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I’ve been teaching individuals and organizations to become better public communicators for more than 25 years. I’ve seen it all and done it all. Over the years I have developed a method that allows people to become more comfortable and effective in front of groups large and small. Here are a few quick tips:

  • Prepare by knowing your audience as much as you know your speech
  • Defeat fear by being idea conscious rather than self-conscious
  • Avoid Jargon and acronyms
  • Avoid the opening joke. It’s rarely funny anyway
  • Gestures should be natural. Attempts to control them look contrived
  • Don’t try to do too much. The shotgun approach hits everything but the target
  • Be flexible because something will go wrong!
Let’s be clear.  The reason most people fail is not because they don’t try, not because they don’t practice, not because they don’t prepare.  It’s because they’re afraid, and much of the common advice simply increases that fear.  So what is it that we are afraid of?  Well, it’s certainly not talking – we’ve been talking since we were three or four years old.  What we’re really afraid of is our reactions to the situation and what others may think of us, not the act of speaking itself.  We are quite simply afraid of being judged.  Know this – that for most people, when they’re in front of a group their perceptions are distorted.  They have trouble separating reality from those perceptions.  It may be a fact that some people are ignoring you.  It is your perception that you are boring, based on what you see on that person’s face.  Perhaps they’re thinking about their vacation or a report they need to turn in later – only they know for sure.  It may be reality that your knees are shaking – it is your perception that everyone in the audience can see it and they’re thinking what a pitiful speaker you are.  This distortion of what is really going on is a key reason for this cycle of self punishment that eventually will turn your perceptions into reality.  Breaking that cycle is why I love to teach public speaking. I call it PERFORMANCE SPEAKING.




Serving as an an emcee it’s not an easy job. However when it’s done well it looks like it’s easy. I’ve been emceeing events for more than 20 years so I feel pretty comfortable that I have it down. But beyond that, what my experience has given me is an insight into what people really care about with regard to their event. It is that deep understanding of the mission that allows the event to be relevant and meaningful to the audience. In my experience many emcees feel like they should be traffic cops bringing up other people to speak and telling a few terrible jokes in between. I think it’s okay to have fun but only if it’s appropriate to the situation and that’s what I think makes the difference between a job well done and one that misses the point.  Let me know if I can help you.

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  • “Steve, you were nothing short of spectacular today.  And when I needed it the most, you were beyond spectacular.  You are a consummate professional, and I am so grateful for your presence throughout this event.  I can’t thank you enough.  Ever”.  Marianne Heywood  Bellevue Schools Foundation


  • “On behalf of the Board, Staff, and youth of Friends of the Children -King County, I would like to thank you so much for time and efforts at last nights gala. You were, with out a doubt, the best Emcee we have had for this event and it was such an honor that you would take the time. As you know, we met our goal for the evening and even slightly exceeded it. We are extremely excited about this and credit you as being a key part of the team that allowed that to happen. Thank you!” . Sarah Cole In-coming President Friends of the Children – King County


  • ” Thank you for looking into your availability to serve on the Golden Age of Flight Gala Steering Committee.  As we discussed, it is also my hope that you will be able to MC the evening’s program – it wouldn’t be quite right without you. Anne Simpson”. The Museum of Flight

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The method I use is based on three things: How to properly prepare, effectively deliver and perhaps most importantly, how to overcome the fear that often gets in the way of executing your plan. If you have to give a speech or PowerPoint presentation and you need some help, send me an e-mail via “contact”. Maybe I can you get you ready to shine. GEt more info