Tag Archives: audience

“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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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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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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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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A giant leap forward in your public speaking

There is a lot to learn about public speaking. The fact that I have been writing this blog for 10 years is testament to that. And no matter how much you learn, no matter how good you become, you will … Continue reading

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Sawubona: See your audience

I recently wrote a post for Presentation Guru on the importance of “seeing” your audience.  It was based on the Zulu word sawubona. Zulu, or isiZulu, is one of South Africa’s official languages and is spoken by approximately 10 million people. Sawubona means, “I see … Continue reading

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12 ways to piss off your audience

Why make an effort for your audience when you can just piss them off? Too difficult, you say? Not at all! There are so many things you can do to anger, frustrate and confuse an audience. If you’re struggling for … Continue reading

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Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 273) – Jim Harvey

“If you don’t understand what the audience wants, you can’t be relevant. If you can’t be relevant, you won’t be interesting. If you aren’t interesting, you won’t be heard. If you’re not heard, you’ll be forgotten. If you’re forgotten, you’re … Continue reading

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Don’t blow it with your audience

Last week I attended the graduation ceremony for the class of a business school where I teach. The graduates had taken their seats, the audience was settled in, the three-piece orchestra had just finished the last of its pieces. Everything … Continue reading

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What if we put the audience first?

What if we stopped … … thinking of people as just number filling seats? … focusing on how we look, where we’re putting our hands, whether people will like us? … wondering whether this speaking engagement will lead to a … Continue reading

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David Blaine and the magic of a preposition

David Blaine is my favourite magician. I first saw him on television years ago doing tricks for people on the street. Since then, Blaine’s career has morphed into performing such death-defying feats as shooting himself in the mouth or holding … Continue reading

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The life-changing magic of tidying up your presentations

As I write this post, my wife and I are approximately three weeks into a massive effort to tidy up our home. This is no ordinary, annual clean-up; this is a methodical full-on assault to go through all of our … Continue reading

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