Article Category: Weekend Reviews

Public Speaking Tips: Weekend Review [2010-06-12]

Week In Review


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

This review features topics including:

  • new public speaking books;
  • speech critiques of Meryl Streep, Steve Jobs, and Jacqueline Novogratz;
  • tips for speaking to large crowds;
  • PowerPoint rules;
  • keys to being a passionate speaker;
  • and much more.

From the Six Minutes Archives

Two Years Ago from Six Minutes

One Year Ago from Six Minutes

Recently on Six Minutes…

Resources for Speakers – Public Speaking Books

Check out these recently released public speaking and communications books:


  • Denise Graveline exposes the 5 weakest speaker statements.
  1. “As we all know…” and its variants
  2. Using yourself as the only data point to prove your assumptions
  3. “I know [insert a boundary/rule/time limit/announced topic here], but I’m going to [do the opposite/go overtime/talk about something else]”
  4. Any sentence loaded with acronyms
  5. Time-wasters at the start
  • Ian Griffin critiques the Barnard Commencement speech by Meryl Streep.

Meryl Streep opened her soul to the Barnard College graduating class last Monday. In a compelling commencement speech acknowledging the value of single-sex education, she celebrated both the power of a women’s perspective and the power of empathy to bring real change.

  • Jonathan Thomas breaks down the latest Steve Jobs’ product presentation.

It’s no secret that Steve Jobs’ presentation style is considered to be one of the best.  Of course, that “style” has been developed by years of experience and a lifetime of preparation and practice.  His keynote presentations are multimedia extravaganzas more akin to a concert than a corporate presentation.

I decided to take a close look at Mr. Jobs’ presentation to try and break it down for you all of you, highlighting his approach to the WWDC 2010 keynote presentation and what elements create the masterpieces we are used to seeing.

Delivery Techniques

  • Marisa Minor shares wisdom for speaking to large crowds.
    [Thanks to Richard Garber for the article discovery.]
  • How can executives successfully play to very large crowds?
  • When a speaker is talking to several thousand people, how does he/she alter a speech to suit the audience?
  • How do speech messages change when the crowd is large?
  • How do speakers modify gestures, speech patterns, etc.?
  • How about dealing with technical issues?”
  • Nick Morgan tackles the complex subject of being a passionate speaker in a series of articles.

Many people will tell you that passion is everything in presentations and communications in general.  “Just be yourself – be passionate,” they say.  There are two problems with that advice.  What if you’re not passionate about the subject?  And what if “being yourself” means being shy, or geeky, or just plain terrified?

Speaker Habits

  • Angela DeFinis points out 4 speaking mistakes common among executives.

That’s a lot of time devoted to content creation. My only wish is that the executives would give the same amount of time and attention to actually practicing and rehearsing the delivery.  […]

The fact is that poor delivery can overshadow great content. Therefore, spend the same amount of time practicing your delivery as you do creating your content.


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Comments icon2 Comments

  1. Andrew:

    Thank you for referring to Marisa’s article and my blog post.

    There also is an excellent web page from Vancouver that illustrates both with plots of waveforms and sound clips how increasing the reverberation time makes speech less intelligible.


  2. Hi Andrew – I see you’ve got a pic of the Maxwell book up on the page: I’ve been asked to review it but I’ve not got around to it yet…. how’ve you found it from your perspective?


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