• Mar 06
    2017
    In a blog post last November, I advised you to stand while giving a presentation, even if you’re expected to be seated at a table with your audience. My reason for this advice is that standing makes your presentation into an event, and it also infuses it with energy and excitement. But there may be times when it would seem out of line for you to stand. Often, you find ...
  • Feb 20
    2017
    The concept of executive presence has lately captured the imagination of the business press. When I did a Google search on the term, it came back with more than two million hits. This article in Business Insider (the first hit from my Google search) suggests that the seven aspects of executive presence all begin with “c”: composure, connection, charisma, confidence, credibility, clarity, and conciseness. This may be a tour de ...
  • Feb 08
    2017
    “I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.” Dave Barry (1947- ) The American humor columnist, Dave Barry, makes a good point. “Know-it-alls” aren’t terribly popular. Here are some tips for not sounding overbearing to your audience: Don’t argue small points. Acknowledge that some ...
  • Feb 08
    2017
    Most of us have forgotten about our resolutions we made for ourselves when the ball dropped. So, let’s start fresh and resolve to be a better communicator, learning from 2016’s mistakes. The year 2016 was a big year for communication failures. They were many, varied, and costly. Here are my top four New Year’s Resolutions for better communication (hey—better late than never and these could really save you and your ...
  • Nov 17
    2016
    I don’t know about you, but I’m glad the election is over. It had its low points, and it had its high points, but taken as a whole, I think it was unique in the annals of American public speaking. For most of us, it was exhausting just to watch it. Simply in terms of communication, without considering the issues, it was the toughest, most bizarre presidential election I have ...
  • Nov 02
    2016
    I am old enough to remember when the world was a lot more formal. You would put on a suit to go to work. If you were a man, you wore a necktie. But can you blame people for not wanting to dress that way for work anymore? After all, one of the world’s most successful business professionals goes to work in T-shirts. There is probably a lot more influencing ...
  • Oct 25
    2016
    Historic though they might have been, the second and third presidential debates were surprisingly unpersuasive. If Hillary Clinton is leading Donald Trump in the polls, it is probably less due to her persuasiveness than to his recurring and deepening scandals. But I’m not here to write about politics. I want to look at the quality of the communication in the third debate — specifically, how the candidates handled evidence. Any ...
  • Oct 14
    2016
    In August, I asked you to vote for the best of six speakers at the Republican and Democratic conventions. You chose Michelle Obama by a wide margin. Here’s what I said when I reported on your votes: [Michelle Obama] is easily the most genuine of the six principal speakers. Her message was dramatic, heartfelt, and perfectly in tune with her voice and body language. It was also intensely personal, even ...