Tag: public speaking

  • Poetry Reading Saturday at The Public

    Friends, we’re having ourselves a POETRY READING on Saturday, Apr 30. And you should come! Location: The Public Brewhouse and Gallery (301 Main St. Steinbach)Date: Saturday, Apr 30, 2pm (till about 3:30 or so)What’s happening: Readings of poetry from my new book, as well as readings from special guests. And local beer on tap. And […]

  • On a bike with one wheel

    This week I gave my first Toastmasters speech in several years, as part of a new club. I spoke about being weird, and how being different attracts attention. I learned this when I learned how to ride the unicycle as a kid. Unicycling isn’t a normal activity (shocker!), and when you cruise past on a […]

  • Spotlight Generosity

    A friend of mine used to like to play this game. We were working at a camp, and after dinner, with 30 people milling around the cafeteria, she would announce: “Attention everybody! Brent will now be singing a song for us!” For the record, this game wasn’t my idea. Out of the shadows For many […]

  • Speaking in Your Underpants

    If you’ve ever asked for advice on how to overcome pre-speech nerves, no doubt you’ve heard the sage advice: “Just imagine your audience is wearing nothing but underwear.” Helpful advice? Maybe for some. What’s interesting to me though, is how this advice masks what’s really going on when you step on the stage. When you […]

  • Be Prolific: What I’ve Learned From 10 Toastmaster Speeches

    Last week I achieved Toastmaster’s “Competent Communicator” (CC) award (I know, I’m officially competent, hooray!). I’ve been working towards this since I started the Toastmasters program early this year, so it felt like a big accomplishment. To achieve a “CC”, Toastmasters need to complete 10 speeches, most being between 5-7 minutes long. Each of the […]

  • Love the Process

    I have a friend who loves fishing. Even after years of pulling fish out of the water – long after most of us would have gotten bored with the sport – he still gets excited about every fish. He loves getting out on the water every day, whether the fishing is good or bad. He […]

  • Jerry Seinfeld on How to Write a Joke

    When you watch a great comedian tell jokes, it’s easy to assume that they’re just naturally funny. They seem to just go up there and talk, and everything they say is automatically hilarious. How do they do it? Jerry Seinfeld, a legendary stand-up comedian most famous for his sitcom “Seinfeld”, gives some great insight into […]

  • The Fear and the Power of Connection

    A discerning speech mentor recently pointed out that when I give a speech, I look towards the audience, but I don’t really look at them. My gaze scans the audience, but never really make eye contact with anyone. Why do I avoid eye contact? Speaking to a crowd, launching words into the air, is safe […]

  • Tickle the Elephant

    It’s the reason you plan to wake up early to exercise, but end up hitting snooze instead. It’s also the reason all the facts, stats and graphs in the world can make your audience change. “Perched atop the Elephant, the Rider holds the reins and seems to be the leader. But the Rider’s control is […]

  • Slides Are Harmony

    Slides Are Harmony

    Funny thing about this thing we call a “presentation”. Usually our first thought when we’re getting ready to give one, besides the possible dread or stress, is the visuals, the slides that will be on the screen. The PowerPoint guys have convinced us that visuals are what makes the presentation, that no presentation is complete […]