Author Archives: John Zimmer

About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer

Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 322) – Thelonius Monk

“A genius is the one most like himself.” —  Thelonius Monk

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Pauses in a speech: Why, when and how

A STORY FROM SPAIN Pauses aren’t easy. I teach public speaking and presentation skills at a few Executive MBA Programmes in Switzerland and Spain. A few years ago, I was teaching a class at IESE in Barcelona. One of my … Continue reading

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Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 321) – Plato

“Rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men.” —  Plato Photo courtesy of Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

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“Duck and Cover” won’t help

In the years following World War 2, the threat of nuclear war hung over the world. As the United States and its allies faced the Soviet Union and its allies, a Third World War was a distinct possibility. Given the … Continue reading

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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

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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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