Be a Confident Speaker: Recorded Interview

confident catGrab a cup of coffee, sit back and learn my top tips for being a confident speaker!

Last week, Regina Barr, Founder of Women at the Top, interviewed me as part of her “Author Interview” series on how to be a confident speaker, based on my book, 12 Ways to Be a Confident Speaker.

Here are the questions I answer in the interview:

1. What’s the number one thing you can do to be a more confident speaker? And, how do you that?  

2. What are some ways we can reduce our fear of facing an audience? 

3. How can we speak with confidence as an expert? 

4. What’s your advice for reducing our dependence on notes? 

5. What are some tips for how we can sound more conversational?

6. What are some guidelines for practicing and rehearsing?

7. What on earth should we be doing with our hands?!

8.  If you could offer one piece of advice or one tip that people can apply right now that would help them be a more confident speaker, what would it be?

Listen to the 45 minute recording here.

PowerPoint on iPhone or iPad: Practice and Present


If you have an iPhone or an iPad and you do PowerPoint presentations, you will want to get the free SlideShark app. I’ve used it on my iPad to do one-on-one presentations and I’ve also used it on my phone to practice presentations.  You can also broadcast your presentation to the web and connect your iPad to a projector, which I haven’t done.

It works like this:

1. Open a free SlideShark account at

2. Upload a PowerPoint presentation file

3. Download the SlideShark app to your device and log-in to your account.

4. Download your PowerPoint to your device.

5. Share your PowerPoint! (or just practice it).

What I have found to be most valuable is that I can practice my PowerPoint presentation without lugging my laptop around.  This weekend, I arrived at a meeting 2 hours too early and had some time to kill.  Fortunately, I had a presentation on my SlideShark app on my phone (for a presentation I’m doing this week) and used that time to practice my presentation.

Check out SlideShark!


Is Communication Really 93% Non-Verbal?

Have you heard these statistics?:  “Effective communication is only 7 percent verbal and 93 percent non-verbal (the non-verbal is 55 percent body language and 38 percent tone of voice).

They are often accompanied by a PowerPoint pie chart:


Maybe you have even quoted those statistics.

I’ve heard so many speakers quote those numbers (including a highly paid professional speaker just last month) that I almost took them for granted, until I was considering quoting them in a presentation a few years ago.  And then, I thought, that doesn’t make sense!  Words are only 7 percent?

 “There are three kinds of lies:  lies, damned lies, and statistics.” –popularized by Mark Twain

It turns out that the statistics are based on studies UCLA Professor Albert Mehrabian and his colleagues conducted on human communication patterns.  The studies had nothing to do with giving speeches, but were based on information that could be conveyed in a single word.  In one study, a woman said the word “maybe” three different ways to convey liking, neutrality and disliking.  The subjects listened to the recording and were also shown pictures of the woman’s face conveying the same emotions.  They correctly identified the emotions 50 percent more often from the photos than from the voice.  The big take away from his studies was that when words and non-verbal messages are in conflict, the non-verbal is what people believe more.  Men, especially should take note of this.  Men, When you ask your wife, “How are you?” and she answers, “Fine!” with her eyes flashing, her mouth a thin slit and her tone not-so-pleasant, which do you believe more, the verbal or the non-verbal?

Here’s a short, engaging video “Busting the Mehrabian Myth”  that debunks the myth:

I do think the video goes too far when it states “It’s just not true that delivery can make or break a presentation.”  I absolutely disagree with that statement.  I’ve seen far too many presenters fail in delivery of their message.  Delivery is important, but it’s not 93% of effective communication!

As a presentation coach, my first focus when working with a client on a new presentation is never about body language and tone of voice.  It is about the structure of the presentation and the words used.  Structure first.  Words second. Delivery third.  How you say something is important, but not more important than what you say.