SpeakHQ Blog

Updated: Speaking checklist for great talks (Printable)

By Berkun | October 30, 2013

I hired Eva Giselle to design a proper checklist based on the popular post, How To Prepare: Checklist for Great Talks. Here it is. You can read the original blog post. Or you can download the checklist here (1.2 MB PDF). It’s a great handout for event organizers to give to their speakers. Pass it on.

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Why hats and iPads are speaking mistakes

By Berkun | May 6, 2013

I spoke at TEDXDepaul last month and it was a fantastic event. The organizers Daniel Gurevich and Matt Helbig did a fine job from a speaker’s perspective. They chose a great venue, sold every ticket, paid for good A/V, the stage was well lit, and they had a great roster of other speakers (you can read my…

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Why I sit in the back row at conferences

By Berkun | April 1, 2013

Clay Hebert recently posted on the The Best Conference Hack, which is simply sitting in the front. As a frequent speaker I like Clay’s advice. For speakers the empty front row is mysterious and frustrating. Speakers make a huge commitment, yet audiences who have little at stake show their lack of faith by staying back. Unlike a…

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Blame the speaker or the organizer?

By Berkun | March 19, 2013

Linda at Cook for Good asked me about Godin’s recent post Communication is a path, not an event: The other day, I heard the CEO of a large corporation drone on for twenty minutes. He was pitching a large group of strangers, reading them a long, prepared speech that was largely irrelevant to their needs. They…

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Advice for speakers bored with their own material

By Berkun | February 11, 2013

A basic rule offered in Confessions of a Public Speaker is to pick material you care deeply about, since you can’t blame an audience for being bored if you are. But what I didn’t cover is what to do when you have to present the same material 300 times: how do you stay excited about…

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How to Run a Good Workshop

By Berkun | January 28, 2013

Workshops are hopeful things. They’re sold on so much promise, but that promise is often dashed as students discover their expert instructor is far from an expert at teaching them how to learn anything. For years I was a workshop guy: I taught them, I studied them, I even hired people to do them for…

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How To Write A Good Bio

By Berkun | January 23, 2013

Many good people write bad bios for themselves. Anyone asking you for a bio, or reading it, wants you to sound awesome, but what they need and what your ego wants to say are often different things. With these five simple rules you can write a good bio for yourself in less time, with less…

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The Best Books On Public Speaking

By Berkun | January 22, 2013

A feature of some of my books is a ranked bibliography. I rank books that I read while doing research in the order of their usefulness. Below is the ranked bibliography from Confessions of a Public Speaker, which suggests which books are the most valuable to read. Warning: trying to learn a skill by reading about…

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Great talk: Life on a Möbius Strip

By Berkun | December 28, 2012

One reason I rarely get excited about TED talks, although I do enjoy many of them, is I’m drawn towards the personal. For years I’ve been a bigger fan of the MOTH podcast, which is an evening of stories told without notes in from of live audiences. Although these talks are generally well presented, the…

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99 second presentations

By Berkun | November 28, 2012

A running joke in the world of presentations is: how short can they be? They used to be an hour. Then TED went to 20 minutes, Pecha Kucha to 6, and Ignite to 5. The trend of short presentations has been on the rise for years and one wonders where it will stop. But then…

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