o Great Back Story! - It’s All about the Back Story!

A Great Back Story!

Marc Dangerfield

My daughter got married this past summer. The groom made a decision to wear a bow tie, and have his groomsmen do the same. These were “real” bow ties; not clip-ons or the kind that clasp around the neck and under the shirt collar.

As the father of the bride, I considered it my duty to do the same, and purchased one that looked great with my stripped shirt and new suit. When I made that decision, I had no idea what lay ahead.

I can’t recall how many videos I watched, nor how many hours I practiced, to tie one correctly. On the day of the wedding, I tied, and re-tied my bow tie no less than a dozen times. Eventually I got it, and if I do say so, looked dapper!

The bow ties were a hit, and I’ve been more aware of guys wearing one than ever before.

Earlier this year I was at a networking event and noticed one on a gentleman. He looked sharp! Not only did his colorful bow tie set him apart from others, but the pork pie hat and fancy shoes he wore, made a statement.

I walked over to introduce myself and started by saying, “Man! I like that bow tie!” Read More→


Barry Coziahr recently interviewed me about the Power of Public Speaking.
He is an excellent interviewer and the consummate host!

Listen - Learn - Speak!

The interview starts at 3:55.

This interview explores many aspects of Public Speaking.

  • Why Speak?
  • The components, parts, and elements of a presentation.
  • How to manage your Q&A.
  • It explores ways to take a presentation from Blah to Ah!
    • The Law of Primacy and Recency.
  • The Fear of Public Speaking.
    • Why we have it.
    • The What Ifs?
    • Nuggets to lessen it.
  • The power of Personal Stories.
  • The Elevator Speech.
    • What is it and Why have one.
    • The DNA of your Elevator Speech.

Barry Coziahr Interview Here is the MP3 file for this Interview.

—————————————————————————– Read More→

Fears of Public Speaking and Failing


Hand in Glove.

Consider this:
We all have a Comfort Zone. When inside it, we are comfortable. When out of it, we are, not surprisingly, uncomfortable.

Picture your Comfort Zone as a large circle. When doing things inside the circle, we are relaxed and feel secure. When getting out of that Comfort Zone, we can, and sometimes do, Fail.

Now focus on the edge of that Comfort Zone. This is where learning begins!

Failure gets a bad rap. We should be embracing it.

Perhaps it’s the word, ‘Failure’ that holds us back from trying new things and intimidates us. If we said, ‘Experiment,’ our perspective on the activity in question would change. We don’t expect Experiments to always work. They often provide significant data which leads to the next Experiment, then, perhaps, more experiments until a conclusion is attained.

Continue Reading


Please CLICK to Enlarge!

Please CLICK to Enlarge!

David Zamudio, Zamudio’s Studio, is a gifted illustrator. I’m proud he did the illustrations in my first book, NO SWEAT Public Speaking!”

One of his most famous black charcoal on white stock drawings is The Lion of Judah. Not only is it a beautiful illustration, but it has a wonderful Back Story.

The Formula for the Body of a Speech is:
Make a Point – Tell a Story!
(Make it a personal story that
reinforces your point.)

This post features David’s magnificent illustration because it has such a great Back Story! The Lion of Judah is an amazing work of art. The Back Story of how that drawing came to be adds immensely to its value.

With David’s permission, and in his own words, here is that story. Enjoy! Read More→



FAILING is a Great Way to Learn!

Seriously? Why?
Because, If you get something correct the first time, you probably don’t give it a second thought.

It’s a Great Way to learn New Things!

Some Failing is Easy!
     A Tutorial is done alone.
           Fail, Fail, Fail. No one knows but, You!
     A Puzzle is done alone.
           Fail, Fail, Fail. No one knows but, You!
Some Failing is Tough!
     Public Speaking is PUBLIC! Very PUBLIC!
Fail at Public Speaking and Many know!

Face the Fear and Do It Anyway!

And, Consider

Read More→


2015 Those 2015 New Year Resolutions!

If you’re reading this blog you probably have an interest in Public Speaking and Presentation Skills. Good!

My mantra, as regular readers know, is:
Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.”

No one ever challenges that statement. Why would they!

You’re either now taking and making those opportunities, or you Wannabe doing it!

If you’re already speaking where you work, associations, and chambers – Great! Your goal in 2015 is to deliver more and better presentations.

