Archive | Presentation Skills

Why Reading and Writing, but not Speaking and Listening?

For most of us, reading and writing were part and parcel of our elementary curriculum. We were diligently taught how letters made sounds, sounds made syllables, syllables made words, and words made phrases and sentences. We were taught to process what we read, to read for information and the subtleties that were “between the lines.” […]

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Kate Middleton’s First Speech: Simple, Sound and Safe

There is no doubt that Kate Middleton projects poise, prestige, and presence. As an international spokesperson, she needs to present authentically and with political savvy. This first speech was self-written and less than four minutes. She did little “wrong,” but from a coaching point of view, I see an opportunity for her to improve. First […]

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The Science of Public Speaking

One of my business’s taglines is “the art and science” of presentation excellence. Recently someone challenged the “science” aspect. Thinking “performance”, “stage presence”, “microphones”, “PowerPoint”, they felt speaking was more the “art.” But speaking is a complex neuromuscular activity (I learned that in Speech 101 many years ago) . Our thoughts are transformed into energy […]

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The Counterproductivity of Counting Uhs and Ums

I recently attended a well-known public speaking organization, Toastmasters, to learn more about their structure and strategy in  developing speakers. While I appreciated their focus on strong organization, the building of vocabulary and the pursuit of grammatical accuracy, I found the  practice of counting  “ums” rather counterproductive. Telling a speaker they have 7 ums and […]

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