• 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 ...
  • Oct 13
    2016
    I was not persuaded of anything while watching the second presidential debate, except perhaps that Hillary Clinton has a calm demeanor and excellent control of her temper. To me, the second debate looked like a fight between a parent and a child — one of those overgrown children who is capable of dominating the parent physically but has not yet graduated to personal violence. But violence doesn’t change minds. Neither ...
  • Oct 06
    2016
    Every year, from 1999 through 2005, the world watched cyclist Lance Armstrong win the Tour de France. But if you check the record now, you will find no winner listed for those years, each of which is simply marked with an asterisk. In 2012, Armstrong was stripped of his titles for using performance enhancing drugs. It took six years for cycling fans to learn Armstrong hadn’t won those races after ...
  • Sep 30
    2016
    According to David Gergen, writing for CNN, Hillary Clinton won the recent presidential debate with Donald Trump: By all traditional standards of debate, Mrs. Clinton crushed. She carefully marshaled her arguments and facts and then sent them into battle with a smile. She rolled out a long list of indictments against Donald Trump, often damaging. By contrast, he came in unprepared, had nothing fresh to say, and increasingly gave way ...
  • Sep 13
    2016
    Any sane person suffers from stage fright when they have to give a presentation to a live audience. It’s just not natural to get up on a platform and offer yourself and your ideas to the judgment of a group of strangers. But that’s also your first key to the technique for overcoming stage fright: make sure your audience is not a bunch of strangers. How do you do that? ...
  • Aug 29
    2016
    Not every audience is the same, and not every presentation will have the same impact. The key is to look at the building blocks of your presentation. Here are some tips: Use only 4-5 building blocks for a presentation Start with an attention-grabber tailored for your audience. Every presentation should start with why the audience should listen Not all building blocks are the same length; the shorter the better. Save ...
  • Aug 17
    2016
    Apple has trademarked the slogan, “there’s an app for that,” which is why I used the trademark symbol in the title of this post. But this post is not just a cheesy “there’s an app for that” joke. Communispond really does offer a smartphone app for practicing your presentation skills. “Practice makes perfect” is a cliché. But it is also true, with a reservation. That reservation is that if you’re ...