Monthly Archive for January, 2011

The act of speaking in public and the process of improving one’s speaking skills are wrought with conflicting emotions, exhilarating highs, and frustrating lows.

There are times when applause makes you think you’re the greatest speaker in the world, and there are times when the silence of the audience makes you want to crawl into a hole.

In short, the mental game for speaking in public is a jumble of thoughts, experiences, and emotions.

In this article, we apply the wisdom of the Six Thinking Hats to provide a framework for sorting out this jumble and gaining useful perspectives which can help us improve.

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This afternoon, I watched Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech again. (You can find the full speech text and video, along with an extensive Six Minutes speech analysis here.)

I was reminded of the tremendous power speeches can wield. One cannot watch Dr. King or read his words without stirring emotions, even though the speech was given over 47 years ago.

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Aristotle said that all speaking is persuasive speaking.

I agree. After all, who am I to argue with Aristotle?!?

Regardless of the venue (10 people or 1,000 people, a conference, a sales call, or a feedback session), we, as speakers, are always trying to sell our credibility and value – not to mention our ideas. Hence, all speaking is persuasive.

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It’s the time of year for making — and breaking — resolutions.

Whether your resolutions are health-related (exercise more), family-related (spend more quality time together), or career-related (become a more effective speaker), there’s a proven way to set yourself up to succeed — make SMART resolutions.

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