John delivered a keynote address about the importance of public speaking to 80 senior members of Gore’s Medical Device Europe team at an important sales event. He was informative, engaging and inspirational. Everyone was motivated to improve their public speaking skills. Following his keynote, John has led public speaking workshops for Gore in Barcelona and Munich. He is an outstanding speaker who thinks carefully about the needs of his audience well before he steps on stage.
TA Leader, Gore and Associates
I first got in touch with John while preparing to speak at TED Global about my work on ProtonMail. John helped me to sharpen the presentation and get on point faster, making the talk more focused and impactful. My speech was very well received, has since reached almost 1.8 million people and was successful in explaining a complex subject (email encryption) to a general audience.
CEO, Proton Technologies
John gave the opening keynote on the second day of our unit’s recent offsite in Geneva, addressing an audience of 100+ attendees with a wealth of tips and techniques to deliver powerful, memorable presentations. I applied some of these techniques the very next week in an internal presentation, and I’ve been asked to give that presentation again to senior management, which has NEVER happened before. John is one of the greatest speakers I know and I can recommend his services without reservation.
Senior Data Scientist, Expedia Group
After a morning of team building activities using improvisation as the conduit, John came on stage to close the staff event which was organised in Chamonix, France. His energy and presence were immediately felt by all the members of staff. The work put into the preparation of his speech was evident and by sharing some his own stories, he was able to conduct a closing inspirational speech which was relevant, powerful and impactful for all at IRU. The whole team left feeling engaged and motivated to tackle the 2019 objectives ahead. Thank you, John.
Umberto de Pretto
Secretary General, World Road Transport Organization
I was expecting a few speaking tips and tricks and a few fun exercises, but you went above and beyond – and sideways. You taught me to stand tall. You taught me to anchor myself. You taught me to breathe. You taught me to open up. You taught me to look people in the eye. You taught me to tell the truth. You taught me to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. I got more than I bargained for in the best possible way.
World Cancer Day Campaign Manager, Union for International Cancer Control
John gave a brilliant presentation on public speaking during the UN EMERGE programme in Geneva (a two days workshop on leadership development for a group of female staff members working in the UN organizations in Geneva). His talk was inspirational and practical, thanks to the many techniques and tips he shared with the audience. His teaching can dramatically change our public speaking performance and enable us as presenters to have a real and powerful impact. Thank you, John, for your great contribution!
HR Specialist, World Health Organization
John is a genuine communication innovator. His seminars on gamification of public speaking learning and his interactive Rhetoric game at our conference set the tone for change and improvement in our organisation. The quality of his input, the impact he made with his audience and his effortlessly engaging style made it easy to get on board with his core messages and won over some delegates who were extremely skeptical as to the efficacy of games for learning. I simply cannot recommend him highly enough.
National Education Director, Association of Speakers Clubs UK
John joined our Global Sales Meeting in Segovia, Spain and we all participated in his "Improv(e) your Work!" session. I say “all” because it really was all interactive, participatory, learning and enjoyable. The session surprised everybody and was a fresh-air activity that brought a lot of self-reflection and insights to improve trust and confidence in each other inside our team. It´s all about communication and a good manner of speaking!"
General Manager Europe, Hayward Industries
Thank you very much for the excellent presentation skills session. The feedback I received was very positive. Everyone enjoyed the good mix of listening to your speech, co-developing a concrete take-away and the personal learning experience. We all feel more devoted to the task ahead, more able to succeed and an elevated team spirit. Delivering this in a short time, both in session and in preparation, is outstanding!
CFO European Dairy Supply Chain & Operations, Danone
Thanks to John’s excellent workshop, I have learned many important tips and techniques to become an effective public speaker. John is a fantastic speaker and teacher, with extensive knowledge of the field. His workshop was a great experience and has proven extremely useful for me in my professional and personal life.
Senior Sales Manager, Sunrise Communications
John’s presentation skills training was a terrific investment of my time. I increased my skills in this important area and feel more comfortable when speaking to an audience. John provided the right mix between theory and practice.
Director of the Jura Region, BKW Energie AG
Be BOLD. Those two words got stuck in my head and in the heads of all those ADP leaders and associates that had the privilege to see John on stage. He was our keynote speaker at our annual convention in Barcelona, and his message still remains! John puts his heart in every word. Few speakers are so credible, humble and yet super strong with large audiences!
Senior Director and Talent Partner, ADP International
Could this rule depend on the language?
Interesting question, Gaby. I suspect that Seth would say no – the whole point is to keep the words on your slide to a minimum. Having said that, and though I agree wholeheartedly with his general principle, I do not see anything wrong with having slides with more than six words every now and then.
What about showing a quote, or a line from a book that is under discussion?
The problem with this kind of dogmatic rule is that it’s wrong.
Thanks for the comment, Joby. I am glad to have sparked a reaction. When I started the series of quotes, I decided to just offer the quotes without comment and let people decide for themselves whether they liked them. As I said, “The quotes might be serious; they might be humorous; they might be bizarre; but they will all have something to do with public speaking. Do you agree with them? Why or why not? Do you have any other insights? Share your thoughts!”
On this one, I agree with you that Seth Godin is being dogmatic. And I have written elsewhere what I think about such “rules”: http://wp.me/pwfa1-EC. However, I do agree with the principle that Seth is trying to promote; i.e., that people need to cut down – significantly – the number of words that they put on a slide. But will the sky fall down if you put 7 or 8 or 12 or 20 words on a slide every now and then? No.
I like your idea for a quote from a book. If you have any suggestions, do let me know.
On this one, I agree
I know this post is fairly old now, but all the same, thanks for encouraging debate about this quote John.
It’s more than 10 years since Seth proposed it. Yet just 10 days ago, authorSTREAM tweeted it, just as though 6 words is really all you need.
For my part, I just published a post about it, giving 2 examples where it really wouldn’t work:
That post also talks about likely reasons Seth made his 6-word rule so strict, and what still attracts people to it.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Craig, thanks very much for the comment and for bringing the issue to our attention. I very much enjoyed your post and have left you a more detailed comment there.
As for Seth, I know for a fact that he does not always adhere to his own rule. I have seen presentations where he gone past 6 words. In fact, I took a quick look on YouTube just now and here is the first video I checked: http://youtu.be/g-qZ1dYT_lc Note the slide that appears at 0:27. I count 11 words, almost double Seth’s own rule. But it is an effective slide. And, Seth’s overall message about not overloading your slides is advice worth taking.
The rule is not cast in concrete and stone. It is a guide I have used as it is, and broken at times. It teaches about summary and being concise. The few power point inscriptions (guide) can be explained orally to clarify issues when necessary.
I agree. In fact, if you watch some of Seth Godin’s talks on YouTube or elsewhere, you will see that he breaks his own “rule” many times over. I don’t necessarily agree with the quotes that I post and I know that others won’t either. (See the first quote that I posted for may explanation.) So I am glad when people challenge the wisdom of the quote.
Thanks for the comment.