Monthly Archive for November, 2009

Most speakers begin their careers gratefully clutching the sides of a lectern, happy to hide behind it for that little extra bit of security in a tense situation. But, by now you know that you should not stay behind the lectern. But why?

And as you get more advanced in your speaking, and comfortable with the stage, how should you move in relation to the audience?

Is it a good idea to move deep into the audience or not? What about those situations where it seems awkward to get to the audience at all, either because of the logistics of the room or the positioning of your listeners?

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If your family is like mine, Christmas fever is starting to strike. Decorations are going up around the neighborhood, and every day brings new ads for holiday sales.

If you are anything like me, your Christmas wish list includes an item or two to feed your speaking hobby or career.

Last year, Six Minutes provided dozens of Christmas ideas for the speaker in your life (or you!). By popular demand, we’re doing it again.

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On Saturdays, we survey the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.

This review features topics including:

  • fear of public speaking;
  • keeping your audience’s attention;
  • storytelling tips;
  • facilitating small-group discussions;
  • PowerPoint in the classroom; and
  • Steve Jobs is human too.

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Many speakers are guilty of making faulty assumptions about their presentations, and their ability to deliver them well. Sometimes even seasoned speaking professionals like me fall victim to this behavior.

How about you?

In this article, you will learn:

  • 8 common faulty assumptions you might be making;
  • the subsequent result on your presentations; and
  • how to fix your flawed thinking.

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By now, you know that you should be complementing your speech with gestures.

But do you know how big these gestures should be?

In this article, you’ll learn to match the size of your gestures to your audience and venue.

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Looking for public speaking experts on Twitter?

Two years ago, Six Minutes compiled an extensive list of public speaking bloggers.

Now, we’ve enhanced the list to include Twitter accounts for those bloggers.

As of this writing:

You can follow Six Minutes on Twitter here: @6minutes

On Saturdays, we survey the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.

This super-sized review features topics including:

  • new public speaking books;
  • writing a eulogy;
  • eye contact vs. eye communication;
  • speaking with notes;
  • tools for slide color schemes;
  • the validity of learning styles (are they a myth?);
  • moderating a panel; and
  • being successful as an introvert.

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Think of a group of people whose careers or circumstances require them to work well with one another: athletic teams, orchestras, or emergency room workers. If individual members “do their own thing,” the entire group suffers.

When you’re asked to present as part of a panel of experts or a team making a sales pitch, you might think that there is safety in numbers and that you need to prepare less than if you were speaking on your own.

The truth is that, for your audience, a group presentation is only as strong as its weakest presenter. Here’s how to help your team create a strong and unified group presentation.

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Six weeks ago, we were fortunate to share Becky Blanton’s educational and inspirational story titled How to Deliver the Talk of Your Life. This was one of the most popular articles we’ve ever published on Six Minutes.

The focus of her article — her TEDGlobal 2009 talk — is now available on video. Watching it will be the best seven minutes of your day. Click here to watch it.

Does your voice put your audience to sleep? Does it put you to sleep?

Do you find it hard to convey emotions with your voice?

Are you easy to listen to, or does your voice let you down?

The sixth Toastmasters speech project guides you to harness the power of your own voice. This article of the Toastmasters Speech Series examines the primary goals of this project, provides tips and techniques, and links to numerous sample speeches.

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