Watch this to find out what lies ahead. Also, to hear me drop a bit of a bombshell.

Kindly ignore the sound of a distant emergency vehicle (no, I’m not being hunted by the cops), and the insistent beep-beep-beep of builders at the back of my house.

You might think: what the heck have I got myself into? Why is this man sitting on the floor to record these amateurish videos?

Please bear with me. I’m doing my best to avoid one of the great problems that often arises when people teach speaking and presenting. Too often, they give examples from the very best speakers and presenters: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King etc.

And my strong belief is that people who read about amazingly talented speakers and presenters get intimidated. So I want to share stories about my own more modest experience.

To reassure you, I’d like to acknowledge the audiences on four continents who have taught me to improve this training.

Through the time they generously gave me, I’ve learned what people enjoy, and what doesn’t work so well. Here’s a shot from a session I ran for young people in South Korea, with simultaneous translation from Alex (holding a blue clipboard):

But even this mild international success might sound like showing off, so I’ll stop.

FINALLY… please leave a comment below. It’s really important that together we get into some kind of dialogue. If you can’t think of anything else to say, just write, “I’m here”.

Thank you.


This video contains a very basic outline of what speaking and presenting can and should be.

Many beginners naturally assume that it’s all about the person speaking – a kind of one-way broadcast, before a passive audience.

In fact, both speaking and presenting belong with everyday conversation on a spectrum of communication that goes from (say) sending a message full of data to unknown life forms in outer space (not very intimate) to admitting a dreadful and embarrassing mistake with somebody close (very intimate).

To make this a bit clearer, I’ve created a PDF showing various points on that spectrum. Feel free to download it.

Speaking and presenting can occupy any point on the spectrum, depending on the context.

In general, we tend to move towards ever greater levels of intimacy, or openness, unless we experience some kind of hurt. That kind of hurt might include a prior bad experience in front of an audience – which can make us afraid of every other audience.

If that’s happened to you, you have my sympathy. Because I know how that feels.

But if it’s happened to you, you probably also know that you need to overcome that fear, and start to open up again. If you weren’t aware of that, you probably wouldn’t be reading this.

Finally, a word about technique.

Too often, when it comes to speaking and presenting, “techniques” are offered as dark secrets that will help you to manipulate others.

I hate that!

But I recognise that techniques do, in fact, exist. I use them myself and I enjoy learning new ones. I’ll share many of them as we go along.

If you haven’t downloaded the Spectrum of Communications yet, please do it now.

Spectrum of Communications – download the PDF

And leave me a comment – thank you!


Er, please ignore this, I recorded it long ago and haven’t updated this page yet for the Festival of Rhetoric

Well, I tried, but the link to the Q&A Calls is not where I pointed – not on my screen, anyway.

But if you look around you’ll see it in the main menu. If you can’t, please let me know by leaving a comment below, and I’ll fix it.

In fact, please leave a comment anyway. It lets me know that you’ve visited.