SpeakHQ Blog

How To Break the Ummm Habit

By Admin Account | October 23, 2018

One of the most common bad habits people have when speaking to groups is saying “ummmm” or “uhhhh” between words. Here’s an excerpt from Confessions of a Public Speaker that explains why we do this: Most people say umms and uhhs when they speak. These are called filler sounds and we make them mostly to…

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Welcome to SpeakHQ

By Admin Account | June 15, 2018

If you know anything about my story, you know I’ve been speaking in front of audiences for many years. I wrote the book Confessions of A Public Speaker to teach the lessons I’d learned, largely the hard way through hundreds of presentations, in a way more practical and honest than most books I’d seen. But…

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How To Be a Better Speaker – The Short Honest Truth

By Berkun | May 24, 2016

For any skill, the only way to improve is through practice. Reading about that skill is not practice. Watching other people do something is not practice. Reading and watching can only help you develop a skill if you apply what you learn while you are practicing. Most people do not practice, which is why most…

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The Importance of What You Say

By Berkun | December 9, 2014

People laugh when I tell them I’m a professional speaker. They assume at first that I’m some kind of self-help guru or infomercial star. But when I explain that the average American says 15,000 words a day[1], mostly at work, and frequently to convince others of their ideas, they stop laughing. I explain I’m primarily…

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Why I Loved Webstock & What Organizers Can Learn

By Berkun | February 21, 2014

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking for a second time at Webstock in Wellington, New Zealand. Natasha Lampard, Mike Brown and all the organizers exemplify many great things organizers hope to achieve. They run an amazing event and I was inspired to share what I thought they did so well. Like great design, a…

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Q&A from Toughest Public Speaking Situations

By Berkun | January 28, 2014

I did an entire presentation on How To Overcome Tough Presentation Situations, based on Confessions of A Public Speaker. If you’re looking for the raw list of situations and remedies, they’re in the slides below. Watch the presentation online here for free. Or view the slides below (download if you prefer – 2MB PDF): Below is the Q&A…

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What are the toughest public speaking situations?

By Berkun | January 9, 2014

On Tuesday 1/28 I’ll be doing a free, live webcast (register here) about public speaking, hosted by O’Reilly Media. NOTE: The webcast happened and you missed it. The slides and Q&A can be found here. In Confessions of A Public Speaker I explained how to deal with 17 difficult speaking situations. In the webcast I’ll coach you…

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How To Handle A Heckler

By Berkun | January 6, 2014

It’s rare to get heckled when giving a lecture, yet it’s a top fear for many people. My own advice on dealing with hecklers is in the what to do when things go wrong chapter of Confessions of a Public Speaker. In short: Acknowledge them briefly and politely. They want you to step down to…

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When Is Something Worth Teaching?

By Berkun | January 4, 2014

This month I’m posting every day, picking the top voted reader question and answering it. With 37 votes, submitted by Andrew Holloway, is: When do you know that you have something worth saying or teaching? I often find myself caught between two competing thoughts: that I don’t know enough to help anyone, and that I should help…

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How to present well without slides

By Berkun | December 19, 2013

If you were having an important conversation with a friend at a restaurant, would you pull out a projector and put your slides on the wall? They’d think you were crazy as would the people at other tables. Rather that look into your eyes or give full attention to your words, your friend would have…

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