If Currently Speaking: Start working on your 2015 Action Plan to:
Get more Speaking Opportunities!

Start contacting chambers, service clubs, and others who regularly have guest speakers.

You’ll also want to put out feelers for companies that have ‘Lunch and Learns’ or bring in speakers for Continuing Education for their employees.

Be certain to have a “One Sheet” that can be emailed to them. This is a one page informational document. It should list your topics, give a brief description of each, and have your contact information. Having your “Expert Credentials” included will help land opportunities. Why should they choose you as their featured speaker? Read More→


0Presentation Slides can ADD or DETRACT from your message.

Which to use? Text vs. Images

Presentation Slides: Tex vs. Images from NO SWEAT Public Speaking!

The Goal of All Communication;
Visual, Written, or Spoken, is the same.

We want the recipient(s), as quickly as possible to: GET IT!

They may not agree with Everything you say.

They may not agree with Anything you say.

However, if they don’t GET IT! There can’t be a meaningful conversation going forward.

If I say the word Apple. You probably don’t see the letters A-P-P-L-E

You probably see something Round, Red, and with a Stem.

Let’s try another example. Read More→


0HOW Best to GET and ANSWER Them?

Questions about Questions – HOW? from NO SWEAT Public Speaking!

Q&A Can be an Important Part of Your Presentation.

HOW Best To GET and ANSWER Them?

In Your Opening, Tell the audience WHEN you’ll handle questions.
(See previous Post for WHEN.)

At the appropriate Time, Don’t say, “Do you have any questions?”

Better to raise Your Hand and Ask, “What questions do you have for me?”

When Answering a Question:

  • Look the Questioner directly in the eye.
  • Finish a thought.
  • Move your eyes to another person and finish a thought.
  • Repeat till answered.

If You Don’t Move Eye Contact to Others:

  • They could ask a Follow-up Question.
  • You could answer it.
  • You end up in a conversation and exclude others!

DON’T Stare!
     NO ONE likes to be Stared at!

If Don’t Know or Can’t Remember Answer: NEVER Read More→


0WHEN to Take Them?

Questions about Questions – WHEN? from NO SWEAT Public Speaking!

Q&A can be an important part of your presentation.

But, WHEN is best?

In your OPENING, tell the audience WHEN You’ll Handle Questions.

Four Choices

  •  #1 THROUGHOUT your presentation.
    • OK if doing a workshop.
      • Otherwise
        • Hope you have unlimited time.
        • What if they ask about something on your last slide?
  • #2 AFTER presenting specific components.
    • Have a time limit.
      • Stick to it!
  • #3 AFTER Closing your presentation.
    • That’s when it’s usually done.
    • NOT GOOD!
      • Why?
    • The Law of Primacy and Recency
      • Audiences best remember the first and last things they see and hear.
        • That’s why your presentation needs a Strong Opening and Strong Closing.
      • WHAT IF? Read More→

0Three-Legged EXPERT Stool!

(This post is a continuation of the previous post. The Audio is the combination of both posts.)

"NO SWEAT Public Speaking! EXPERT StoolLeg #2 – Writing

The perception of someone who writes articles and books is they are an EXPERT! Just as a good Speaker’s Talk must be Heard, and preferably seen, to be perceived as an EXPERT!, a Writer’s Words must be Read to be identified as an EXPERT! Writing can be done On and Off Line. Here is a look at each of those venues.

“Writing Opportunities” On Line

  • Have a website and regularly, at least several times a month, publish blog posts on your area of expertise.
    • These article should offer great information (content) and not be a sales pitch.
  • Write Guest Posts on other people’s blogs and have links to your site.
  • Commenting on the Posts of others will often bring people to your site.

“Writing Opportunities” Off Line

  • Trade Journals, Newspaper, and Magazine articles.
    • There are many publications that will publish your articles. You may not receive payment for them, but having your “Stuff” in well known media will give you credibility. They will usually print your contact information below your article and perhaps give your a free classified or display ad.
    • Most likely, they have an On-Line edition that you can link to and promote thru your site and social media. My regular, “Talking Points” article is an example of how this works.
      • Letters to the Editor and Commentary Articles are “Writing Opportunities,” also.
  • Some are:
    • Trade Magazines for your area of expertise.
    • General interest magazines if your subject is a fit.
    • National and local Newspapers.

Read More→

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