Category: Media Training Tips


15 Great Ways To Close A Speech (Public Speaking Essentials)

What would you like your final words to achieve? Do you want audience members to get involved in your advocacy efforts? Reconsider previously held views? Have a more complete or nuanced understanding of your topic?

In this post, you’ll learn 15 specific ways to end on a high note.

Among the highlights: the “illustrative” close, the PowerPoint close, the backward-looking close, and the takeaway close.


How To Close A Speech (Public Speaking Essentials)

Musicians write songs that build to rousing crescendos. Attorneys deliver emotionally moving closing arguments to impressionable jurors.

Throughout our culture, we recognize how important a big finish is. We want that blockbuster action film to end with a dazzling car chase and the annual fireworks display to conclude with an awesome sequence of rapid-fire bursts.

And yet…many closes limp to the finish line. In this post, you’ll learn how to end your speech with a bang — and why there are two closes, not one.


Great Panel Discussions: Nine Ways To Be A Terrific Panelist

The first five posts in our series on delivering better panel presentations focused on panel moderators.

But what if you’re invited to be a panelist instead?

In this final post in our series about delivering better panel discussions, you’ll find nine tips that great panelists use to ensure that they stand apart from their co-panelists — and have their most important points remembered long after the session ends.


Nine Ways To Be An Exceptional Interviewer

You can be a great moderator who asks riveting questions that generate fascinating answers — if you study the art of the interview.

In this post, you’ll find nine in-depth tips that will teach you what the interviewing masters know.

You’ll learn how to ask good follow-up questions, involve the audience in unexpected ways, be (appropriately) provocative, sequence your questions, be an effective time cop, and much more.


Profile In Leadership: Air Force Academy Superintendent’s Race Speech

On Monday, five black cadet candidates at the U.S. Air Force Academy Prep School were targeted in message boards with ugly racist attacks.

Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, Superintendent of the US Air Force Academy (USAFA), addressed thousands of students yesterday about the attack. His five-minute speech is worth watching in full. As many commenters on the YouTube video remarked, “This is what leadership looks like.”

It’s easy to see why this speech went viral. To help other speakers use some of the same elements to improve their own talks, I’ve dissected six of the things General Silveria did so well.


Great Panel Discussions: How To Open Your Panel

Many panels run for 50 minutes at conferences. Below, you’ll find a typical format, which contains a major flaw. Can you spot it?

– Moderator sets up topic and introduces panelists (5 minutes)
– Each panelist delivers an opening statement (3 panelists x 5 minutes each = 15 minutes)
– Panelists answer moderator’s questions (15 minutes)
– Audience Q&A (15 minutes)

In this post, I’ll identify the flaw in that format.


Great Panel Discussions: How To Create Segments and Draft Questions

A great interview is a combination of two things: careful planning in advance and active listening in the moment.

We’ll focus on the first of those points in this post, which will teach you how to prepare a list of questions by breaking your topic into several smaller segments, varying open- and closed-ended questions, and showing you a sample interview with six questions.

I’ll also address the question of how many questions you should share with your panelists in advance.


Great Panel Discussions: The Right Way To Set The Room

You’ve probably seen the typical panel setup: one long table with several chairs, a desk microphone for each panelist resting atop the table, and a moderator either seated amongst the panelists or standing behind a lectern next to the table.

That popular format—which can still be found at many corporate, scientific, and academic conferences—isn’t conducive to lively conversation. In fact, it inhibits it.

Here’s how to break the mold and make it better.

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