2013 February

It Gives Me Pause

One of the biggest rookie mistakes when on stage in front of an audience is rushing. Even if you enunciate clearly, if you talk too fast the audience won’t follow you. It is not only appropriate to build silence into your presentations, it’s necessary if you want the audience to assimilate what you’re sharing with […]

Free Opener for This Week

This week’s free opener is another short drama sketch. This time it’s set in a gym as Vince and Scott finish up their workout. The point is that any attempt to feel good about ourselves through outward appearances is not only futile, but doomed to failure. Recently a reviewer of one of my books on […]

Speak Clearly

Professional speech coaches call what I’m about to share enunciation. It’s the technical term for speak clearly. One of the casualties of our abbreviated culture (let’s keep it to 140 characters or less) is clarity. We’ve learned to talk in a shorthand that is sometimes difficult to understand. So, too, with speaking. In conversation we […]

No Excuses

We’ve all heard speakers, even professional speakers, who make excuses. Everything from my flight was delayed to I didn’t sleep well last night. My first thought when I hear this is, ‘You know your presentation sucks and you’re giving me an excuse in advance so I’ll go easy on you.’ Now that might not be […]

Come Into the Light

Another of my pet peeves when it comes to public speaking has to do with what I call stage sense. I have a background in drama and I know not everyone who speaks in front of an audience has been on stage as an actor. That’s why it’s important to talk a bit about stagecraft […]

Move with Purpose

There’s a huge difference between a cheetah in a cage and a cheetah in the wild. The cheetah is one of my most favorite animals to see when I go on safari. No matter how many times I see them it never gets old. Once our group had the thrill of watching a cheetah on […]

Here’s This Week’s Free Opener (and a Lesson)

Up until now the openers I’ve been publishing on Amazon and offering here have been short drama sketches. They’re easy to produce, quick and effective in engaging an audience. This week’s free opener is completely different. This opener is an activity that is designed to get an audience involved in small group conversation following an […]

Put Your Hands Where I Can See ‘Em

In old westerns and cop shows someone is invariably told to ‘put your hands where I can see ’em’. The reason for this is that when you can’t see someone’s hands you can’t be sure what they’re up to. When you’re a police officer this is vitally important. You don’t want hands that suddenly appear […]

The Eyes Have It

Over the years a lot of bad advice has been given to help people get over their fear of public speaking. One particularly bad piece of advice that I’ve actually heard and, worse yet, seen practiced is to pick a spot above your audience and focus there as you speak. Ostensibly this advice is given […]


This tip is at the same time the easiest and most difficult thing to do. Smile. There is something engaging about a smile. It draws people in. It lowers defenses. Think about it, when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation with another person one of the quickest ways to diffuse tension is to flash […]