Thursday, April 28, 2011

April's top 10 public speaking tips and issues

I'm excited that spring has sprung in my neighborhood, and hope you're just as excited about your prospects as a speaker and presenter. April brought lots of fresh new ideas, tips and opportunities for readers of the blog. Here are your most-read choices this month:
  1. What can video do to help you get that speaking gig, a guest post from Sarah Milstein, shares the conference organizer's view on why it's important to submit video--and how to do it. Not at all surprised to see this top your choices from the blog this month!
  2. Do you over-explain? 5 speaker tricks for using data, details wisely just came out this week and is already a favorite. From slides to Q-and-A responses, here's your toolkit.
  3. Famous Speech Friday: Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?" looked at one of most-taught speeches in the American canon. Trouble is, we can't prove she said those words, which may have been added by later interpreters. A post that illustrates how poorly we've kept women's speeches or put words in their mouths over the years.
  4. Make a 'message house' to give your key points context shares a simple form you can use to build--and remember--your three key points. A useful post from last April!
  5. Davos forum to set quota for women at meeting appeared in January, just before the famous economic forum. Quotas don't get as much support here in the U.S., but this post remains popular months later.
  6. Tina Fey: Use improv skills, not apologies, to jump in shares secrets from her comedy studies about when and whether to jump in, and how to do it effectively.
  7. Famous Speech Friday: Helen Keller's "I am not dumb now" and "Strike Against War" appeared in February but is still moving readers. Includes rare film footage of Keller speaking, as well as her stirring anti-World War I speech.
  8. Using poetry in a speech to add color, connection shares two real-life examples--the president of St. Lawrence University and a spoken-word poet--and how they've incorporated poems in their speeches. A timely post for speakers during National Poetry Month.
  9. Panelists: Is that the way you look? gives you a glimpse of what the audience might be focusing on instead of your trenchant remarks. Worth reading before you sit down behind that skirted table. 
  10. Roger Ebert rethinks public speaking without a voice of his own shares one of the most moving speaking performances you'll ever see. Ebert, who lost his ability to speak after cancer surgery, uses an electronic voice as well as his wife and friends to read his words in this TED talk (video included). It's a moving, funny, tearful -- and thoughtful -- look at how we use our voices in public speaking and what it means to truly lose your voice.
This is a great week to sign up for the newsletter (links below). It'll be out next week focusing on a single speaking topic in-depth. Thanks for reading this month!

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