Article Category: Weekend Reviews

Public Speaking Tips:
Weekend Review #88

Week In Review

Six Minutes weekend reviews bring the best public speaking articles to you.

This review features topics including:

  • new speaking and communication books;
  • inspiring your audience with a negative message;
  • using poetry;
  • vocal variety explanations;
  • better visuals;
  • and more!

Recently on Six Minutes

Resources for Speakers – Public Speaking Books

Check out these recently released public speaking and communications books:


  • Nick Morgan asks “Can you inspire an audience with a negative message?”

If it’s a new problem – one we don’t fully understand, or haven’t articulated well, then we grant huge respect to the speaker who can do that for us. A real expert, we think.

But if the speaker can’t offer a solution, we eventually turn off. And that’s why you can’t inspire with a (solely) negative message.

  • Rich Hopkins advises how to sharpen your points.
  1. Write your speech, and edit for impact.
  2. Pause! Use verbal periods. You are more likely to repeat your point if you feel you have to fill the air with your voice.
  3. Practice more. If you don’t get lost, you won’t have to reset yourself as often.
  4. Use an outline. Once your point is made, pause, then check your notes in the silence.
  5. Improve your speech. Make your stories so powerful, your point can’t help but be made, allowing you to be confident you have achieved your task.
  • Phil Waknell contrasts two presentation flow techniques: link and break.

[A link] means that you need to link the new idea to the previous one. […] Never assume that the flow is as obvious for your audience as it is for you. That link sentence can be all-important.


[A break is when] you need to move from one point to something completely different. […] Your audience will appreciate that clean break. Close the box on the last point with a simple concluding statement, pause, and then begin the next topic.

  • Jim Anderson suggests using poetry in your next speech.
I like to think of poetry as being a very concentrated form of communication. If it was a beverage, then I’d think of it as being similar to Turkish coffee – very strong and best enjoyed in small doses. It’s these very qualities that make adding some poetry to your next speech a great way to capture your audience’s attention.

Delivery Techniques

  • Denise Graveline lists 12 tips for using gestures, including:

Trying to master gestures? Be sure to record yourself on video. Gesturing is among my 9 not-to-miss reasons for video practice. You might be like the trainee in one of my workshops who was convinced she was gesturing too much; a review of the video showed she gestured just once or twice. But you’ll never know without some video practice.

  • Cal Habig explains vocal variety.
    (Editor note: I love the 4 quadrant breakdown).
Each quadrant plays a role, not only in keeping the interest of the listener, but also of persuading the listener of your sincerity, authority as well as helping them want to take the journey with you.
  • Slow and loud – Authoritative
  • Slow and soft – Authenticity
  • Fast and loud – Animation
  • Fast and soft – Anticipation

PowerPoint and Visuals

  • Kristin Arnold delivers 8 tips for better visuals.
#4 Keep It Simple.
The best visuals are simple and easy to understand. If the material is complex, or you want more impact, think about how you can do a gradual build: start with an easy-to-understand visual and work up to the more complex. You can also put more detail in a handout or takeaway.

Speaker Habits

  • Lisa Braithwaite ironically describes how to be an inconsiderate speaker.

I recently heard a speaker who acknowledged up front that:

  1. He had 90 minutes of material for a 30 minute presentation, and
  2. He talks fast. His exact words were, “When people complain, I tell them ‘listen faster.'”

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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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