Article Category: Weekend Reviews

Best Public Speaking Articles: Weekly Review [2008-11-29]

Week In ReviewOn Saturdays, we survey the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.

Just a few of the topics featured this week are:

  • 9 steps of story structure;
  • fascinating videos featuring kinetic type;
  • how to obtain business through free educational seminars; and
  • Toastmasters topics for discussion.

Six Minutes

Week in Review: Six Minutes

Earlier this week, Six Minutes readers put forth their best book recommendations for public speaking, speechwriting, and visual communication:

Public Speaking Blogs

Week in Review: Public Speaking Blogosphere


We can talk all day about logistics, like notes or no notes, lectern or no lectern, PowerPoint or no PowerPoint, props or no props. We can talk all day about the fine points of delivery: authenticity, eye contact, crutch phrases, humor, stories and whatnot.

But if your content is not relevant to your audience, you are wasting their time.

  • Nick R Thomas pens an article titled: “Speechwriting in verse? Well, you could do worse!” [Ed. I have done this in the past, and the audience reaction was overwhelmingly positive.]

Provided it is not a solemn occasion and no other speaker on the bill is doing the same thing, a short, humorous speech in verse can be very effective. For one thing, it demonstrates a great degree of preparation!

Humor can mis-fire due to poor judgment.  Humor can mis-fire due to Conditions. […]

Some of these factors are in your control.  Some are not.  Know the difference.  And work to gain the experience needed to keep you on the right track.

  • Doug Stevenson outlines the 9 steps of story structure.
  1. Set the scene.
  2. Introduce the characters.
  3. Begin the journey.
  4. Encounter the obstacle.
  5. Overcome the obstacle.
  6. Resolve the story.
  7. Make the point.
  8. Ask the question.
  9. Repeat the point.

Visual Aids

  • In the middle of my 5-mile run on the treadmill yesterday, the following 1-minute clip came on the television. No pictures. No voice. Just kinetic type. Watch it.
YouTube Preview Image

Apparently, I’m not the only one impressed by the communicative power of moving text. Garr Reynolds penned a pair of eye-opening articles (first, second) about kinetic type with plenty of examples.

My real aim in highlighting kinetic typography here is simply to remind you (and myself) again that type matters and that the treatment of type requires careful thought. Though you would not likely use kinetic type to the degree used in these examples in a live talk, watching the treatment of type in these examples may give you some ideas for working with type on screen that evokes emotion or directs the eye in a certain direction, or that sets a mood, etc. The only real goal is to get us thinking about presenting differently.

Speaker Habits

  • Theresa Gale and Mary Anne Wampler give advice to those looking to obtain business by giving free educational seminars.

Many believe that if they dazzle their audience with their knowledge and give lots of information that shows their expertise, they will want to buy. While information does build credibility, the goal of any educational seminar should be to pique your attendees interest so much that they walk away saying, “I can’t do this without them.”

Toastmasters Articles

The DCP could be the quality program used to evaluate clubs – if it was used in the spirit it was intended.

But I have seen the integrity of the DCP torn to shreds as Toastmasters, clubs and especially District Officers do anything necessary to get DCP credit.

[PRO] It is important that we see every speech we give as an opportunity to get feedback and grow as communicators. The manuals help focus those evaluations. […]

[CON] This idea of every speech being a manual speech is just another way for the district to cheat their way to distinguished status.

An Abundance of Speech Topic Inspiration…

There is an abundance of speech inspiration concentrated into the relationships between the seven questions.

  • How many of these could you incorporate into a speech?
  • How many other speech topics can you generate by combining the questions?

The comic above is from Jessica Hagy.

Please share this...


Find more helpful public speaking articles in previous weekend reviews which are published regularly on Six Minutes.
Subscribe to Six Minutes for free to receive future weekend reviews.

Comments icon1 Comment

  1. Great articles and reviews on public speaking and keynote speaking articles.

    I can’t wait to contribute with articles and reviews.

    Jorge Olson