Articles in category: Speech Critiques

Randy Pausch delivers a lesson laden lecture — Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams — which will have you laughing, crying, and cherishing life.

The “elephant in the room” — Pausch’s diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer — serves as an emotional backdrop for this memorable lecture.

In addition to illuminating many of life’s important lessons, Randy Pausch’s last lecture also provides five lessons which can help you connect with your audience.

Continue Reading »

Each year, MIT professor Patrick Henry Winston delivers an open lecture entitled How to Speak.

Positive word of mouth spread over the years, and the event now draws a beyond capacity crowd with people sitting uncomfortably on steps and the floor to listen to Winston. You can learn from the master teacher from the comfort of your web browser by viewing the lecture videos.

In the 45-minute lecture, Winston delivers dozens of practical tips for speaking effectively, particularly when teaching. This article highlights seven of the best.
Continue Reading »

This article reviews a fantastic talk by Majora Carter titled “Greening the Ghetto” at TED. I loved this emotionally charged talk detailing her fight for environmental justice and her efforts as director of Sustainable South Bronx.

Majora Carter’s TED talk has both incredible strengths — passion, energy, authenticity — and one unfortunate weakness — rapid speaking rate. Both extremes are worthy of public speaking analysis.

Continue Reading »

Hans Rosling presented a fantastic talk at TED. The delivery was inspiring, the mood was electric, and it was all about statistics. Yes, statistics – a topic most often associated with dry and boring presentations.

Hans Rosling uses six simple techniques for presenting data which transform a run-of-the-mill presentation into a must-see presentation.

Continue Reading »

J.A. Gamache demonstrates how to complement strong writing with powerful body language in a speech titled “Being a Mr. G.” that took first place in the 2007 Region VI Toastmasters speech contest.

This video critique analyzes many noteworthy elements of the presentation, including:

  • a memorable speech opening and closing which feature the same prop;
  • the callback technique for repetitive humor;
  • emotionally charged writing; and
  • a series of wonderfully choreographed gestures.

Continue Reading »

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.

Continue Reading »

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.

Continue Reading »

I first viewed Dick Hardt‘s Identity 2.0 presentation from OSCON 2005 over two years ago. It was unlike any presentation I had ever seen at the time. I noted that I had just been injected with information.

I recently returned to the presentation with a more critical view.

  • Was the presentation really that good?
  • Was it the style, the substance, or both?
  • More importantly, what can we, as presenters, learn from it?

Continue Reading »

« Prev