The Power of the Pause in public speaking

I paused to speak with a friend this week, a legend in radio, who shared with me what Graham Kennedy believed was his secret to success in connecting with an audience. The pause. Now, some of you will be asking; ‘Who the hell is Graham Kennedy? He was a pioneer – an award-winning entertainer, movie More…

How to be persuasive when speaking

The origin of the word hints at how to be persuasive. The latin ‘persuasivus‘ is about being ‘convinced by reasoning’. So even though emotion plays an important part, our focus should be on a compelling argument and reasoning to back it up. You don’t need to employ manipulative tricks to be persuasive, the core skill More…

How to END a speech with power and impact

The universe has no end. Doesn’t that blow your mind a little? When you look up in the sky, it doesn’t end. Ever. Han Solo and Chewbacca could travel at light speed in the Millennium Falcon forever, and they’d never get to the ‘far reaches of the galaxy’, because it just keeps going on and More…

The best leadership speech: Are you ready to lead?

Last week a client aggressively urged me to watch ‘the best leadership speech ever’. He’s a pretty good leader himself, with a world class creative team of over 100 people. I watched it this weekend and it’s pretty good. The video is long – 50 minutes – but here’s what you get: A unique piece of public More…

4 ways to start a speech strongly

The most important thing when starting a speech or presentation is to make it clear to the audience where you are taking them. Think about a typical person in your audience. Their mind is full of to-do lists and daydreams; and you walk on stage. They’ve sat through boring presentations in the past and wonder More…

Persuasive Speaking – Admit a negative point

Persuasive speaking techniques can be very simple. And effortlessly make a business presentation more engaging. Everybody has made mistakes, failed to achieve goals and been disappointed. So when you admit a negative, it creates a powerful connection with an audience. It also provides instant credibility that sets up your persuasive point. Admitting a downside helps persuade people More…

Quick tip: Use memory hooks

Think of the listener’s mind as a smooth marble ball. When you speak, most ideas slide off. Your audience may be ‘aware’ of what you are saying, but the information is not sticking. Solution: personalise your examples by connecting with something already in the mind. This will act like a hook for your ideas. Memory hooks More…

Quick tip: Ask (rhetorical) questions of your audience

Why ask questions? (like this one). Because they provoke the mind of your listener. Asking questions during a presentation forces the audience to mentally participate. We use the term ‘rhetorical question’ to mean that you don’t expect a reply. Even though the audience doesn’t answer, their minds are more active when they hear the question format. What’s More…

The Daily Show: The power of Chunking

The July 28 episode of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart had author Peter Tomsen talking about his 900 page(!) book “The Wars of Afghanistan”. Throughout, he summarized his key points using elements of Chunk Theory – for example, the numbering of points before explaining them. In response to one question, he said “there are two More…

Get a method! Public speaking rules stop you thinking

There is a big focus on public speaking rules. The ‘Dos and Don’ts’ – a list of things you should always do to be successful. And a (typically long) list of thing you should never do. The core idea behind the Rules approach to public speaking is that by simply following the rules you will be a great More…