Monthly Archive for December, 2012

Update: The server upgrade is complete. Thanks for your patience.


This weekend (December 21-22), Six Minutes is getting a gift from Santa — a new web server!

While the update is taking place, Six Minutes will be unavailable (hopefully less than 24 hours). I apologize for any inconvenience, but I hope you are all attending holiday parties instead!

When the maintenance is complete, the new server should be both faster and more reliable. This is necessary to continue to provide the very best public speaking and presentation skills resources to you.

Happy holidays to you and your families and friends!


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

This review features topics including:

  • top presentation books;
  • speech outline for demo speeches;
  • organizing your speech around a story;
  • emphasizing and sharpening your points;
  • dealing with hecklers;
  • and more!

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Last week, we published a list of the Top 35 Presentation Books based on expert ratings.

As my daughter looked at that article over my shoulder, I began thinking about the books I like reading to her the most. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss is definitely a favorite this time of year.

Inspired by the good Dr. Seuss (and since it has been too long since the 12 Days of Public Speaking Christmas), I offer this PowerPoint parody to you. I hope you enjoy it.

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The demonstration speech is one of the fundamental types of presentations.

Demo speeches are ubiquitous. They are assigned to students in high school and college. They are a staple in corporate and other adult training environments. They are among the most common speeches given in Toastmaster clubs.

Due to the popularity of this speech form, the well-rounded speaker must master the demonstration speech. Despite this, many speakers don’t know the basics to delivering an effective demonstration speech. Do you?

In this article, we present a demonstration speech outline which gives the best chance for success, and discuss the necessary elements for a great demo speech.

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Hundreds of presentation books are published each year.

Some are bad. Some are good. And some are outstanding!

We want to help you find the outstanding books — books which truly help you build your presentation skills. That’s why we publish book reviews on Six Minutes.

So, when Gonzalo Álvarez invited me to join in a survey of experts to rate a collection of the best presentation books, I was happy to participate.

This article reports the results of this survey: the top 35 books on presentations.

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On December 7th, 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese forces.

The next day, Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the United States Congress with his memorable “a date which will live in infamy” speech.

This speech had two purposes:

  1. To urge Congress to formally declare war on Japan (which they did just minutes later), and
  2. To rally the American people to support the war effort.

In this speech analysis article, we focus on Roosevelt’s choice of words to see how they helped communicate his message. Then, from these choices, we extract 5 key speech writing lessons for you.

This is the latest in a series of speech critiques here on Six Minutes.

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Do you remember how you felt the last time you were attending a presentation, and the speaker went over their allowed time?

Were you happy about it? Or were you mad that they now put you behind for your next appointment? Or did you leave before they wrapped up?

In this article, we examine the importance of finishing on time and give 5 tips for staying within your time constraints.

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