SpeakHQ Blog

Have you spoken at Ignite? Need your help

By Berkun | July 9, 2009

As part of research I’m doing for the new book, Confessions of a public speaker, I have some questions for people who have spoken at Ignite or Pecha Kucha events. It’s a short survey, $100 in amazon.com gift certificates are up for grabs, and it will help me a ton. You might also get mentioned…

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Lessons from 50+ books on public speaking

By Berkun | July 8, 2009

My book Confessions of a Public Speaker is published and doing well – but to write it well I did much research. Here’s what I learned from reading more that 50 books on public speaking: 50% or more of the advice is the same.  Dale Carnegie got much of it right 50 years ago in Public Speaking…

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The Worst Public Speaking Disasters

By Berkun | June 22, 2009

[Update: there’s now a follow up presentation, with summary, on Overcoming the Toughest Speaking Situations , slides and Q&A here] Back in 2009 while working on Confessions of A Public Speaker, I wrote this post asking for speaking disaster stories. Nearly 60 people replied, and some emailed them to me privately. The best ten, including…

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Next book is first draft complete!

By Berkun | June 4, 2009

The first draft of my next book, about an insider’s view of public speaking, is done! Yay for me. If you haven’t checked out speakerconfessions.com, you should. There’s some good material there and it gives a flavor for the questions I’m asking and answering in the book. Spread the word if you can. I’ll be…

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Why you say "ummmm" when you speak and how to fix it

By Berkun | May 19, 2009

One of the most annoying bad habits some people have when they give a presentation is the use of “ummmm” to fill the space between words. Why do people do this? There are four reasons: It’s a habit in normal speech.  People don’t just do it on stage, they do it in real conversations all…

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The paradoxes of lectures

By Berkun | May 13, 2009

One of the themes I explored in Confessions of A Public Speaker are paradoxes around lectures. Here’s my list of strange observations: Many people hate lectures but attend anyway.  The word ‘lecture’ is often used as a criticism, as in ‘don’t lecture me’.  Communication that only flows in one direction has never been much fun (and…

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What I learned at Seattle Ignite 6

By Berkun | April 30, 2009

The cool thing about Ignite Seattle, beyond the crazy fun format (5 mins, 20 slides, 15 seconds a slide), is how positive and supportive the vibe is.  Everyone talks about cool things they’ve seen and heard, and there’s a buzz of learning and doing that’s superior to most conferences.  It’s geekish, for sure, but it…

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Wednesday linkfest (+ Confessions)

By Berkun | April 29, 2009

Here’s this week’s roundup of good stuff. First some new stuff up on speakerconfessions.com: Should speakers ban or support twitter? – some nice data about how twitter was used at one popular talk. Learning from Make TV’s Bill Gurstelle – He’s the author of Backyard Ballistics and does live lectures as well as appear regularly…

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Should speakers ban twitter at their talks?

By Berkun | April 29, 2009

It’s kind of silly question as I’m not sure a speaker can effectively ban anything in their audience, but someone asked me this the other day. It’s an interesting question if you pile all the technology of laptops, mobile devices and phones, and how that helps or hurts the ability for a speaker to keep…

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Why panels suck (and how to fix them)

By Berkun | April 13, 2009

A new post up on speakerconfessions.com is all about panel sessions at conferences and how to fix them: Why panel sessions suck.

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