Sat.Jan 17, 2009 - Fri.Jan 23, 2009

Be a tease

Speak Schmeak

In working with several clients on creating and structuring their presentations, there seems to be a common theme among their efforts. They all have too much content for the time they're allotted.

How to Make Your Speech More Memorable

Successful Speeches Blog

This past week, President Obama was criticized for not making his inauguration speech more memorable. There were certainly quotable sections, but not the clear “hook&# that Obama has been known for. When he spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Obama’s memorable moment came when he said: “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America — there’s the United States of America.&#.

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President Obama Speaks to Inspire All |

Speaking Freely

Public Speaking: Improvise Your Flipchart

Great Public Speaking

Oops! I broke my own rules and did not follow a checklist on my last presentation. It was two minutes until start time and I realized there was no flipchart in the room. Oh oh! Better think fast.

Thought Trap #7: Magnifying and minimizing

Speak Schmeak

Thought Trap #7: Magnifying and minimizing Continuing on in the series on Thought Traps.

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If you speak with an accent, read this! Guest post by Sue Hershkowitz-Coore

Speak Schmeak

Last week a workshop participant came to me after my presentation to tell me that she was very embarrassed to speak publicly because of her heavy accent. Even though she spoke 3 languages fluently, she was embarrassed because she spoke one of them with an accent!)

Learn the Speech Writing Secrets of Obama and Martin Luther King - Toronto Speech Writng Workshop

Successful Speeches Blog

Although I’m a born-and-raised Canadian, most of my blogging (and even speaking examples) focus on American speakers. In the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time examining and commenting on the speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. and President (still getting used to that) Barack Obama. In my studies of their speeches, I’ve found two elements that helped them to creates successful speech after successful speech. The way the speech was developed. The way the speech was delivered.

How Compelling?

Speaking Of...

I couldn't help but be struck by the contrast between these two news events last week. Pictured above is Dick Cheney's response to President Bush's farewell speech. Guess the speech wasn't too interesting. The speech itself could not have been more staged.

CA 1

inaugural speeches of the past

The Eloquent Woman

The presidential inauguration this week's awash in speculation over Barack Obama's speech, and yielding more tools for those who write and give speeches.

Are you "sleep-presenting?"

Speak Schmeak

From an AMBIEN ad in a magazine in my doctor's office: "After taking AMBIEN, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night.

In with the New: Barack Obama’s Inauguration Speech

Successful Speeches Blog

In stark contrast to the 43rd President of the United States of America, President Barack Obama spoke clearly, concisely, and confidently to the millions of people listening to him deliver his inaugural address. His task was a difficult one. Even though those in attendance and around the world were anxious to hear soaring rhetoric and words of inspiration, Obama’s message was a little more serious.

KICK OFF QUIZ ‘09: What’s your Determination Factor??

Speaker Launcher

2009 is shaping up to be a year that could be challenging for some and prosperous for others. With the news networks spouting economic doom every day, there’s no question that decision makers may choose to old on more tightly to their money. That doesn’t mean they won’t ever spend.

fun for speakers: Obama speech generator

The Eloquent Woman

While we await Barack Obama's inaugural speech--arguably the most important of his career and certainly an historic moment--have some fun with this Inauguration Speech Generator from You fill in a variety of verbs, adjectives and nouns, Mad-lib style, and get a short speech.

Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges! Guest post by Lee Potts

Speak Schmeak

When you’re the slide guy, once all the presentations have been thoroughly PowerPointed and the meeting has started, they need to find something for you to do so you’re not just hanging around enjoying yourself. At least that was the case at an earlier point in my career.


Max Atkinson

Some people have been telling me that the absence of a simple list of headings for earlier postings in the Blog Archive on the left makes it difficult to find topics posted before the current month. To make things easier, here's a list of everything posted since the Blog started in September 2008. It will be updated at the end of each month, and you can access direct links to each one by clicking on the title above or here.

The 50 Best Career Coach Blogs

Executive Speech Coach

You will find this post helpful if you are looking to improve your career by improving your job skills. This post on the " Online Univeristy Reviews " blog list the 50 best career coach blogs. The Executive Speech Coach blog is included on the list. The 50 Best Career Coach Blogs With predictions of US unemployment approaching 10% by the end of 2008, there is no more important time than now to take interest in your career prospects and professional marketability.

