People speaking in public…

As a presentation director and speech coach I watch the news and speaking events with a different eye, I am always in “the director/critic” mode. What worked, what did not work and what could be done differently. Here my choices for the good, bad and ugly speeches of 2014.

The Good

I wish and hope for more commencement address like the one Jim Carrey delivered at Maharishi University of Management’s class of 2014. In it he reveals how his late father inspired him to follow his dreams, it was humble, inspiring and full of humor. It is a great speech and reveals a great human being truly “showing up”. I love Jim Carrey, and his address just makes me like him even more.

See the full speech: Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V80-gPkpH6M

The Bad

Acceptance speeches seem to be tough one for actors, it’s like watching a car race, is there going to be a crash? I personally cringe when the recipient comes up to the stage, taking notes hastily written on crumpled paper in limo, I wait for a long list of names and the obligatory thank you list. Perhaps I am to hard in my opinion as I don’t understand, actors are paid a fortune ‘act’ and yes they are learn lines to speak for a living. Why don’t they get their favorite writer to create a speech?

The Golden Globes

When Jacqueline Bisset dropped into profanity while attempting to pull herself together during an emotional acceptance speech for the Best Supporting Actress award for her turn in “Dancing on the Edge”. Then Jacqueline rambling and pausing throughout her speech, she was visibly frustrated once the music started to play her off the stage it was like being a voyeur at a very personal catastrophe.

Watch the acceptance speech; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZceewp02cE

The Ugly

Politics in North America has been all but drained of any civility in recent years, but one concession to decorum has generally survived intact the victory speech.

In victory speeches, politicians still tend to speak kindly of their opponents, no matter how brutal and personal the campaign was until election night. Justin Amash, a 34-year-old Republican congressman from Michigan’s Third District, in his primary victory speech blew that tradition out of the water with an uncivil lambasting of his opponents. Some people called this the best, some called it the worst victory speech ever, I thought it was churlish, infantile and full of partisan rhetoric- what do you think?

To watch the victory speech; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km-vCExtZ-4

What Will Come 2015

Prediction; I see a cascade of attack ads will descend upon us, as Canada in 2015 and the US in 2016 get ready for general elections. Ads that defy truth in advertising, hammering away at our sensibilities, creating hostility and hatred. Politicians love to give speeches to get their message across and so many speeches are so bad! We will be awash in hyperbole, overblown rhetoric and plain old-fashioned bullshit.

1.4 Million

Somewhere in North America every week a presentation is being made – in fact 1.4 million times a week! Presentations are made by executives, managers, sales teams, and employees at every level who find themselves in front of an audience of their own peers presenting their most important thoughts and ideas.

Millions will fail, because of the presenter!

Millions more will be received with yawns, judged as uninteresting and boring. Just a few will connect where both the presenter and audience understand each other ~ perfectly in sync ~ discovering common ground ~ and, together, decide to act.

There are many resources available for you to ‘learn how to speak’, just type the phrase into any search engine. Yes of course I would love it if you joined me in one of my workshops, I wish you great success.