This week's featured article ...

A Catchy Title

by Stephen Boyd

I sometimes read the index of "Vital Speeches" just to look at speech titles. I find that if a speech has an unusual or humorous title, the speech is of better quality. I have always asked my students to give their speeches titles when they submit outlines to me before they speak. In listening to thousands of speeches, a catchy title more often than not was the beginning of a well-thought-out and engaging presentation.

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Public Speaking Articles

Presence And Presenting

Filed in: Delivery | By Stephen Boyd | February 5, 2012

Sometimes the message of the speaker is not as important as the speaker. We want to see our CEO speak at our company's year-end meeting and we want to hear our minister or priest present at important religious events. We want our leaders who represent us to show up at town meetings and interviews. Don't allow your technology to substitute for the person. Important messages should be communicated in person.

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Have A Hook!

Filed in: Speech Writing | By Stephen Boyd | January 9, 2012

Most business speakers who represent their companies as they speak to clients do not have ambitions to become motivational speakers. You, however, can learn to improve your own business presentations by learning from successful motivational speakers. A key to be effective in your career presentations is to have a "hook." Paid motivational speakers often have some unique challenge that they have overcome, so they use that event as a "hook" to share success ideas in their speeches.

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Context and Humor

Filed in: Using Humor | By Stephen Boyd | December 14, 2011

Using humor in a presentation is a challenge for most presenters. We are not comedians. Few of us can snap out the one-liners the way born comedians do. One way to make humor easier is to use the context of the speech.

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Avoiding Public Speaking Gaffes

Filed in: Delivery | By Stephen Boyd | November 29, 2011

The word "gaffe" seems to be in print in increasing numbers. When you participate in political campaigns or when any person speaks frequently and is followed by the press, the possibility for gaffes is great. A gaffe is an embarrassing mistake you make in public. Another definition is a blatant mistake or misjudgment, or a social or diplomatic blunder.

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The Turtle On The Fence Post

Filed in: Evaluation | By Stephen Boyd | October 21, 2011

Alex Haley, author of Roots, kept on the wall of his office a picture of a turtle sitting on a fence. To him, the image held a powerful lesson. His explanation - "If you see a turtle on top of a fence post, you know he had some help." I think that is especially true of the effective presenter. Becoming a competent presenter requires help.

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Use Quotes To Strengthen A Speech

Filed in: Speech Writing | By Stephen Boyd | October 4, 2011

When someone says or writes something powerful or memorable, jot down the quotation and the author. When you want to include that thought, say it exactly as the person expressed the idea so powerfully - and give that person credit for the statement.

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The Perfect Toast

Filed in: Delivery | By Stephen Boyd | September 20, 2011

One of the best ways to affirm someone is to propose a toast. We don't need a plaque or certificate to show our love and appreciation for someone - we can do it with words. That is what a toast consists of. A toast is a special way to celebrate an event or date in a person's life with words of affirmation and encouragement.

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