Free ebook for Summer Reading: 12 Ways to Be a Confident Speaker

Learn some public speaking skills this summer!  This week your free ebook is 12 Ways to Be a Confident Speaker.

Get your free Kindle version (US linkCanadian linkUK link)

It’s free on Kindle through Saturday, June 21, 2014.
You will learn how to:
–Speak with Passion
–Focus on the Audience
–Know Your Material
–Use Notes Sparingly
–Speak Conversationally
–Practice and Rehearse
–Stand and Move with Power and Purpose
–Smile
–Talk from Your Belly Button
–Pace with Pauses
–Eliminate Filler Words
–Prevent Speech Disasters 

A paperback version is available for sale on Amazon also.

Free ebook for Summer Reading: Public Speaking Lessons from TED Talks

Learn some public speaking skills this summer!  This week and next, I am giving you free ebooks on public speaking (next week is “12 Ways to Be a Confident Speaker”).

Get your free Kindle version (US linkCanadian linkUK link of the short e-book,

Public Speaking Lessons
from TED Talks:

The Good and the Bad
from the 10 Most-Viewed
TED Talks

It’s free on Kindle through Saturday, June 14, 2014.
In the book, I analyze 10 of the most-watched TED Talks.  Here is the “Big Take Away” from each of the TED Talks–learn more in the book!

#10—Use “you” language and bring your audience into a scene. (The Puzzle of Motivation, Dan Pink)

#9—A unique idea, well-described or demonstrated, will captivate an audience.  (The SixthSense Interaction, Patti Maes)

#8—If you have fascinating visuals, you can let them be the star. (Underwater Astonishments, David Gallo)

#7— Fake it till you become it! (Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are, Amy Cuddy)

#6— Content trumps delivery.  What you say (or show) is important. (The Thrilling Potential of SixthSense, Pranav Mistry)

#5—Telling 3 stories can make a great speech. (How to Live Before You Die, Steve Jobs)

#4— Turn a tragedy into insight for yourself and for others. (My Stroke of Insight, Jill Bolte Taylor)

#3—Be real. Be vulnerable. Connect. (The Power of Vulnerability, Brenè Brown)

#2—Start with why. (How Great Leaders Inspire Action–Simon Sinek)

#1—Start with humor.  End with heart. (How Schools Kill Creativity, Ken Robinson)

Click here for the KINDLE VERSION Free until Saturday (US linkCanadian linkUK link)

Virtual Communication Skills–Bridging the Digital Divide (Video)

Virtual communication, communication using technology to communicate across continents, cultures, languages and time-zones, is quickly becoming the norm.  

You can discover practical methods for collaborating and presenting virtually in the video below (34 min, presentation given at a conference at the University of Copenhagen last month–don’t worry, only my speaker introduction is in Danish).

Ready. Set. Go!

Ready: Plan for success

Set: Create captivating content to hook your audience and lure them in

Go: Deliver to engage a distracted audience 

Content vs. Delivery: Which is More Important?

Bike Riding in Copenhagen

Bike riding in Copenhagen, where I spoke at a conference, and reflected on “content vs. delivery”

Some people say, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it,” regarding the relative importance of content vs. delivery in a presentation.

Is delivery more important than content?

My most recent experience as a presenter at a conference at the University of Copenhagen on Virtual Communication (the conference title was “You Lost Me @ Hello”), caused me to reflect on that question.

Have you ever attended a presentation given in a foreign language?  If you don’t understand the language, all you have to go on is the delivery:  the presenter’s tone of voice, body language, facial expressions, use of visuals (which may help with the content) and the audience’s reaction.

In Denmark, almost everyone speaks fluent English, but their native language is Danish, and with the exception of my presentation (Virtual Communication: Bridging the Digital Divide), a couple of presenters’ PowerPoint slides and the Question and Answer session, the entire conference was in Danish.

Although there was a person assigned to interpret some of the content for me, most of the time I  sat quietly trying to guess what the speakers were talking about and observing their delivery styles.

It was a wonderful exercise in interpreting non-verbal communication!  Here are some of my observations, mostly on delivery:

1.  Text-heavy slides (with few pictures) are even more boring in another language!

2. Video, even in another language, is still quite interesting.

3. A smiling presenter, who is enjoying giving the presentation, engages the audience’s attention.

4. Movement–changing visuals, facial expressions, body language–engages the audience’s attention.

5. A modulated voice (tones going up and down, changing pace) is much more pleasant to listen to than a monotone voice.

6. The audience’s knowledge of the topic plus the presenter’s clear and relevant visuals enhance content understanding.  Always consider the audience’s level of knowledge! I was the last of 7 speakers.  Two speakers spoke from an industry perspective and four presented research (my topic was focused on how to be more engaging in virtual communication).  I was somewhat familiar with the research, which helped me at least understand many of the visuals.  By the time the fourth person presented research, I was catching on to a bit more content.

7. Audience laughter encourages attention.  A few times I drifted off, but when the audience chuckled, it pulled me back and I asked the interpreter what was funny.

Without knowing the language, much of the content was inaccessible to me.  The most engaging delivery won’t overcome a big content problem.

Delivery matters, but it is secondary to content.

It’s not just how you say it.  What you say (and what people understand) is important!