May 03

Musical Impressionist Danny Gans Passes Away

dannygansI was surprised to hear of the passing of musical impressionist Danny Gans who was 52. While you may not have heard of Danny Gans his story is certainly fascinating. A former minor league Baseball player Gans tried his hand at stand-up comedy performing in comedy clubs at the beginning of his career, but he didn’t like doing them.

He discovered that he could sing as well and spent the next 15 years travelling around America making his money on the corporate circuit, performing 125 nights a year. He said he polished his act in front of “middle America, people who read People magazine… They loved clean comics. They loved music. It was Elvis’ audience”. However, it was only after he realised that his kids missed him that he decided to try a different tact. Read the rest of this entry »

May 02

BBC 2’s The Speaker – The Final

It only seems like yesterday when I was writing a post about BBC 2’s new realitywinner-of-the-speaker-bbc-2009
TV talent show The Speaker. In fact it was about 4 weeks ago. They ended up
broadcasting two episodes a week, rather than one per week for 8 weeks. It was actually an interesting show in the end and the final and some strong young speakers in it.

As some of the reviews of The Speaker have said, and I am inclined to agree, it felt a little bit icky when they got taken to Malawi to meet children who were poverty-stricken so that the young speakers could have a topic for their final speech. Good little life experience for the speakers maybe, but a bit heavy-handed I felt. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 29

Twitter and Presentations: The Ultimate Interruption?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you would’ve heard about Twitter.  Now, it seems, even live presenters aren’t immune from it’s charms. 

Speaker Olivia Mitchell blogged about using Twitter in a presentation. She provides some very useful tips on harnessing the power of this new social communication tool… Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 24

Humorously Speaking, part2

Here’s a post about the 2nd project in the Humorously Speaking manual. The first video in this series is viewable here Humorously Speaking 1. This video is especially useful if you’re considering doing the Humorously Speaking Manual. Remember also, that the Humorous Speech Contest comes up once a year.

This vid is also a good way to introduce hmour to your speeches and presentations. If you need funny introduction, or maybe a funny story to end with, have a butcher’s… Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 19

Susan Boyle – a Lesson in Humour

(Photo source

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the singing sensation Susan Boyle? She’s the overnight singing sensation who recently appeared on Britain’s Got Talent. She’s a 47 year old unemployed lass from Scotland, who just gave an amazing rendition of an Elaine Page song.

Why am I talking about Susan Boyle on a blog about speaking? Well, there two reasons; the first is that it’s nevertoo late to go for your dreams and goals. If you’ve got a passion and, importantly, the talent to back it up then just go for it. Susan Boyle did it.Doesn’t matter whether she wins or not…

Read the rest of this entry »

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