Article Category: Weekend Reviews

Best Public Speaking Articles: Weekly Review [2009-01-17]

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

This week’s review features topics including:

  • a plethora of PowerPoint opinions;
  • 10 Commandments of Storytelling;
  • Will joining Toastmasters make you a better speaker?
  • Obama’s inaugural address preview; and
  • Caroline Kennedy’s speaking prowess.

Six Minutes

Week in Review: Six Minutes

Week in Review: Public Speaking Blogosphere


  • Jill Martin summarizes Robert McKee’s 10 Commandments of Storytelling as applied to presentations.
  1. Thou shalt not take the crisis or climax out of the protagonist’s hands
  2. Thou shalt not make life easy for the protagonist (or, nothing progresses except through conflict)
  3. Thou shalt not use false mystery or surprise
  4. Thou shalt respect thine audience
  5. Thou shalt have a god-like knowledge of your universe
  6. Thou shalt use complexity rather than complication
  7. Thou shalt take your characters to the end of the line
  8. Thou shalt not write on-the-nose dialogue
  9. Thou shalt dramatize thine exposition
  10. Thou shalt rewrite

Visual Aids: The State of PowerPoint in 2009

I don’t often label articles in these weekly reviews as “must read”, but Olivia Mitchell has pulled together a set of articles which deserves this label.

Olivia poked 40 presentation experts to write about the state of PowerPoint Design in 2009, and is offering a guided tour through the issues raised:

A wide array of experts from around the globe have contributed  ideas which are progressive, insightful, and represent a growing trend in presentation design. If you are committed to improving your use of slides in 2009, this is a must-read collection.

Speaker Habits

  • Rich Hopkins asserts that you must believe in yourself before you begin to speak.

As a speaker, it is crucial that you buy into yourself, and your right to speak. If the audience senses an incongruity between your words and your belief, your disconnect is transferred to the listener.

Lack of self- confidence is a significant aspect of the ‘Fear of Public Speaking’. “I’m nothing special. Why should they listen to me?” is dialog 99.99% of us have heard in our minds at one point or another, whether asking for a date, a raise in pay, or belief from our audience.

  • James Feudo reveals a myth – that simply joining Toastmasters will make you a better speaker.

In order for you to succeed in Toastmasters, you need three things. First, you need a club that has a helpful atmosphere and encourages growth. Second, you need to be committed to becoming an active member of that club. And finally, you need to commit to grow beyond Toastmasters – and that doesn’t mean joining an advanced club or joining other clubs.

Political Speeches

  • Harold Evans gives public speaking lessons for presidents.

How do you talk to a nation? How do you talk to a people beset by fear but beguiled by the impossible expectations a new leader arouses – as Abraham Lincoln had to do on the bloodiest battlefield of the Civil War, Franklin Roosevelt in the darkest gloom of the Great Depression and Winston Churchill when Britain was alone in 1940.

  1. He needs to begin by clearly and honestly acknowledging the seriousness of the problems we face as a nation and a world.
  2. Next, Obama needs to lay out a path forward that puts us on a quest together to find a better future.
  3. Finally, Obama needs to close with a call to action.
  • Denise Graveline dissects Caroline Kennedy’s speaking skills:

[…] citizens have few other ways to evaluate political figures than to parse their speaking skills… and their opponents, particularly when faced with a political dynasty, may have few other chinks in the armor to attack.

  • Finally, if you haven’t seen them, you may be interested to see the final presidential address from George W. Bush.

Please share this...

Find more helpful public speaking articles in previous weekend reviews which are published regularly on Six Minutes.
Subscribe to Six Minutes for free to receive future weekend reviews.

Comments are closed.