Posts in Inspiration
185: MMM - On Making the Point of Your Talk Crystal Clear

Articulating clearly the point of your talk is one of the most difficult areas for speakers to master. It is not uncommon to start your talk and pretty soon you have five talks within one actual talk! Sometimes the idea we are trying to articulate is complicated – our job is to make it easy for our audience. Keeping the audience in mind when narrowing the point of your talk is essential.

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184: Tony Loyd – On Becoming a Thought Leader

Tony Loyd – raido host, author, speaker and thought leader! – moves the world with his unique perspective on how to do well and do good at the same time. Like many of us may have felt at some point in our lives, Tony needed a change in his life. He decided to take the leap to go do what his heart was longing for – mentor others on how to live a life where profit and purpose are intertwined.

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183: MMM – On Finding Your Cheerleaders

One of my speakers, Josh, had texted me before a big talk he was giving in Germany. He stated in this conversation that he was nervous and requested that I send him some good vibes!

I told him to just have some fun! Joy is contagious and most people forget to bring joy to their talks even if it is about something serious. He proceeded to tell me that he was still nervous so I reassured him. I said, “Stick to what you do best. Trust in that, find a receptive face in the audience to connect with.”

So many times I have felt like I am not getting anywhere with my audience, I am not making that connection. Then to my surprise, an audience member will approach me afterwards and tell me something positive.

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181: Olivia Mitchell: On Getting Over the Fear of Disapproval

Olivia Mitchell – Presentation Trainer, Speaker, Introvert – aims to redefine the expectations of speaking. Living in New Zealand, Olivia uses her professional presenting skills to speak up about what she is passionate about.

Addressing real-world needs, Olivia sets out to use her voice to make a difference while helping others do the same. All of this – as an introvert. Olivia dedicates her craft to develop ways in which other introverts, like herself, can be just as confident and effective public speakers. She lives by the notion that anyone can speak with confidence despite the obstacles.

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179: MMM – On Repeating Our Content Without Being a Fake

Chuck Schumer’s repetition of his stump graduation speech was caught on tape… many, many times!… and put together, in one hilarious montage on John Oliver’s show Last Week Tonight. (ps, I love this show – so smart and so funny)
When I saw this video… I laughed, and then I cringed…


Because it lifts the curtain on something people probably understand that speakers do… and yet, they don’t want to see it. Nobody does! Here’s how I felt: that whatever connection Chuck Schumer might have created in those speaking moments was now a joke. Because you realize that it’s not really … REAL. As real as Chuck may have felt about it, and as real as his audience might have thought it was.

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173: Matt Abrahams - On Speaking Up Without Freaking Out

Matt Abrahams is a passionate, collaborative and innovative educator, author, and coach. He is a lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business where he teaches two very popular classes in Strategic Communication and Effective Virtual Presenting. Additionally, Matt is a professor of communication at De Anza College and an adjunct faculty member for Stanford University’s Continuing Education Program. Also, Matt coaches entrepreneurs from around the world on pitching their ideas as part of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business’s Ignite Program.

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160: Taylor Croonquist - On the Nuts and Bolts of Presenting Online

Taylor Croonquist - Co-Founder of Nuts and Bolts Speed Training, a PowerPoint training website and "oooh" and "aaaaah" creator - joined me on the show to talk about presenting online. Taylor is a "hack trickery" kind of guy - always finding ways to short-cut and 'break' what's not working well enough and find a way to do it better. And he and his wife Camille - along with the awesome P-Spice from Spicy Presentations - have created an online hub with over a hundred  YouTube videos and online courses about ways to make PowerPoint work better for you, and faster.

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Top 5 This Moved Me Episodes of 2017

It's nearly 2018 - and as is the standard at this time of year, 2017 wouldn't be complete without a summary post with some kind of top 10 (ok, let's just do top 5) list on it. I sometimes rail against top 10 lists! But (I have to admit) I kind of like them. They offer quick insight and give us a chance to step back and review some of the big moments of the year. (They are NOT great coaching tools; but they're great summary tools!)

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Presentation Gifts to Fuel Your Creativity and Content

On the 12th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…Presentation Gifts!

It's T-12 Days (ok, it's 10... ) until Christmas, and if you're anything like me, this is a great time to take stock of the past year, and think about the year ahead.

And this past year, I've come across some amazing creativity and every-day tools that have helped me fuel my content and delivery. So, if you're looking for something to give a speaker (and hey, maybe you want to just forward this to a friend of loved one? - I know, super subtle!), or even if you want to gift yourself (you deserve it)...

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Josh Shipp: How to Challenge Your Audience (Without Being a Jerk)

Today’s post is from a speaker I worked with: Josh Shipp. Josh is an excellent speaker for kids and parents who has been highlighted on Oprah, CNN, Lifetime – and many other places. It was an honor to help him prep for his TEDx talk – AND – he brings to us today some insight into the process of bringing your voice to the stage in a way that both challenges your audience, and brings them along with you.  

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157: Stephy Lewis: On the Good, Bad and Ugly of Presentation Design

Stephy Lewis [check out her amazing website!], presentation designer from the Presentation Guild – and my new pal from the Presentation Summit – got a chance to catch up and talk the good, bad and ugly about presentation design and development.

Even though Stephy was dragged kicking and screaming from the field of design into the field of *presentation* design, she has discovered the depth, complexity and artistry of the profession – part of the reason why she's so passionate about her role at the Presentation Guild!

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156: MMM - Top 5 Takeaways from the Presentation Summit 2017

Ah, the Presentation Summit!

I've had the most exciting September… last week I shared about the top 10 essential speaking lessons from the STORY Gathering in Nashville – and I went straight from Nashville to Tampa. I was met with gorgeous beaches and weather. Not bad for a work trip. 

But here's the deal: I wasn't sure I was going to like this conference.

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This public speaking app misses the point of speaking:

In the last week, a new public speaking app has been making big waves in all the big mags – and some people are really jazzed about it. These dudes are doing some killer PR!

It's called Orai, and… it's trying to take my job from me.

And I’m not gonna lie – my initial reaction was strong:

But!! BUT!!! Coaching requires intuition, relationship, a bird’s eye view of the entire experience – not just the words coming out of someone’s mouth. What about their BODIES?! What about what’s happening in the room? What’s happening in their brain?!?! ACCCCKKKKKK!! 

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