Are you ready to unleash your inner speaking super powers and communicate your message with confidence?

Monthly Archives: October 2011

Public Speaking Lessons Learned from The Tick

From 1994 to 1997 there was an animated show called The Tick about an unlikely superhero with the brawn and intelligence of, well, a tick. In one episode, excerpts from which are shown below, The Tick and his sidekick Arthur are teaching future superheroes the tricks of the trade.

From these short excerpts, I’ve derived the following important lessons for public speaking:

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Types of Speeches: The Interpretive Reading

If you decide to become a professional speaker or use speaking as an integral part of your marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various types of speeches you might be asked to give. In this series of posts, I’ll give you the basics on a variety of types of presentations you can prepare. At the end of this post, I’ve listed previous articles in this series.

When I was competing in speech in high school and didn’t make it to final rounds (yes, it happened on occasion), I would always sit in on the finals of the dramatic reading. There was this one young man who competed with his interpretation of The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. He was amazing. I saw him perform this several times and it was always entertaining.

When done well, an interpretive reading can be as entertaining as any skit, play or musical performance. In fact, you can often catch a version of the interpretive reading on PBS … they periodically air “concert” versions of musicals. No costumes, no acting … just the performers reading and singing their lines standing in front of a conductor stand and microphone.

If you are a fiction author or poet, mastering this type of speech can really help you sell more of your work. If, when you do live readings, you can dramatize your selection and make it entertaining beyond the words, you will engage the audience and inspire them to open their pocket books to buy a copy of their own.

Even if you are not an author, it is possible that you may be asked to do an interpretive reading of someone else’s work. In fact, most interpretive readings are just that … interpreting a story, essay, speech or other work written by someone else.

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Shorten Your Speech in a Pinch? Arg!

Lily IatridisBy Featured Speaker Lily Iatridis

We’ve all been there. You’ve prepared a 45-minute presentation, and you’re ready to go. Then, before you get up to present, there’s a change in schedule, and your host, boss, or whomever suddenly tells you that you only have 20 minutes to deliver your speech!

What do you do?! How do you edit your entire presentation in one minute or less and still make maximum impact?

10 Things to Do if You Have to Shorten Your Speech Drastically on the Spot:

  1. Take a deep breath. Calm yourself. Pretend that your fine with it.
  2. Throw out your Powerpoint. As we say in New Jersey, just “fahgeddaboutit!”
  3. Make a no-frills opening. Introduce yourself, and make your purpose or thesis statement immediately. Drop any interesting lead-ins.
  4. Focus the content on the one or two points that make the crux of your talk. In other words, what main points are vital to making an effective and relevant call to action? Focus on introducing those. Use one example for each to illustrate and better explain each main point. Forget the longer explanations and illustrative details.
  5. (more…)

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Where do you find inspiration?

This weekend my Toastmasters group had a special “marathon” Table Topics meeting. I volunteered for the last question, “Where do you find inspiration?” Apparently, I did a good job because I took home the ribbon for Best Table Topics that day!

Anyway, I liked what I had to say, as well, and thought that I’d share with you the video of the speech for two reasons:

  1. So you can learn and be inspired by what I said, and
  2. So you can get some ideas of how to handle an off-the-cuff presentation.


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