Tag: public-speaking

  • Rhetorical Devices to Incite Timely Applause

    Any delay between the end of a speech and the audience’s applause can send strong negative signals to those watching and listening. In order to prevent this awkwardness, there are rhetorical tricks we can implement that trigger applause or laughter at appropriate moments. Speechwriter and political speech advisor Max Atkinson, in¬†a critique of UK Deputy…

  • Malcolm Gladwell’s Public Speaking Secrets

    After discovering that he was to share a double bill with the “famously good” public speaker Malcolm Gladwell, Gideon Rachman decided to use the experience to learn how to improve his own speaking abilities. In his¬†write-up¬†of the experience, Rachman discusses the lessons he learnt from Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘public speaking secrets’: The first lesson came from…

  • Writing and Preparing for a Speech (Tim Ferriss’ System)

    The Tim Ferris technique for preparing a speech. For those aware of the concept, you may spot a resemblance to the snowflake method (previously), as typically used for writing novels. There are also some non-structural tips in the article (i.e. “No one should misunderstand you. Everything you say should be clear”.) Organise the speech using…

  • The Influence of Cognitive Fluency

    We’ve seen before how the cognitive fluency (how ‘easy’ it is to think of or comprehend something) of restaurant menus, stock ticker codes and physical exercises influence how complex, risky and even beautiful we perceive them to be. A recent PsyBlog article provides a summary of a number of cognitive fluency studies and here are…

  • Political Rhetoric and Speechwriter ‘Tricks’

    How the art of political rhetoric is regarded differently in Britain and America: In the US, the act of speechwriting has gained an almost mythical status. As keepers of the president’s words, the speechwriters are at the centre of government and are objects of fascination. It is a little different in Westminster. There are no…

  • Conversational Mannerisms of Geeks

    I always put up a mental barrier when reading articles such as this as I am of the opinion that it is difficult to successfully produce generalities about a subset of people unless you are quite intimate with their idiosyncrasies. Philip Guo overcame this barrier in his article looking at the conversational behaviours of “geeks,…

  • TED Speaking Guide

    Now that TEDGlobal 2009 has drawn to a close and the videos are slowly making their way online, the latest¬†Nature has an editorial on the TED phenomenon, suggesting that “those wishing to reveal scientific ideas should learn from the engaging style of TED conference talks”. TED succeeds in part because participants are encouraged to talk…

  • Making Graphs That Work

    Seth Godin offers some advice on creating quality, legible, graphs. ¬†Short and sweet. Don’t let popular spreadsheets be in charge of the way you look. Tell a story. The only 4 stories permissible: Things are going great, look! Things are a disaster, help! Nothing much is happening. We need to work together to figure out…

  • Story Types for Speeches (and TV)

    Each and every time I begin to structure a speech or presentation I consider which ‘story type’ to use (if it is suitable at all). Not being particularly well-versed in these, I recently came across a couple of useful resources. First, Nick Morgan’s description of the five “basic stories that Western culture has to make…

  • Body Language and Our Egocentric Blind Spot

    BPS Research Digest reports on a study illustrating our apparent inability to read insights into our personalities from watching a video of our own body language. We are, however, quite adept at making revealing insights on others from similar videos, suggesting we have a sort of “egocentric blind spot”. Why can’t we use a video…