Talking with Terri Murphy

Speaking Success International

I have the great pleasure to be talking with Terri Murphy, Social Media Expert, CEO of Women’s Wisdom Network and top rated Motivational Speaker at NSA about bringing in cash in these times. She gave so much info for us to use! Listen to the interview - she rocks! Here is a thumbnail sketch of the ground we cover, but really you gotta hear Terri lay it out! I highly recommend you hear the 10 minute recording. Click here to listen: terrimurphy.mp3.

Podcast with a Speechwriter

The Speechwriter

This week Dan Hodgson, a distinguished alumnus of the Bournemouth Media School, interviewed me about my work as a speechwriter. Dan is providing a commercial service to businesses wishing to communicate with their customers through podcasts. You can email him

Obama’s inauguration rhetoric won approval for some uncomfortable messages

Max Atkinson

A point I made a couple of days ago was that bursts of applause can be used to identify which points in a speech an audience liked best. If there are about 150 sentences, of which only six (4%) stood out enough to get a whole-hearted display of approval that lasted more than a few seconds – as happened on Tuesday – it’s worth looking at them in a bit more detail to see what really turned the audience on.

Public Speaking: Make 'Em Wonder

Great Public Speaking

I suppose most of my readers know by now that I push the limits most of the time to make sure my audience stays awake. It should be no surprise to you then that I will attack another common old style snoozer technique (and I know I will get letters from educational theory folks, but that is OK). that is, telling the participants what you are going to cover during your presentation. I say let em figure it out as you go.

Center yourself before you present

Executive Speech Coach

Center yourself before you start speaking. Here is a simple yet helpful technique to center yourself before you start your presentation. I learned this technique from fellow professional speaker, Paul Huschilt. As well as being a professional speaker who specializes in wrapping up conferences and conventions, Paul Huschilt is also trained as an actor and an opera singer. So he knows some things about performing on stage and how to get ready for your presentation. Here is the technique.

There's always public speaking

Nick R Thomas - A Public Speaker's Blog

Rhetoric and applause in Obama’s inaugural speech as a measure of what the audience liked best

Max Atkinson

When I first started studying bursts of applause in political speeches thirty years ago, some people couldn’t see the point; others thought I was mad. But I did have a rational reason for doing it – because the absence of any instant positive response from jurors in the tape-recorded court hearings I was studying made it impossible to get empirical evidence about what might be having a positive impact on the twelve most important members of the audience in court.

Obama's Quotation

The Speechwriter

The unattributed quotation in Barack Obama's inaugural, the lines: Let it be told to the future world. that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive.that the city and the country, alarmed at one

PowerPoint slide design survey

Executive Speech Coach

What would you like to see in PowerPoint slide design in 2009? Hurray to Oivia Mitchell, presentation trainer and blogger from Wellington, New Zealand for posing the above question and collecting responses from 40 experts. Of course there are some disagreements and some common issues. Here is a list of all the blog posts in reply to this question. Here are the email replies received. Hightlights of the blog posts. Read my reply on this blog.

Public Speaking: Raise Your Fee And Give Away Your Products

Great Public Speaking

RAISE YOUR FEE AND GIVE AWAY YOUR PRODUCTS I started using this tip the moment my latest book came off the presses, but you can use any kind of product to make it work. Here's how it works. You always want to add extra value for the people hiring you as their speaker. Let's say you give the meeting organizer 100 books or audio tapes when he or she hires you to speak.The products can be given away to the audience members, or sold at the event to help defray the cost of your appearance.

A line I don't want to hear in today's speech by President Obama

Max Atkinson

If there’s one thing that irks me about speeches by American presidents, it’s their tendency to overstate the case for their country being the first, finest or only example of freedom and democracy in the world.

Myth Busting on Public Speaking

Speaking Success International

I am going to start the year myth busting about speaking in public. This is for experienced and beginner speakers alike. Coaches and service providers just don’t understand how easy it is to talk to a group of people… I am asked everyday if it is possible to become a speaker, to get paid, to find audiences, to get bookings… and so on. Let me bust some myths for you that you yourself might be having that could be holding you back unnecessarily from speaking in public.

Ten Things to Look Our For in Barack Obama's Inauguration Address

The Speechwriter

1) A prominent mention of Abraham Lincoln. It's the 200th anniversary of the birth of Lincoln this year. In many ways the election of Obama is the ultimate fulfilment of Lincoln's campaign to free the slaves. 2) Brevity. The speech

The enduring challenge and importance of funeral orations

Max Atkinson

Unlike many commentators, I haven’t had much time to try my hand at second guessing what Barack Obama might say in his inaugural address tomorrow. This is because I’ve been involved in the sad business of preparing for the funeral of the 27-year old daughter of some friends of ours, who died in sudden and tragic circumstances.