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Tag Archives: the opening

Speaking 101

Over the past several posts, I’ve shared excerpts from a workshop I did on basic public speaking skills. In effect, I’ve created a mini-course in how to develop your first speech. To make it easy for you, I’ve organized these video excerpts into an eight-week course in basic public speaking. Enjoy!

How to use this mini course:

The information is structured as an eight-week course, with one module per week. Although it is possible to go through this material all in one day, I don’t recommend it. Take in one module at a time to allow yourself to absorb each piece of the overall public speaking puzzle. Do one module a day (or week) and you’ll be fine!

The core of each module is the Lesson video or videos. Each video is around 2 to 4 minutes long, so they won’t take up much of your time. Everything else is supplementary and there to enhance the lesson. They are there as additional supplementary material for you to use if you want to.

Tools you’ll need to get the most out of this course

  • A spiral notebook to journal about your experience and write your assignments
  • A digital video recording device to record your presentation for self-critique.

Would you like help moving through this course?

Carma Spence, author of Public Speaking Super Powers, is available for private and group training in public speaking. She can help you through these modules and provide you with feedback and accountability. Contact her for more information.

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3 Biggest Mistakes Speakers Make from Arvee Robinson

On Wednesday, I attended featured speaker Arvee Robinson‘s Persuasive Speaking Mastery event in Newport Beach. It was great to see her in action … she truly is a master speaker.

The day was filled with gems from both her and her guest speaker, Jill Lublin. I’ve seen both speak before, but I still enjoy every moment of their presentations.

One of the many pieces of gold Arvee shared with us was the three biggest mistakes entrepreneurs and small business owners make when using public speaking to promote their business. They were:

  • No opening
  • No stories
  • No call to action

Let me go into each a bit further:

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Ancient Secrets for Better Public Speaking:
The Opening

exordiumPublic oratory — what is now referred to as public speaking — was a valued skill to those to lived in classical Greece and Rome. The classical techniques of rhetoric used by famed orators such as Socrates, Plato and Cicero still apply today. Over the next few posts, I’ll cover some of these techniques and how you can use them to improve your public speaking skills.


The exordium, or the opening of a presentation, has two goals:

  1. To gain the sympathy of the listeners — get your audience to like you before you try to persuade them to your way of thinking; and
  2. To clearly establish your own credibility — show your audience that you are the right person to be speaking about your topic.

The Greeks and Romans felt that what you say first to a “captive” audience is much less important that what you leave them with at the end of the speech. Therefore the beginning is the best time to get the “niceties” out of the way.

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