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Ten years later: iPhone’s impact

Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone on this day ten years ago during his 2007 Macworld keynote. I remember watching the recorded keynote later at home on my beloved first Mac (the adorable white iMac G4*). I sat enthralled watching Jobs masterfully and with obvious glee unveil the never-before-seen features of this new device. I gasped along […]

It’s called “giving” a speech

A2. The best speakers commit to giving, not taking. Don’t boast, sell or promote. Instead GIVE your audience an idea they can use. #BizChats — Chris Anderson (@TEDchris) June 15, 2016 I saw this tweet today from Chris Anderson, who is the TED Talks guy and knows a bit about what makes for an effective speech. […]

Showing my work: The Good Life, San Diego

I’m giving the opening talk at my professional association’s annual conference in San Diego next Tuesday. I’m not ready. Yet. I’ve had a theme in my mind for a few months now, but the ideas are just now coming together. When I’ve been asked to do these kinds of conference talks, I’ve been fortunate to […]

My next computer: iPad Pro

I’ve been an iPad guy since the first version was announced in 2010. I loved it immediately and used it mostly for reading, but also for writing. It was just supplemental, though, to my iPhone and the two iMacs I had—one at the office and the other at home. The home iMac is old now […]

Showing my work: The Five C’s of Leadership

I was asked recently to guest lecture in a leadership class at my university. My original plan was to do a very informal talk without slides. I was going to base it on my Five C’s of Leadership post. The morning of the class, though, one of the students who works for me and is […]

More great public speaking advice from Nick Morgan

Nick Morgan keeps giving away solid advice about public speaking. If you speak in public ever, you really should be following his blog. (And his book, Give Your Speech, Change The World, has been required reading for my team.) Today he posted an excellent list of twelve public speaking rules. Rules three and four on […]

Boston keynote slides

   Here are the slides from the keynote I’m giving tonight to a group of more than 200 college students at a conference in Boston. Of course, my slides are not the presentation, they’re just there to support the interaction between the speaker and the audience and to add the power of visuals to help the […]

Wonderful life: Rebooting my college talk again

I get asked to speak on campus to student groups several times each academic year. I’m honored to be invited, and it’s a chance for me to be intentional about thinking through and sharing something that might awaken possibility in college students.  Tonight was my first gig of the semester. Instead of dusting off a […]

Jane McGonigal on the benefits of playing games

Jane McGonigal shines in this TED Talk. She has a strong and approachable presence on stage, and she clearly cares about her topic and the audience and connects with genuine enthusiasm.  She will have you respecting gamers and wanting to play games yourself. 

Presenting? Rehearse, out loud.

   I gave a new presentation at a conference last weekend. I had been unsure about how it was going to be received. The topic was more esoteric than I usually do for a conference session. And in the days leading up to the session, I still wasn’t “feeling” it. My ideas and the narrative […]

My presentation today: Do less, better

   I’m presenting at a conference today. I’m posting a PDF of my slides here for those in the session or for any who are interested.  I use slides to support what I say, not to make what I say redundant. So, seeing my slides is not the same as seeing the presentation. Conference organizers […]

Showing my work: Analog color

I’m leading an educational session at a conference this week. It’s a first for this topic for me, and I don’t feel I’ve found my framework yet. It just hasn’t clicked. I’ve floundered around with digital tools — Keynote, Mindnode, text editors — but the flow hasn’t come yet. So, today I turned around to […]

Don’t hold back when you present

I gave a couple of presentations already this week. Both were somewhat informal. No slides. Fewer than 25 in each group.  Today I was Skyped into a student staff meeting at Stanford. That was a first for me. It’s an odd experience to not be physically in the room with the audience. It was a […]

Roman Mars on flag design

This talk about flag design — yes, flag design — by Roman Mars of the 99% Invisible podcast made my day. Some of these design principles can be directly applied to presentation slide design. Don’t put text on a slide that is hard to read. In most cases a strong, simple, clear image will be […]

Be the audience

Filmmaker Christopher Nolan (Inception, the Batman trilogy, Interstellar) had this response recently when asked how he thinks of the audience when creating films: “Every stage in the process, I try to be the audience,” he answered. “I don’t think of the audience as someone else. We’re all a part of the audience.” I’m in the […]

TED inspired speaking advice

It seems the fundamental advice about how to give a good speech is pretty obvious by now. How often can you repeat the basics of effective public speaking? But I saw two articles recently that had fresh takes worth reading, both inspired by the TED Talk experience. 5 Secrets of a Successful TED Talk highlights solid […]

Notes to myself

These are the notes I wrote on the board for our student staff meeting today. I was reminding them of what I think are some key principles when connecting with all the visitors we encounter every day. Make the audience the hero – It’s not about you. Put yourself in the mindset of those you’re […]

Speech season

I’ve given six presentations on three different topics over the past two weeks. I’m always a bit surprised when I get an invitation to speak. How do these groups find me, and why do they want me on their meeting agenda? I’m not exactly hustling to get gigs. But do enough gigs and word spreads. […]

Four thoughts

This has been speech week for me. Three speaking gigs in four days, each on a different topic. My final one of the week is tomorrow morning as keynote for a student leadership honor society event. I don’t actively pursue speaking opportunities. They just come to me, mostly through word of mouth and groups I’ve […]

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