To Speak at Your Peak, Steer Clear of the Comparison Trap!

Eleni Kelakos presentation skills training, public speaking training, speech coaching

At six feet tall, with a long, loping stride, I was a very good high-school runner. Which is why I felt pretty darn cocky as I strode up to the starting line on track and field day to compete in a sprinting match with several other girls from my school. I was positioned next to my friend Brenda, who was at least six inches shorter than me.  Brenda was nimble and athletic. We’d played basketball, kickball and other team sports together; but we’d never run side-by-side. And so, when the whistle blew and we exploded onto the track, I was …

Public Speaking Tip: Don’t Speak to a Demographic, Speak to a Person

Eleni Kelakos presentation skills training, public speaking training, speech coaching

In preparation for writing a book about the art and craft of public speaking, I’ve been reading some great books on the subject. It’s always interesting to see where and how I differ or concur with my colleagues when it comes to public speaking best practices. I nodded my head in vehement agreement while reading Chris Anderson’s terrific book TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, when I came across the following nugget:  Elizabeth Gilbert, the best selling author of Eat, Pray, Love– who is herself a talented speaker—believes that you should plan your talk not for a …

Presentation Tip: To Engage Your Audience, Ask the Right Questions, in the Right Way, for the Right Reasons

Eleni Kelakos public speaking training

  Whether you use them to open your presentation, or drive a point home, questions are a great way to engage your audience.   The right question at the right time can take a presentation to a whole new level of feeling, understanding or insight. Which is why it’s essential to ask the right question, in the right way, for the right reason. There are, essentially, two types of questions 1.Questions to elicit a response. I use this type of question when I want to find out specific information and encourage active audience engagement: “How many of you are over six …