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I have started a Facebook video series to share speaking tips (and some writing tips, but focused on “out loud”). I’m going to try to do this twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) to see how it goes. After we get going, I’ll broadcast live so people can interact during the broadcast, but the recording will remain available.

You don’t have to have a Facebook account to see it. But if you have one, “like” the page while you are there to make it easy to see more content as it comes out.

You can see the first Coffee with Donn video here.

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One-question survey

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Hi! We haven’t talked in a few days. My daughter (The Princess) has been having some health issues, and coupled with nursing schedule irregularities, I’ve had to put my attention elsewhere.

But I haven’t forgotten about you! I’ve been working on updating the web site also, incorporating what you told me in response to an earlier question. To help that along, would you respond to a one-question survey about what you would most like to know about using effective speaking to advance your job, career, or business? It would really help me help you. Thanks! Just click this link–and I really appreciate it!

Image courtesy of NY Photographic under a CC Share-Alike license

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Why are you not doing Toastmasters?

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The headline makes an assumption, I suppose. But before you dismiss it with, “I am doing Toastmasters,” stick with me and read past the first three paragraphs. I can anticipate that you might have one of three reactions. Continue reading “Why are you not doing Toastmasters?”

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Why speeches crash: 5 common nosedives

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Every speech is unique, as is every speaker. But the problems that cause speeches to crash are amazingly consistent. I have listened to over 24,000 speeches in my life. Probably 80 percent of the “bad” speeches resulted from one of the following problems. Continue reading “Why speeches crash: 5 common nosedives”

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Technology makes a good servant but a poor master

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Technology is great! I love it! But it can overshadow things that are more important.

The very word implies that technologies are tools. They help you accomplish things, but they don’t tell you what to accomplish or help you evaluate what’s most important to accomplish. Continue reading “Technology makes a good servant but a poor master”

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Three more misconceptions that sink presentations

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A few days ago, I posted Three Misconceptions That Sink Presentations. We could go on and on, but right now, here are three more. Continue reading “Three more misconceptions that sink presentations”

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Three misconceptions that sink presentations

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Lots of people speak these days. TED.com has sparked a revival of interest in both giving and hearing speeches. And while most TED speakers provide a good model, plenty of misconceptions still float around about speaking.

Here are three. Continue reading “Three misconceptions that sink presentations”

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Are you procrastinating on that presentation?

Most people who identify themselves as procrastinators are not really–it’s just that they’re trying to work beyond their juggling skills. It happens I can literally juggle three objects fairly well (though with nothing approaching the skill in the video above), but if you throw a fourth object in there, I don’t just drop one object–I drop them all.

Figuratively, when life throws one more item into our juggling pattern, it can cause everything to go to, um, pieces. For some people, the presentation becomes the extra object.

Take the analogy a little further: juggling four objects requires more than just juggling faster. It requires a different pattern. In essence, you have to be able to juggle two objects in each hand.

Likewise, adding presentations to your mix of activities will require more than simply working faster.

A rule of thumb is one hour of preparation for each minute of speaking. That will vary, obviously, but if you think a 20-minute speech will only take an hour to prepare and rehearse, you are setting yourself up for stress and ineffectiveness. Furthermore, 20 hours of preparation in the two days prior to delivering the speech isn’t as effective as 20 hours broken up into pieces and spread over a month.

That takes a different pattern.

You usually can’t “will” yourself into preparation, but recognizing the need for adding another object to the pattern, and for changing the pattern, may give you the insight to be able to schedule the time you need.

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Prepare to speak without preparation

Preparing for speaking is a needed skill, but almost as important is the ability to speak off the cuff. Most of the world would probably call this “impromptu speaking,” but the understanding of that term can vary. You can certainly learn to talk without preparation, but it’s not really talking off the top of your head. Continue reading “Prepare to speak without preparation”

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Speaking when you don’t feel like it

Audience members expect certain things of any speaker. One of those common expectations is that the speaker will show up! Sometimes, that can be the biggest challenge.

Writers have it easier in this respect. You have no way of knowing, for instance, that there was a three-hour gap between my writing the first paragraph and writing this paragraph, except that I just told you. The gap was there because I wasn’t feeling well, and just didn’t feel like writing this post at that moment. Writers have deadlines, but once an article is delivered the time a reader connects is very flexible.

It’s a little different for speakers, obviously. Continue reading “Speaking when you don’t feel like it”

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