Author Archives: John Zimmer

About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer

Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 320) – Kurt Vonnegut

“You are whatever you pretend to be.“ — Kurt Vonnegut (For some great insights from Vonnegut that can help you become a better speaker, click here and here.)

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A lesson from a farmer’s field

Public speakers can learn a lesson from a farmers. Behind our home is a large farmer’s field. Over the years, I have seen that field grow wheat, corn, barley, sunflowers – which look amazing when they are in bloom – … Continue reading

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Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 319) – Nancy Duarte

“Research shows that people learn more effectively from multimedia messages when they’re stripped of extraneous words, graphics, animation and sounds.“ — Nancy Duarte

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A lesson from Dubrovnik

My wife, Julie and I recently went for a vacation in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik. Wonderful people, beautiful scenery, fascinating history. If you ever get the chance to visit, I highly recommend it. One day, we took a cable … Continue reading

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Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 318) – Ronald Reagan

“I learned [during my time as a radio broadcaster] the fundamental rule of public speaking. Whether on the radio, on television or to a live crowd, talk to your audience, not over their heads or through them. Just use normal … Continue reading

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Things that public speakers don’t need on stage

When you deliver a speech or presentation, there are several things you do not need to bring on stage: – Your cell phone – Coins in your pocket – Keys in your pocket – Anything that can jingle in your … Continue reading

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Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 317) – Richard Powers

“The best arguments in the world won’t change a person’s mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story.“ — Richard Powers Photo courtesy of www.richardpowers.net

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Lessons from Senegal – Part 2

Teranga. It is the word that best represents the values at the heart of society in Senegal. During my trip to Dakar, I experienced it on a daily basis. There is no direct translation of teranga in English. “Hospitality” comes close … Continue reading

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Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 316) – Seth Godin

“The idea of marketing is this: Do you have a story that’s worth telling? Are there people who need to hear it and who want to hear it? And is it true? That’s marketing.“ — Seth Godin

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Lessons from Senegal – Part 1

I recently had the privilege of traveling to Dakar, Senegal. There I worked with 30 officials from the United Nations (in French) to help them improve their public speaking and presentation skills. These men and women are doing important work … Continue reading

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Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 315) – Ernest Hemingway

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” — Ernest Hemingway

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Sketches from the Summer School of Rhetoric – Part 5

This is the fifth and final post in a series based on the sketches that graphic recorder Linda Saukko-Rauta made during my public speaking workshop in Hämeenlinna, Finland. I was speaking at the 2019 edition of the Summer School of Rhetoric. Today’s sketch … Continue reading

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