When you receive feedback and advice on how to improve your presentation skills you need to ask yourself: Is the person giving this advice truly qualified to help me improve? Does the person giving me feedback have my best interests at heart? Am I seeking advice or are they motivated to give it to me? […]


My great speech coach Ron Arden who had enjoyed a successful acting and directly career always told his students “Public speakers need variety in their presentation just as we do in the theatre. The enemy of the speaker is sameness.” My World Champions Edge buddy Ed Tate sent this review to me from a TV […]


Are your presentations lacking humor? The late John Kinde is remembered as a comedy mentor for many. Know for his skill with observational humor claimed his most frequently-asked question was,  “How do I get to be funny?” After delivering a fun-filled, brilliantly-crafted presentation, an audience member referred to his Observational Humor monologue. “You certainly have […]


A frequently asked question on public speaking is “How Do I Organize My Speech?”

Here is a basic outline that work well for the beginning speaker.

1. THE PAST-PRESENT-JOURNEY FORMAT: This simple outline can help you tell the audience who you are and why you are qualified to speak on the topic you’ve chosen.


Gervais Humor at Golden Globes
When a comedian hosts an awards show, you can expect some roast-style humor. That’s why they hire the comic. A roast structure creates a vehicle to ensure the success of the jokes which follow. Before you start firing jokes at people in the audience, you need permission. This is usually received by making fun of yourself, which gives you permission to make fun of the boss or authority figures, which gives you permission to make fun of the honored guests.

Last night Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globe Awards for the third year. Some people were surprised he was chosen as this year’s emcee because many thought he was over-the-top offensive last year. But in his pre-show appearances, he made it clear that he was going to do some sharply-pointed humor this year, too. The anticipation of what he was going to say helped build the tension, which is an important trigger for humor.

Here are some bits from his monologue (not the whole monologue) and some observations:

So where was I?
(A transition from last year’s performance to this year’s. Sets the stage for “more of the same.”)

Nervous? Don’t be. This isn’t about you.
(He will start primarily with jokes about the sponsor of the event and himself.)

Hello, I’m Ricky Gervais and welcome to the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Voted for by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
(His formal opening lines establish the fact that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was an authority figure, a fact which may not have been well-known to the television viewing audience.)


One of my speech coaching clients is a Cisco manager who has the honor of emceeing a high level meeting between his colleagues, a business partner’s team, and the best and brightest of Cisco engineers.


7 Questions to Ask Yourself

Who nominated you?

Who invited you to join this group or encouraged you to get involved in this project or event?

What is your connection to this group?

How do you feel about the people and the organization’s goals?

Why are they giving you this award?

When was the first time you attended a meeting and what were your experiences?

Have you seen someone else accept this same award?

The audience will not remember all the details of what you say, but they will remember the stories you tell. Include a memorable vignette or incident, something entertaining or touching about your connection.

Honor the Audience