Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The blog's top 10 public speaking posts and top 10 famous speeches of 2012

As we draw near to the end of 2012, take a look at what you--and other readers--sought the most on The Eloquent Woman this year. I've indulged in two year-end lists here: One for the practical speaking tips featured on the blog, and another list of our most popular entries in the Famous Speech Friday series, so you can see who's inspiring our readers. Without further ado, here are your favorite posts of the year:
  1. 7 secret advantages of the speaker who practices: This would gladden the heart of any speaker coach, but I'm betting this post is so popular--its traffic exceeds the total traffic of this list--because you're reminding yourself you need to practice. And I can hardly say otherwise.
  2. Launching the new Eloquent Woman Index of famous women's speeches: We launched the index of our Famous Speech Friday posts almost a year ago, and the idea caught on right away, thanks to you. I'm so glad to see this resource high on the list.
  3. 7 secret advantages of the speaker who allows extra time: Do not, repeat, do not fill the time allotted--otherwise, you'll miss out on these bonuses. And that goes no matter what the organizer tells you.
  4. 8 things I wish more speakers would post on Twitter: Not so much during, but before and after, I've got a wish list for you and that backchannel. Use it wisely, not too well.
  5. Use the Coco Chanel method to gauge what's too much in your presentation: It's the antidote to overdoing it when you speak or present, a rule of thumb I use all the time on my own presos. Best of all, it's easy to remember.
  6. 6 things extroverted speakers can do for introverts: If you get all your energy from the audience, here's how to make sure the introverts--who get their energy when they're alone--still get to enjoy your talk. This one had a large if quiet following.
  7. The growing Twitter buzz about conferences with few (or no) women speakers: In which I started keeping track of tweets from audience members about conferences with scarce numbers of women speakers. People are paying attention, and I'm keeping the evidence in a public online notebook.
  8. Instead of wincing, 8 things to look for on that video of your speech: It's the checklist I shared with the speakers I coached at TEDMED, and you can use it, too. Makes it much easier to watch that video, I promise.
  9. "How do I correct the unconscious moves that I make when I speak?" 4 tactics: This comes up all the time in training sessions, and it's one of the reasons to watch yourself on video. A useful post.
  10. Sharpen your Skype, conference call and Hangout speaking skills: 8 tools: Speakers need all the help they can get with technology, the place where most of us do our day-to-day public speaking--and these new tools were a popular read this year.
On the Famous Speech Friday front, speakers historic and contemporary crowded the most-read list this year. Here's your top 10:
  1. Evita Peron's 1951 Renunciamento: The post has video of this moving and historic speech. If you've only seen the musical version, watch and learn from the original here. It's the speech where she declined the people's wish for her to take the vice presidency of the nation.
  2. Amelia Earhart's "A Woman's Place in Science:" The historic aviator was eager to encourage women to explore the sciences and this speech shares that view. She saw women not just as air passengers, but engineers and plant workers, and we've got audio of this radio address.
  3. Emmeline Pankhurst: "Freedom or Death:" The fearless British suffragette gave this powerful speech in the U.S., where she was raising money and avoiding a jail cell. We don't often see speakers of her bravery.
  4. Aung San Suu Kyi's "Freedom from Fear" speech: Not her late Nobel acceptance speech, also given this year, this is the speech most often quoted while she was held under house arrest and forbidden from making public speaking appearances. An unusual take on the emotions of the oppressor and the oppressed, it is strong, poetic and inspiring.
  5. Jackie Kennedy's 1962 televised tour of the White House: A groundbreaking presentation on many fronts from the 32-year-old First Lady. The results beat her husband the president's ratings on television, among other records, and the post tells you how she pulled it off.
  6. Severn Suzuki's 1992 UN Earth Summit speech: 20 years ago, "the girl who silenced the world for five minutes" schooled her elders on why they need to take care of the planet, and began a public speaking career. She's a reminder that you need not be an experienced speaker to have an impact.
  7. Diana Nyad on dreams, determination and defeat: The pro swimmer spoke after failing to swim between Cuba and Florida at age 60, and turned it into a inspirational talk about how you're going to spend your life. Magical, and one I'm glad I saw in person.
  8. Viola Davis: "What keeps me in the business is hope:" Actors hate public speaking, but Viola Davis should do it more often. She turned this award acceptance into an astonishing, riveting speech about opportunity, discrimination, and persistence.
  9. Julia Gillard calls Australia's opposition leader 'misogynist:' 2012's most blistering bit of rhetoric, and one that changed the definition of misogyny in at least one dictionary, this speech is a refreshing must-watch. The outing of her opponent's psychological projection is just one of the many smart things about this speech.
  10. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on ANZAC Day: The Aussie PM hits the list twice, this time on a solemn occasion in Australia in a different kind of challenging speaking situation: at dawn on a cold day, with a military theme, on a day that marks a national heartbreak.
Stay tuned for early 2013, when we expect to reach 100 speeches in The Eloquent Woman Index! I appreciate your attention, readership, tips, ideas and contributions this year, and wish you a wonderful new year ahead.

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