SpeakHQ Blog

What I learned from Powerpoint Karaoke

By Berkun | November 20, 2012

Everyone has fears about regular public speaking, but what if you have to present someone else’s slides? And see them for the first time as the audience does? And only have 5 minutes? And the slides auto-advance? I believe in the theory of trying something insanely hard to make normal work feel easier. As a public speaking…

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How to be a great host (at Ignite)

By Berkun | November 5, 2012

Ignite Seattle , an evening of fast presentations, runs like clockwork. We think of the evening as a show, and each of the 16 speakers we have at each events are the stars. We do all that we can to set the stage, the audience and the format to make it as easy as possible for…

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Haiku Deck: a simple way to make better presentations (review)

By Berkun | September 25, 2012

I recently wrote a harsh review of Prezi, focusing on how that tool makes it easy to make distracting, annoying presentations. On the other end of the spectrum is a new iPad app called Haiku Deck. Haiku Deck takes a radically simple approach. The tool has very few features. It lets you pick background images…

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Why I hate Prezi

By Berkun | August 13, 2012

One of the many jokes about Powerpoint is how much time people who use it spend picking transitions between slides. They spend more time picking out animations and fonts than what their audience needs to learn and how best to convey those lessons. It’s like wanting to make a movie and spending all your budget just…

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Commutapult: the great commute of the future

By Berkun | August 7, 2012

I’m often baffled by which things online are popular, as it has little to do with what’s good. The most popular ignite talk seems to be How to Buy a Used Car, which is a good topic, but the talk itself disappoints. It’s not delivered well enough, nor the content good enough, to be worthy of its…

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my NPR interview about great speeches

By Berkun | May 17, 2012

Yesterday I was interviewed on NPR about great commencement speeches, and presentations in general. They had me on for the hour and we talked about Steve Job’s Stanford speech, a diferent speech commonly called the worst of all time, as well as lots of general advice on all kinds of speaking. Thanks to the Regina…

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What makes a good commencement speech?

By Berkun | May 14, 2012

I’m being interviewed on Wed on NPR about commencement speeches. Update: I was interviewed yesterday on NPR about this. You can listen here. Commencement speeches are the ones given at graduations, usually in the summer and often outside, where the attention spans of young people are stretched to their limits. Most of my advice about commencement speeches  is similar to advice I give…

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How To Get Paid To Speak

By Berkun | May 2, 2012

Many people attend lectures at events and think: “I could do better than that.” And they might be right. What they don’t realize is the ability to give a good presentation is different that earning the reputation required to be invited to give it. I write and speak for a living and get asked often…

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How to become a motivational speaker

By Berkun | March 21, 2012

I get asked about this often. Most of the news here isn’t good. There is a stigma around the phrase “motivational speaker”. The stereotype is a preacher or a snake oil salesman, all promises and slickness, delivering little substance. Or infomercials that promise if you just read this book, or follow this program, you’ll get everything…

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What does "motivational speaker" mean to you?

By Berkun | March 20, 2012

Update: A post based on these survey  results was posted: How to become a motivational speaker. [polldaddy poll=6060152]

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