Shortly after the publication of my book SuperCompetent: The Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best, when I was the incoming 2011-2012 President of the National Speakers Association, Lorri Freifeld from Training magazine asked me to write a monthly column on speaking. I was allowed great latitude on the subject matter, as long as it pertained to professional speaking at some level and the articles were meaty and pithy.
Since that time, I've ranged far and wide across the subject, covering everything from how to dress to how to break the ice, deal with hecklers, retain the audience's attention, and use stories to enhance individual talks. I've discussed the differences between keynotes and workshops, cautioned readers about presentation pitfalls, and explained how to either cut or stretch a speech to meet your customer's needs. I try to provide straightforward pointers in a lively, concise, and educational style.
I've collected those topics here in one place for the first time. I believe you'll find the following eBook, which includes 27 of my collected columns, to be insightful and motivational, whether you're just starting out or you've stepped onto the stage a thousand times. I re-emphasize several central themes throughout, which I'm sure you'll recognize as integral to the speaking profession. You'll also find plenty of brand new nuggets of wisdom to cherish.
I've included plenty of what of you might consider common sense; but at our breakneck modern pace, it's sometimes hard to keep everything in mind at once, so I think these things are worth repeating. These pointers and reminders can serve as checklists as you research and develop your own speaking masterpieces. Even better, these ideas might spark a few of your own as you move forward in the challenging yet uniquely exciting world of professional speaking. I've been in the business for 20 years now, and it never gets old!
In this field, there's always something new to learn. So in this spirit, I present to you my first collection of "SuperCompetent Speaking" columns.