Monthly Archive for November, 2007

In his popular approachability blog, Scott Ginsberg argues that questions beginning with What are better than questions beginning with Why to avoid defensive responses. While I agree with some points, I believe this argument neglects the more important word: You.

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Steve Jobs wrote and delivered the commencement speech “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” to the graduates of Stanford University on June 12, 2005.

The style and content are very different from his Apple product launch presentations, but no less worthy of study.

Noteworthy elements of this wonderful speech include:

  • strong opening;
  • simple classical structure;
  • the Rule of Three;
  • rich figures of speech; and
  • a recurring theme of birth/death/rebirth.

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A half-dozen haiku for your reading pleasure:

  • You are the message.
    Public speaking need not be
    Death by PowerPoint.

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This is the new home for the Six Minutes blog, previously at All previous posts and comments have been migrated here. is a fantastic free service for bloggers, but moving to a new host increases the tools at my disposal to deliver interesting content.

Thank you for your continued readership.


This article examines Al Gore’s presentation from TED in 2006. My aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of the presentation, not to express scientific or political opinion on the content of the message.

This was a fantastic presentation worthy of study. There is much to be learned from analyzing what Gore did well, and what he could have done better.

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Ever wonder what the audience really wishes you would do better when you speak?

Chris Brogan conducted a quick and informal survey asking the question:

Quick: Give me YOUR 3 things you wish speakers would do better, or not do at all!

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Eric Feng on the Public Speaking Blog recently posted 250 Things You Wish You Know That Will Guarantee Your Speaking Success. I’m skeptical when I read phrases such as “guarantee your speaking success”, and I’m even more skeptical now that I’ve read through all 250 things.

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Want to learn how to execute a great Q&A session? Watch Toastmasters International President Chris Ford.

Last weekend, I attended an educational seminar led by Chris Ford. He was masterful in how effectively he encouraged audience participation.

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A great Q&A session (#16 on my list of 25 essential skills for a public speaker) does not materialize just because you (or the event organizers) include it on the agenda.

A great Q&A session – one that adds value to your presentation – requires planning and thoughtful contributions from both the audience and the speaker.

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