December 8, 2019

The Cult of Colman

Commit to your material. Be excited about sharing your unique approach. And focus on genuinely connecting with your audience. Then speak as often and wherever you can.
December 1, 2019

Stuff Happens

There is no question that stuff will happen when you present. Be ready and expect it. The gracefulness and candor you exhibit when things go awry is critical.
November 24, 2019

Better Call Saul

Variety is a speaker’s ace card. When you find yourself droning on or losing your audience, use a version of these two flash cards. It may ignite a moment of inspiration, or at the very least, change the attentional channel of your audience.
November 17, 2019


Speakers, like comedians, have to work on delivery and content. The more you do, the easier it becomes. Start in low-ante situations, the way Seinfeld performs in comedy clubs to test new material. Introduce a colleague, deliver a lunch-and-learn, or facilitate a panel and watch your skills increase as your stage fright diminishes. Consistency increases your ability, gives you a competitive advantage, and ensures success.
November 10, 2019

Colored Pencils

When you compose a talk, your content is like black and white notes on a page. But how you infuse your presentation with appropriate tone or emotion is the key to success. And like an excellent piece of music, it should carry the audience through a series of feelings, as well as thoughts. Use the colored pencils in your imagination, and like Yang, paint your presentation with many colors.
November 3, 2019

Truly Scary

When speaking, your genuine self is your most persuasive element. Incorporate anecdotes or case studies with specific details. By recalling the actual event, all your senses fire with an inexhaustible source of material.
October 27, 2019

Art and Science

Your content may not be new, but the way you express it can and should be. Consider the audience and how they will perceive your words.
October 20, 2019

Owning TED

Show commitment and emotion, but make your message paramount. And control your pacing so listeners hang on every word.
October 13, 2019

Field and Foreground

Too often people present as if they're looking at a closeup on a cellphone screen, with one object in focus and everything else a blur. Take the time to establish context and lead the audience to your mountain. Do it with a vivid river or path and everything in sharp focus.
October 6, 2019

Ansel’s Bar

Speakers and presenters also need to challenge themselves to improve. Be honest with yourself about the quality of your presentations, and where to sharpen your skills.