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…

My chat with Bill Clinton about Public Speaking

Bill Clinton talked about public speaking mistakes Al Gore made during the 2000 election when I spoke to him at the Global Business Forum in Feb 2006. Victorian Premier Steve Bracks introduced him as the World’s Greatest Communicator, and his speech on the day was compelling, but I was more interested in asking him questions about speaking style. In particular, More…

Drugs for public speaking fear: Should I take Beta Blockers?

Beta blockers are a class of drugs for anxiety that block the action of adrenaline in the body. Therefore the physical symptoms of the stress response are reduced. I’m often asked if they should they used for public speaking fear? Firstly, beta blockers are not officially drugs for anxiety, but cardiac medications. However, by reducing some of the More…

Public Speaking Anxiety Evaporates with Clarity

Public Speaking anxiety is directly linked to the amount of uncertainty we feel. The key is dealing with the cause speaking anxiety (uncertainty), not the symptoms (anxiety)!    Why do we feel public speaking anxiety? The symptoms of speaking anxiety can take many forms – feeling sick, a shaky voice, sleepless nights, dry mouth – but they all More…

Public Speaking Anxiety: Choose fear or fun

Public speaking anxiety can be dissolved. You can CHOOSE the way adrenaline affects you when public speaking.   Could public speaking anxiety be fun? Psychologist Stanley Schacter has conducted experiments on the way people label the physical symptoms of anxiety. Using many inputs, including a drug similar to adrenaline, he set up two different scenarios. More…

‘We can face the confidence with future’: A media lesson from Julia Gillard

Slips of the tongue happen all the time. They’re not a problem. What matters is how we handle them. When speaking in public (or televised from Parliament), the best way to handle them is to pause, smile, and correct yourself. A minor blip. The worst way to handle them is to ‘power on’ and pretend it More…

$100 million habit: Janine Allis keeps it simple and solves problems

I’m a fan of Janine Allis. A recent article in The Age outlines her story and secret to success with Boost Juice (250 stores, $130 million turnover). In a nutshell: ”What I’m good at is solving problems and keeping things simple.” One of the great things about Janine’s story is that her formal qualifications from Knox Tech (which she More…

Julia Gillard ‘Robotic and rehearsed’

An interesting article in The Age newspaper about Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s speeches and public speaking which echos what I’ve been saying for some time. While message management and media management are important skills for those in the public eye, you need to throw us some scraps of authentic and natural. The key skill is More…

The lost art of the Speech Outline

When preparing for important communication, most people miss the crucial step – the speech outline. They start thinking about what their speech, document or PowerPoint slides should look like and try to sort their thoughts from there. But the most valuable thing you can do to prepare is create an outline. A speech outline… A More…

Steve Jobs: Chunk Structure helps engage Stanford audience

What is the value of speech structure? On June 12, 2005, Steve Jobs spoke to 23,000 people at the Stanford University stadium. He received a standing ovation, but what made this event famous is that millions of people watched the speech on YouTube. The speech was later published in full in Fortune magazine. You can More…