Personal Website and Blog

Preparing A Speech

Hero’s Journey Approach to Storytelling

Introduced by Joseph Campbell in 1949, the Hero’s Journey is a narrative structure involving a protagonist who goes on an adventure, wins a decisive victory after a crisis, and then returns transformed. In his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces Joseph Campbell describes the Hero’s Journey as follows: A hero ventures forth from the […]

Continue Reading

The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling

Let’s picture the scene. You are sitting in an audience waiting for the next presentation to begin. For the past hour your time has been consumed by data, bullets and lots of technical information. Now imagine the next speaker takes to the stage and launches into a PowerPoint presentation full of complex text and cluttered […]

Continue Reading

How to Create Powerful Visual Aids 2

Communication is supposed to be about the transfer of emotion. Communication is about getting others to adopt your point of view, to help them understand why you’re excited (or sad, or optimistic or whatever else you are.) Humans get inspired by fellow humans, not slides. If all you want to do is create a PowerPoint […]

Continue Reading

How to Create Powerful Visual Aids 1

Communication is supposed to be about the transfer of emotion. Communication is about getting others to adopt your point of view, to help them understand why you’re excited (or sad, or optimistic or whatever else you are.) Humans get inspired by fellow humans, not slides. If all you want to do is create a PowerPoint […]

Continue Reading

6 Websites for Free PowerPoint Templates

Still the king when it comes to presentation software, Microsoft PowerPoint was born in 1990 (the same year as me as it happens!). Today an estimated 350 presentations are given each second across the globe, using PowerPoint. Visual aids, such as PowerPoint, are exactly what it says on the tin – something you layer over a message to aid the […]

Continue Reading

Communicate You Interviews Eoghan McDermott

A couple of weeks ago I dropped into the Communications Clinic in Dublin for a chat with Eoghan McDermott. Eoghan is a Director of The Communications Clinic and Head of Training. He provides public speaking and presentation advice and training to government departments and agencies, political parties and organisations in industries as varied as banking, accountancy, […]

Listen to Audio

Technical Presentations for Non Technical People

In today’s world, technical people including scientists, engineers, and programmers are being challenged more and more frequently to give presentations to others. And not just to other techies. Often they are speaking to people with little or no technical expertise. So how can you transition from technical to non-technical when you speak? How can you present a technical message […]

Continue Reading

What? So What? Now What?

A powerful way to help you remember the content of any presentation you’re making is to provide a meaningful structure for your content. In fact research has shown that people retain structured information up to 40% more reliably and accurately than information that is presented in a more freeform manner. There are many presentation structures on which you […]

Continue Reading

My Favourite Articles About Public Speaking

Whether you are giving a presentation for colleagues in your work department or at a national conference, teaching in front of a group of students, or giving a job talk, public speaking is a critical skill to master. Despite such importance, public speaking consistently ranks as one of people’s top phobias. Many people even fear […]

Continue Reading

How to Ace an Impromptu Speech

An ‘impromptu speech’ is a little different special. It’s a speech that you have to make when you haven’t been given notice time to allow you to prepare. The goal of an impromptu speech is not, nor should it be, to guide you into making a stirring, memorable speech that will have the audience jumping out of their […]

Continue Reading