Monday, January 31, 2011

Our top 10 public speaking tips for January

Did you start 2011 by unlocking new secrets to improve your public speaking? Lots of readers focused on this month's posts with improved speaking in mind--maybe working those resolutions? I welcome new readers and hope you'll explore all this blog has to offer. Here are the posts you made most popular in the first month of 2011:
  1. Do you auto-apologize? Time to do a "sorry" audit zoomed to the top of this month's top 10 posts. It's a guest post by Michael Melcher, who thinks women apologize too much when they speak--and looks at how we use "sorry." So many people read this post that it's now fifth on the list of most-read posts ever on the blog--what does that tell you?
  2. Ruby Bridges: Walking out of a Norman Rockwell painting to teach kids about racism profiled the woman who integrated New Orleans schools when she was just a child--and today uses the Rockwell portrait of that time to introduce herself when she speaks. A December post that revved up in January.
  3. Famous Speech Fridays kicked off a new series with a post on Coretta Scott King's "10 Commandments on Vietnam" speech, delivered just weeks after her husband was assassinated. A reader suggested the series, and by the looks of it, you like it--it's our third most-read post this month.
  4. 5 things speakers should ask the meeting planner reminds you not to overlook this useful source of information before your next gig. Meeting planner Jennifer Collins shared her insider perspective in this well-read guest post, covering everything from the backdrops to your content.
  5. Ursula K. LeGuin's "left-handed commencement address" was another in the Famous Speech Fridays series. One speechwriter-reader wrote in: "This speech by Ursula LeGuin is dy-no-mite!! Very brave, isn't it? I wonder if women think the same of society speaking in the 'language of men' today as they might have back int he 80s. At any rate, I loved her speech, and thank you so much for brining to our attention." LeGuin has linked to this post on her website, I'm happy to report.
  6. Davos forum to set quota for women at meeting looked at a new gender diversity policy for the high-level, expensive-to-attend Switzerland gathering of the World Economic Forum. Not everyone agrees with the policy, but it underscores the continuing difficulty women have getting into and on the programs of significant conferences in all fields.
  7. How can I take my presentation style to the next level? looked at all the factors that will upgrade your presence and presenting--all skills covered in our "Good On Your Feet" workshops.
  8. Speakers, are you afraid of...success? was a popular guest post by Selena Rezvani, author of the NextGen Women's blog. She examines what she calls "our adult fear of being great." Do you do that?
  9. What should I do with my hands when I'm not gesturing? reminds us that eloquence doesn't just consist of pretty words. Feeling and looking at ease when you speak matters, too--and this tip will help you do that, plus speak more fluently.Just a reminder: The Step Up Your Speaking free monthly email newsletter comes out next week, so now's a great time to sign up. Check out the links below.
  10. Women's voices: Are you speaking too low? is a guest post from vocal coach Kate Peters that challenges notions about where to pitch your speaking voice. Turns out that in correcting a too-high voice, you may be harming your vocal chords by setting your speaking too low. A useful post!
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