Article Category: Weekend Reviews

Best Public Speaking Tips and Techniques: Weekend Review [2009-05-30]

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

This review features topics including:

  • the Rule of Three unmasked;
  • TEDxTokyo review;
  • tips for using analogies;
  • essential humor skills;
  • toastmasters pros and cons;
  • marketing advice for emerging professional speakers; and
  • answers to the question “which women are the best speakers?”

Week in Review: Six Minutes

Week in Review: Public Speaking Blogosphere

Resources for Speakers

  • Garr Reynolds reviews the recent TEDxTokyo conference.

It was an amazing collection of presenters and 200 thinkers and doers from around the world who set aside a day to come together to reflect, share, and engage in Tokyo.


  • Brent Dykes suggests 7 tips for using analogies. (His context is PowerPoint presentations, but the 7 tips apply to general speechwriting.)
  1. Can your audience relate to the analogy?
  2. Does your analogy clarify your concept?
  3. Is your analogy short and simple?
  4. Is your analogy boring?
  5. Can you use strong visual images with your analogy?
  6. Can your analogy go the distance?
  7. Is there “loose wiring” in your analogy that prevents it from communicating effectively?

Humor in Speaking

  • Jason Peck pens 32 essential skills for speaking humorously, including:
  • Learn how to read an audience
  • Know how to set up a room
  • Deal with interruptions
  • Know about and hone your timing


  • Lisa B. Marshall addresses the question “Does Toastmasters Work?

I think the first thing a person notices about Toastmasters is how organized, productive, and engaging the meetings are. They’re highly structured, with members filling very specific roles and responsibilities.

  • James Feudo alerts you to five signs that you may have outgrown Toastmasters.
  1. You no longer find it challenging to give a speech at meetings.
  2. You get the same feedback each time you give a speech.
  3. You gave a terrible speech but got great feedback.
  4. Your speaking skills are where you need them to be.
  5. You find it difficult to come up with manual speeches.

Professionally Speaking

  • Tim Gordon advises you how to promote your small speaking gig.

Let’s start with the assumption that you don’t do too many speaking gigs. Enough to ‘stay in the game’ as it were, but not enough to make a living.

Still, when you DO speak, you want to make your presentation in front of as many receptive folks as you can. So a little promotion is called for.

Which Contemporary Women are the Best Speakers?

Denise Graveline is in the midst of a series of articles aiming to answer this question. So far, she has highlighted:

  • Carolyn Bertozzi
  • Jennifer Granholm
  • Michelle Obama
  • Aimee Mullins
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Stacy Allison
  • K. Jefforts Schori

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Find more helpful public speaking articles in previous weekend reviews which are published regularly on Six Minutes.
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Comments icon1 Comment

  1. Kara says:

    Thank you for mentioning Garr in your post. I work for Peachpit Press and thought you and your readers might be interested in knowing that he just released his first online streaming video, Presentation Zen: The Video, where he expands on the ideas presented in his book and blog. More info can be found here: