Great speaking: How much should I practice?

Continuing on my series of short videos lessons on becoming a great speaker, I address the question “How much should you practice your speech?


Do you set aside time to practice the delivery of your speech?  It can make a big difference.  Please, use your webcam.  (How to record yourself speaking on a Mac)

My Video post Series Speaking as A Leader:

Are there any questions you would like to see addressed in a future video post?  It is your questions that give me ideas for posts – thanks to all who have sent emails, tweets and comments on the blog.

How to video yourself speaking on a Mac

How to make a video of yourself speaking on a Mac

1) Open Photobooth.  The simplest way to find it on any mac is to go to the spotlight search bar in the top right of your screen and type “photo booth” and click on the Photo Booth listed under Applications.

2) Smile (optional, but helpful step)

3) Select video and record – Video is the third option, just below the bottom left of the video screen; Record is the red button in the middle that I am indicating here:

4) Start speaking (please not “testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…” please)
5) Hit stop

Well done.  You have created a video.  I am sure that you can figure out with a few clicks how to replay your video.  You might even have the desire to change some things and make another video…

I need some help
Does anyone have a Windows machine and would be willing to write a how to for windows?  and for Linux?

Video: 4 ways to handle Anxiety

I have prepared a series of short videos for my IESE courses this year. This is a 3 minute video outlining the 4 ways that you can handle anxiety or performance nerves. (The video is here on my blog).


I spoke about the 4 ways of handling anxiety in a previous post 4 ways to handle anxiety:

  1. Avoid,
  2. Manage,
  3. Tolerate
  4. Enjoy.

Over to you
How do you deal with anxiety? Do you manage your stress levels? Are there any stresses that you have learnt to enjoy? How did you achieve this?

Video: 4 Types of Audience

I have prepared a series of short videos for my IESE courses this year. This is a 3 minute video outlining the 4 attitudes that an audience will have towards you as a speaker and how to approach each of these 4 types of audience. (The video is here on my blog).


I wrote about the four types of audience back in December on this blog.  There is a greater discussion of the approach to dealing with a hostile audience in that post that the material covered in the video.

The four types of audience attitude are:

  1. Friendly
  2. Apathetic
  3. Uninformed
  4. Hostile

Over to you
Do you think about the attitude of people that you communicate with on a regular basis?  What category are employees in when you speak to them as a manager?  What category are teenagers in?  How do you deal with apathy in an audience?

How to deal with the Blows that Life Gives Us

Life often delivers unexpected blows.

How we deal with sudden shocks shapes our experience of life.

How do you handle the negative shocks?

  • You lose a treasured item. How does it affect you?
  • You are out driving…  you have a flat tire.  How does it affect you?
  • You are waiting for a train…  and it is cancelled.  How does it affect you?
  • Your friend cancels a dinner you were looking forward to.  How do you feel?
  • The air traffic controllers go on strike and your wonderful weekend away is cancelled.  How does it affect you?

I came across George Leonard, author of 15 books and a teacher of the discipline of Aikido.  In the video below he speaks of 4 possible ways to respond to the sudden shocks in life.  He looks at 3 typical human ways of responding, and then demonstrates the Aikido path of response.


The four ways of responding that are demonstrated by George Leonard:

  1. Defensive/Aggressive – respond to the blow with anger and a direct attack.
  2. Victim – respond to the blow as a victim “Poor me, this always happens to me”.
  3. Denial – respond to the blow as if nothing happened.  “I feel nothing, I will go on as I am.”
  4. Aikido Blending – respond to the blow by centering myself, really feeling how the blow affects me, accepting the blow, accepting my feelings and then acting once I have blended the energy of the external blow with my own.

I have been researching the concept of mastery recently. What does it take to achieve excellence in a domain? In a sport, playing the piano, writing, speaking?

George Leonard’s book “Mastery” is based on the Aikido approach to developing the mental and physical aspects of excellence. He speaks of the 5 keys to mastery.  That will be a future blog post.  His first step:  Find a teacher.  I find myself uncomfortable with this…  Is it true that the first step to mastery is finding a teacher?  I don’t know if I agree…

Video: How to be more confident

The nice people at Virgin Media Pioneers asked me for some thoughts (in video) on the need for entrepreneurs to be confident, or at least appear confident.

“Authority is 20% given, 80% taken” Peter Ueberoth. Your confidence is a big part in getting others to treat you as a leader, to accept you as an authority.  I posted a couple of weeks ago a little article on  How to be more Confident and this video (here on the blog) is a summary of that post.

Over to you
Do you ever “pretend” to be more confident that you really feel inside?  Did it work?  Are there any other routes to confidence?  How about lots of practice?

Video: The 3 Pillars of Persuasion

I have prepared a series of short videos for my IESE courses this year. This is a 3 minute video describing Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triad, the 3 pillars of persuasion. You need to connect with an audience on each of these three levels if you wish to move them to action. (The video is here on my blog).


The basic principles of persuasion were developed over hundreds of years in Ancient Greece and Rome by philosophers such as Socrates, Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian. At the very heart of this development was Aristotle’s triad of logos, ethos and pathos. Aristotle’s innovation was to include “ethos”, or credibility, into the accepted approach to persuasion.

Over to you
Do you consider these three elements in your communication?  Do you use them in emails, letters, presentations, negotiations and prepared speeches?  What ways do you demonstrate credibility?

Video: 4 Steps to Great Public Speaking

I have prepared a series of short videos for my IESE courses this year. This is a 3 minute video describing the 4 steps to great speaking.  (The video is here on my blog).

4 Steps to Great Speaking


This video is inspired by Jim Rohn and his approach to speaking well.  I wrote a post about a year ago about his 4 steps to great speaking:

  1. Have something to say
  2. Say it well
  3. Read the audience
  4. Say it with intensity


How to video yourself speaking.

Over to you

What do you speak about?  How do you develop your speeches?  Do you share personal experiences with the audience?

Video: 5 Aspects that Give you a Powerful Speaking Voice

I have prepared a series of short videos for my IESE courses this year. This is a 3 minute video describing the 5 aspects of a powerful speaking voice.  A powerful voice will transmit authority to your audience and allow them to engage with you as a credible leader.  

The five aspects of a powerful speaking voice

The five aspects of a powerful speaking voice are:

  1. Breathing
  2. Resonance
  3. Silence (and vocal variety)
  4. Articulation
  5. Downward Inflection

You could subscribe to my YouTube Channel. It has over 300 educational videos.

Over to you

How do you warm up your voice before speaking?  Do you have any exercises that work for you?  What would you most like to change about your voice?

Would you like to see more videos on this blog?  Is this a helpful format?  What questions would you like me to address via videos?

Have a great day.

"I just kept going" Scott Stratten on TED

I wrote about letting go of my iphone and blackberry over the summer, I think that the best way to find energy is to be present here and now and switch off my constant running, sprinting towards the future. Here is Scott Stratten telling this story in a much more powerful and personal way on TEDx (RSS: link to video on blog). This is worth 15 minutes of your time.

I have been writing an article on “the cult of busy-ness” for the last few weeks. I believe most business has replaced productivity and smarts with “busy-ness”. I listen to conversation after conversation that go:

“How was your week?”
“Terrible. Busy. So many emails… got to get urgent proposal out…”
“And you? good week?”
“Really busy. Too much stuff. Meetings… emails… my boss doesn’t understand…”

We need to break this cycle. It is killing us. It is killing intelligence and innovation and it is killing human beings.

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