RSS

Posts by Bill Doll

Avoid the Curse, understand the Situation: 2 principles of powerful public speaking

“You can improve your value by 50 percent just by learning communication skills – public speaking.” – Warren Buffett

Google “public speaking tips” and you’ll get about 50,300,000 hits. That may be less than typing “LeBron” gets, at 70 million+, but 50 million isn’t bad for a generally unremarkable daily activity like talking.

What may be surprising, though, is how many of those 50 million links seem only incidentally about public speaking. Primarily, they consist of public speaking advice sold as pop therapy for your inner fears. “Banish fear of speaking,” one promises. (“The truth is, this fear could be hurting your professional and personal life.”) Find the “art of manliness” through speech training and “soar into the C-Suite.”

These are Digital Age variations…

Continue Reading Avoid the Curse, understand the Situation: 2 principles of powerful public speaking

The one-word answer to the perfect speech or public relations campaign

Here’s a word you may never have heard of. It’s the one-word answer to crafting the perfect speech or the perfect PR campaign.

The word is “kairos.” It is the ancient Greek term for “the perfect moment.” It’s the elusive slip of time when the speaker is perfectly in sync with the audience, their mood and their needs.

Abraham Lincoln found it at a military burial ground in Gettysburg, Pa., in 1863, his words and delivery catching a nation’s yearning for meaning and peace.

FDR held it in his 1933 radio talk to a frightened nation explaining with reassurance and clarity why he was declaring a bank holiday.

Closer to PR, if more prosaic, Johnson & Johnson found that kairos moment in 1982 when it quickly withdrew 31 million capsules of Tylenol from store shelves…

Continue Reading The one-word answer to the perfect speech or public relations campaign

A one-minute read on writing a one-minute talk

Whether you give speeches, write speeches, work with D&E on speeches or write one yourself before you give it, here is a one-minute read on how to write a one-minute talk – or, frankly, any talk, up to and including the State of the Union. Though that undoubtedly takes more work.

The point is that the fundamental structure of a talk remains the same no matter how long or complex the remarks. Understanding that structure will help you craft and deliver your message effectively.

And isn’t that the point?

Just four rules to remember – plus one image.

Rule Number 1: What’s your message?

Every talk has a message. You speak to leave your audience smarter – from a finding, a report of an event, a warning, making a case or evoking a mood.            

Your message is…

Continue Reading A one-minute read on writing a one-minute talk

Channel your audience: It’s all about them, not about you

Bill Doll, our first guest blogger, is a D&E alumnus who teaches public speaking at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and is the author of  SPEAK, How to Talk to Classmates and Others, recently published by Oxford University Press. It is a brief essentials of public speaking for those of any age short on time but long on performance anxiety.  

Nervous before giving a speech?      

That’s good.  

A little anxiety revs the adrenalin so you’ll focus.

To be a little nervous means you care about this talk. Whether it’s a talk to shareholders, the media, your board of directors or a Senate subcommittee, your nerves are your body telling you this talk is important, not some blow-off moment you can wing your way through. 

There’s an old Broadway saying, “If…

Continue Reading Channel your audience: It’s all about them, not about you