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4 Skills We Can Learn From Obama’s Speech

4 Skills We Can Learn From Obama’s Speech

Speech Analysis
On January 11th, president Obama addressed a congregation in Tucson Arizona in the wake of the tragic shootings. He took on several roles: National eulogist, President, mourner, and human being. He spoke for approximately 34 minutes, and his speech built momentum starting with formal praise of each shooting victim, and ending with a very heartfelt and uplifting message. Setting the tone In the first few minutes Obama sets the tone for the speech by saying, “the hopes of a nation are here tonight, we mourn for the fallen. We join you in your grief. We hope that the victims of this tragedy will pull through.” Then he moves into story form recounting the events of that morning. “Sunday morning, Gabby, her staff, and her constituents gathered outside to protest…” Skill…
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3 Easy Ways to Calm the Nerves before a Presentation

3 Easy Ways to Calm the Nerves before a Presentation

Delivery
We’ve all have the jitters right before we speak, and if they are uncontrolled, they can really make a mess of things inside our heads. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to ease any last-minute nerves that might pop-up and demand your attention. Here are some that work best for me. Arrive early and speak to people I try to arrive early so I have a chance to speak with some of the people in the audience. When we’re caught up in our fears, we tend to forget that our audience has fears too. Talking to people reminds me that they are human as well, and if they were in my position, they probably would be more terrified! Scott Berkun, in his book, Confessions of a Public…
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Best Public Speaking Gestures

Best Public Speaking Gestures

Delivery
Chances are, if you are on this site you are familiar with public speaking gurus like Dr. Wayne Dyer or someone like Mark Victor Hansen. These folks are using the best gestures without even knowing it. Importance of non-verbal communication: It is interesting to consider the work of Albert Mehrabian, who has become known for his publications and findings on the importance of verbal and non-verbal communication. Albert Mehrabian has come up with what is known as the 7%-38%-55% rule. This rule states that our words account for 7%, tone of voice accounts for 38%, and our body language accounts for 55% of our total communication. So, it is one thing to master the verbal content and structure of your lecture or presentation, but if body language makes up 55%…
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3 Presentation Skills You Can Practice Any Time

3 Presentation Skills You Can Practice Any Time

Making Money
According to a recent study from the book Resonate, 86% of business executives agreed that improved presentation skills would directly impact their career and income level. The trouble is that only 25% of executives practice more than two hours for high-stakes presentations. The business world tends to downplay the importance of public speaking practice, and most think that natural talent is the only factor that separates the good presenters from the mediocre. Since you probably don’t have a willing public audience ready to watch you practice every day, here are some skills you can practice as you go about your day. Talk slower Unless you’re James Earl Jones or Morgan Freeman, you can probably speak slower. Practice slowing down your words and over-pronouncing each syllable ever so slightly. You’ll be…
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Send me your video and get free public speaking feedback

Send me your video and get free public speaking feedback

Speech Analysis
I’ve been thinking long and hard about how to provide the best value for readers of this site. I put a lot of time and energy into every post, and my overall philosophy is “Quality and Consistency.” Everything I post must be useful or insightful information that will can help you improve your communication skills (quality), and I will post something every week (consistency). As an aspiring professional speaker myself, I want to learn and improve but also help others improve. If we all communicate better, then the world will not only be a better (and easier to understand) place, but we will all benefit from each other’s growth. I also got inspired by a Steve Pavlina post that talks about continuously creating and delivering value to others. So here…
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Book Review: Confessions of a Public Speaker

Book Review: Confessions of a Public Speaker

Making Money
Scott Berkun’s Confessions of a Public Speaker is an enjoyable read with lots of nuggets and insightful information. The book explores what he has learned as a professional public speaker, the nature of the business, and general speaking tips and suggestions for those looking to make the jump. Here’s my complete review. What I liked After reading this book, it’s hard not to like Scott as a person. He’s funny, interesting, and quirky enough to leave you wanting more. I enjoyed his description of how he answers when people ask him what he does for a living. If he says he’s a writer, they’re disappointed he’s not an ultra-famous one. If he says he’s a public speaker, they think he’s an awful motivational-speaker type, and if he says he’s a…
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Is Prezi Right For You?

Is Prezi Right For You?

Preparation
Prezi is an online presentation editor that looks and feels really cool (www.prezi.com). It’s free to use by registering an account online. I’ve used it for a couple of years on select presentations, and it’s always fun to watch people’s reactions to something different (and slicker) than Powerpoint. However, I’ve found myself using Powerpoint for more serious presentations lately, as Prezi doesn’t support transitions other than zooming in, out, and around the page. So when should you use Prezi, and when should you use Powerpoint? Here I’ll break down the pros and cons of using Prezi. Prezi Pros: Prezi is freaking cool. It’s smooth, it’s cutting edge, and the non-linear canvas feels like it’s moving in the right direction in terms of matching presentations to how we think. A good…
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