Want an awesome opening line? Look no more – I mean stop!

Red door with lettering on it saying “In pursuit of magic”Of the 140+ posts on this blog, here’s by far the most popular

Awesome opening lines: 20+ more examples for your speeches, from Patricia Fripp (Certified Speaking Professional)

At its peak, that post had more than 22,000 monthly views (in October 2016). That wasn’t just an outlier, either – for 3 months in 2016, the post had more than 20,000 monthly views. And for 11 months that year, it had over 10,000.

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From numbers to narrative – 4 keys of data storytelling [Video]

Data dashboard shown on a laptopWhen you’re preparing a data-rich talk, where could you learn to get your message across better?

In my opinion, you couldn’t do much better than watching the 55-minute video below, by Isaac Reyes. (The first 45 minutes or so consist of Isaac’s talk, and the rest is him answering questions.)

Isaac’s a data scientist, and the video’s from ODSC Europe 2018 (Open Data Science Conference).

The talk describes these 4 keys of data storytelling:
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Who knew? 3 things a bank can teach you about public speaking

A pair of handprints surrounding a hand-painted heart symbolIf you look carefully, you can often learn great public-speaking tips from all kinds of places. (Not just from obvious ones, like courses.)

Let’s check out an example

As my LinkedIn profile can tell you, I work at CommBank – Commonwealth Bank of Australia, also known as CBA.

Recently, CommBank’s values were updated, so they’re now succinctly expressed in just 3 words:

  • Care
  • Courage
  • Commitment

When I first heard those words, I was struck by how well they work together. And as I reflected on exactly why that is, I realised it’s because they have these 3 traits:
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2 ways to use modern, ALL‑CAPS slides – without typos!

Some Scrabble letters showing a misspelled wordDo you sometimes follow the design trend of using uppercase text for headings or other short labels on your slides?

Recently, I’ve twice seen presen­tations with very modern-looking slides using all-uppercase text in brief cap­tions.

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My logo can help you be a better speaker – here’s how

Even if you’re a regular reader here, it’s quite unlikely you know what my logo looks like. So check it out:
Equilateral triangle with one angle coloured red, another coloured green and the third coloured blue

The logo’s shape and colours represent tech­niques you can use

The logo’s shape and colours represent techniques you can use to make your public speaking more effective. In this post, you’ll find:

  • What those techniques are.
  • Links where you can learn more.

If you’re short of time, you can click a heading in this post’s contents list:

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4 speaking tips from a pro with 2+ million fans – @TomFrankly [Video] ·

Fluorescent light tubes shaped into the letters P.R.O.If you had to focus on just 4 things to make your next talk great, which would you pick?

That’s a tough call, because so many factors go into a talk. Which is just one reason I was intrigued by the video below.

Another reason I was intrigued?
The video quotes 3 experts I’ve also quoted before:

In the 7½-minute video, Thomas Frank (who has over 2 million YouTube subscribers) explains the 4 aspects of your talk that he recommends you focus on

To save you time, this clip skips the first 60 seconds (and the last 90) of the original video (when he sets up his topic and promotes some courses).
If you like, you can watch the full 10-minute version on YouTube.

Let’s look at each of the 4 aspects Thomas believes can make your talk great. You can click any of these links to skip ahead – or, just scroll down

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Avoid my mistakes in your Ignite talk – part 2 [Video]

Ignite Sydney logoIf you’ve read my last post, you’ll know I was inspired by Aaron Beverly (World Champion of Public Speaking 2019) to write a self-critique of one of my talks.

In today’s post, I discuss what are (to me) the strongest aspects and weakest aspects of my talk.

Why not watch my 5-minute presentation below, and judge for yourself?

Then, feel free to share your viewpoint in the comment box at the bottom of this post.

Here’s what you’ll find in the rest of this post – you can click any of these links to skip ahead:
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Avoid my mistakes in your Ignite talk – part 1 [Video]

Short of time? Skip the intro

Ignite Sydney logoIf you’re thinking of speaking at an Ignite night, this post can help you avoid the mistakes I made in my own Ignite talk.

And even if you give some other kind of speech, the tips you’ll find in this post (like about humour, gestures and opening lines) should still help.

In this post and my next, you’ll find a critique of various aspects of my talk on this 3-point scale:
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Don’t speak like you’re stuck in the 90s – do this instead [Video]

Old Nokia phoneHave you ever heard a presenter say something that stood out – but for all the wrong reasons?

Several times recently, I’ve heard public speakers (in webinars or on video) say something that met that description.

I wonder how you would’ve reacted if you’d heard those speakers.

To me, it made them sound dated, and out of touch with how audiences speak. (Gaffs like that damage the speaker – and their message.)

Yet all the speakers did was say 3 letters and the word “dot”. (In fact, one letter 3 times in a row.)

You’ve probably guessed what they said:

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Where’s your talk going? Map it with this 2×2 grid [Video]

In this 3-minute video by Kelly Decker, you’ll see a quick way to form an extremely high-level view of your talk or presentation:

And read below for tips to fix the problem that Kelly describes.

Kelly’s the president of Decker Communications, whose content I’ve featured before. (Years ago I shared a post of theirs about pausing when you present, and last year I published a video from them about speaking on a panel.)

I love the way Kelly’s “roadmap” makes you think of your talk in 2 dimensions:
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