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Leadership Communications Podcast

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This year marks the 30th anniversary of my start in leadership communications. I've worked as a speechwriter, presentation coach and social media strategist—not to mention delivering my share of speeches. And over these 30 episodes, I'll share my best advice on how to plan, craft and deliver powerful speeches that change how your audience sees the world. If you're speechwriting, speaking or just wondering what goes into creating great presentations, this podcast is for you.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of my start in leadership communications. I've worked as a speechwriter, presentation coach and social media strategist—not to mention delivering my share of speeches. And over these 30 episodes, I'll share my best advice on how to plan, craft and deliver powerful speeches that change how your audience sees the world. If you're speechwriting, speaking or just wondering what goes into creating great presentations, this podcast is for you.
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Location:

Canada

Description:

This year marks the 30th anniversary of my start in leadership communications. I've worked as a speechwriter, presentation coach and social media strategist—not to mention delivering my share of speeches. And over these 30 episodes, I'll share my best advice on how to plan, craft and deliver powerful speeches that change how your audience sees the world. If you're speechwriting, speaking or just wondering what goes into creating great presentations, this podcast is for you.

Language:

English


Episodes

Ep. 15. How to get great feedback on your speech

3/21/2019
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How often have you asked for feedback with "let me know what you think"? If you're trying to spark conversation, it isn't a bad gambit. But if you want actionable feedback on your speech, you need to use a much more focused approach. Here's how to ask the right person, for the right feedback, at the right time. Music: "Upbeat" by John Luc Hefferman. Used under a Creative Commons license. Photo: Wynand van Poortvliet on Unsplash

Duration:00:10:38

Ep. 14. Get your audience to expect more... of themselves.

3/18/2019
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Your speech has brought your audience on an emotional odyssey, and you've reached your narrative destination together. Now's the time to invite them to continue the journey themselves—with a powerful call to action and conclusion. And you can do it in four steps: challenge, call, recipe and reward. Here's how. Music: "Upbeat" by John Luc Hefferman. Used under a Creative Commons license. Photo: Ian Parker on Unsplash

Duration:00:04:10

13. Don't meet your audience's expectations

3/14/2019
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...Wait, what? By all means, meet — or beat — your audience's expectations for what they'll get out of your speech. But not for what you put into it. Here's how to be surprising... and unpredictable, but reliable. Music: "Upbeat" by John Luc Hefferman. Used under a Creative Commons license. Photo: Felix Mittermeier on Unsplash

Duration:00:06:30

Ep. 12. Make your audience a little uncomfortable

3/12/2019
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Every instinct tells us to make our audiences comfortable. Yet a little discomfort can lead to some of the most powerful experiences your speech can offer. Here's how. Links: "Nanette" by Hannah Gadsby on Netflix, and Gadsby's speech on "The Good Men" Music: "Upbeat" by John Luc Hefferman. Used under a Creative Commons license. Photo: Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Duration:00:05:42

Ep. 11. Use slides well... if at all

3/7/2019
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The world is full of speeches weighed down with terrible slide decks. Don't let yours be one of them. This episode, we look at how to make PowerPoint work well for you and your audience — and I make the case for not using slides at all. Links: Here are the books I mentioned at the end: slide:ology by Nancy Duarte, Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds, and Beyond Bullet Points by Cliff Atkinson. And here's an article about why people retain less information when it's projected onto a screen...

Duration:00:09:38

Ep. 10. Ease up on the statistics

3/5/2019
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When your speech unleashes a flood of statistics, you can lose your audience's interest — and their emotional connection — fast. Let's talk about how to chose a gem of a statistic and put it in the perfect setting... and then make it part of what drives your story, instead of dragging it off course. Links: Nancy Duarte's great book Resonate includes an account of her work with Al Gore on the speech that became the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. There's so much more to the...

Duration:00:08:53

Ep. 9. Suspense!

2/28/2019
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One of the most effective ways a speech can hold an audience's attention is suspense. And withholding a little information can whet their appetite for the answer to the question, "What happens next?" Links: Story by Robert McKee. He wrote it with screenwriters in mind, but there's a lot in here that speaks to the craft of writing speeches, too. Music: "Upbeat" by Jon Luc Hefferman, and short excerpts from "Snowmen" by Kai Engel and "Cylinder Three" by Chris Zabriskie. Used under a Creative...

Duration:00:06:59

Ep. 8: Consider all of your audiences

2/26/2019
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The folks in the room are just one of the audiences your speech is going to reach. Here's how to think through who else may be listening in... and how you'll account for them. Music: "Upbeat" by Jon Luc Hefferman, and Cheese by David Szesztay. Used under a Creative Commons non-commercial attribution license.

Duration:00:05:27

Ep. 7. Use plain language... but not just plain language

2/21/2019
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Plain language can make your speech a lot clearer, and allow your ideas and thinking to shine through. But there are times when speechwriters and speakers want to reach for the more complex words... and even use (gasp!) jargon. Music: “Upbeat” by Jon Luc Hefferman, used under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license. Links: Thing ExplainerThing Explainer Photo: Raphael Schaller on Unsplash

Duration:00:04:42

Ep. 6. Defend your narrative arc

2/19/2019
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Between "helpful" suggestions from others and your own creativity, it often isn't easy keeping a speech on topic and on track. Here are some tools for sticking to the path — and a few tips on handling unavoidable detours. Music: “Upbeat” by Jon Luc Hefferman, used under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license. Photo: Jamie Street on Unsplash

Duration:00:05:47

Ep. 5. Get vulnerable

2/14/2019
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You've probably always been told to project confidence and certainty when you're speaking from the stage. But if you want to truly connect with your audience, a little vulnerability in your speech can go a long way. Links: Probably the best-known writer and speaker on vulnerability is Brené Brown. If you want to explore more on the subject, check out her book Daring Greatly. You might also like my blog post on how to know if you're approaching vulnerability effectively — and...

Duration:00:05:52

Ep. 4. Plot Your Emotional Arc

2/12/2019
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We've talked about your speech's one big story, the narrative arc. But running in tandem with it is something at least as important to your audience: the emotional arc. Music: “Upbeat” by Jon Luc Hefferman, used under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license

Duration:00:04:10

Ep. 3. Tell one big story... with your audience as the hero.

2/2/2019
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There are almost as many ways to approach writing a speech as there are speeches. But each one boils down to a story — one where the audience can identify with the protagonist, and that pulls them forward to the conclusion. Here's how to make your speech's story a powerful, compelling one. Music: “Upbeat” by Jon Luc Hefferman, used under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license Photo: From a talk at Interesting Vancouver 2014

Duration:00:05:24

Ep. 2. Know your audience

2/2/2019
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Before you can move an audience to where you'd like them to be, you need to know them. And that means a lot more than a head count. Here's what to look for, and where to find it — so you know exactly how to reach and move them. Music: "Upbeat" by Jon Luc Hefferman, used under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license

Duration:00:06:11

Ep. 1. Know what you want to accomplish

2/1/2019
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The first thing you need to know before you start crafting a speech is this: what's your goal? What do you want your audience to think, feel and do at the end of your speech? Everything else follows from that. Links: One of my favourite speechwriting books: Dr. Nick Morgan's Give Your Speech, Change the World Music: "Upbeat" by Jon Luc Hefferman, used under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license

Duration:00:04:07