terrible.

2013 81

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 63

The biology of courage: Make stress your friend

Speak Schmeak

Kelly McGonigal says, "How you think about stress matters." It''s a not-very-well-kept secret that a person''s attitude toward stress makes a big difference in how they respond in stressful situations.

2014 64

Speakers: dress the part

Speak Schmeak

I don''t typically subscribe to generic rules about how to dress as a speaker. It all depends on the audience, the venue, the topic, your personal style, your message and the image you want to convey.

2013 72

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 57

Three ways you should never start your presentation

Speak Schmeak

Not only should you never START your presentation with any of these statements, you should never END with them or include them ANYWHERE in your presentation. Ready? People fear public speaking more than they fear death.

2014 64

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 50

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 42

This is how the pros do it: Kelly Clarkson

Speak Schmeak

By now you've seen last week's performance by Kelly Clarkson on American Idol. It was an extremely moving performance, as we would all agree. What I want to talk about today, however, is her professionalism. This is what a pro looks like, whether performer or speaker (and usually, we're both). (

2016 42

Will the timing ever be right?

Speak Schmeak

How many times have you waited to start something until the timing has been "right?" How did that go? Did you ever start? Did you wait so long that the opportunity was no longer available? Did you wait so long that you lost your chance?

2016 40

The #1 thing you need to be taken seriously as a speaker

Speak Schmeak

Do you know what the #1 thing is that allows you to convey and demonstrate authority and expertise to your audience? Confidence. There''s just nothing like confidence to make an audience sit up and listen when you''re on stage.

2013 64

Do people want to call you back?

Speak Schmeak

How often do you think about how you sound on the phone? Not often enough, I''d bet. I frequently get messages from people with mumbled messages, names I can''t understand, phone numbers rattled off too fast, and not enough information.

2015 50

Leave your audience wanting more, not less

Speak Schmeak

While scrolling through channels looking for movies to record one weekend, I found the following one-line movie descriptions: 1. French policeman hounds bread thief for life 2. Victorian orphan drifts, finds good people 3. An enslaved British doctor turns Caribbean pirate 4.

2014 56

My theory about "winging it"

Speak Schmeak

Check this out: People who "wing it" are far more afraid of failure and rejection than those who prepare, although it might seem to be the opposite.

Wings 40

You can't harvest until you cultivate

Speak Schmeak

We recently bought two blueberry bushes, and I''m ecstatic! I suddenly "discovered" blueberries about two years ago. Never liked them before, but I had some really delicious local organic berries and was sold.

2013 60

Thinking of doing a Hangout? Read this first!

Speak Schmeak

Wearing a virtual cat face on a Google Hangout This is not going to be a technology article, so if that''s what you were hoping for. sorry! Nope, just good ol'' fashioned presentation advice, but the kind you need when you''re going to be on camera.

2014 50

Your first mistake is comparing yourself to someone else

Speak Schmeak

What actions steps will get you what you want? How often do we do compare ourselves to others in our daily lives? Not just about our speaking skills, but about everything?

2013 60

Read a book -- you'll be a better speaker

Speak Schmeak

Have you ever heard the expression, "It's a doggy dog world?" Have you ever heard someone say, "For all intensive purposes?" How about "Nip it in the butt" or "A mute point" or "Take it for granite?"

2013 63

Your questions about the Elite Speakers Mastery & Mentoring Program answered!

Speak Schmeak

Here''s a quick reminder that the deadline to submit your application for the Elite Speakers Mastery & Mentoring Program is TODAY, so if you''re still on the fence, you don''t have much time to make a decision.

2013 56

How have you pushed the boundaries of your presentations?

Speak Schmeak

Photo Credit: evansrobinson // Armchair Photography via Compfight cc A common concern of inexperienced speakers (and even sometimes for experienced speakers) is the fear of doing something "different" and standing out from the crowd.

2013 60

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 33

You deserve to shine

Speak Schmeak

I want you to think for a moment about all the things you haven't done or tried because of fear of failing, fear of embarrassment, or fear of looking foolish. Was there a job you should have applied for? A guy you wanted to date? An adventure you turned down? A book proposal you never submitted?

2012 68

Does your audience say you made their day?

Speak Schmeak

On a recent teleseminar, one of my participants mentioned that his audiences are frequently attending for CEUs, and that they weren''t particularly enthusiastic about being there.

2013 56

Is the elevator pitch dead?

Speak Schmeak

A discussion question was posted in one of my LinkedIn groups, and it sparked a lively thread. The question was, "Is the elevator pitch dead?"

2012 61

Do you really need to give a presentation?

Speak Schmeak

I have quite a few clients who come to me with presentations that are completely encased in PowerPoint. That is, everything that needs to be said is delineated on the slides, either in bullets, graphs or actual word-for-word paragraphs.

2013 51

There's a fine line between honesty and inspiration

Speak Schmeak

I spoke with a client this week about the presentation he gives on real estate investing. He is clearly trying to persuade his audiences to invest, but at the same time, he doesn''t want to deceive them into believing that it''s a way to get rich quick, or that it''s necessarily an easy process.

2013 51