3 Ways to Develop Healthy Speaking Ligaments

She's dedicated to her fitness

Author Joy Engelsman

In this classic scene from the movie, Dave, actress Bonnie Hunt plays the role of a White House tour guide. While directing a group of tourists along the red-carpeted halls, she pauses to announce bits of history related to the tour. Each stop, with the guide’s commentary is part of the whole tour in the same way that each point of a speech is part of a whole presentation.

Episode 001: Welcome to the Art and Business of Public Speaking!

Thanks for tuning in to the Art and Business of Public Speaking! In Episode 001 we tell you what this podcast is all about. Ken Davis, your host, and Brian Scheer, your cohost, offer three takeaways that will take your next speech, or the next step in your career, to the next level.

Breaking It In: Overcoming Barriers that Keep Us From Change

Author Joy Engelsman

A few months ago, I got a new phone. I didn’t want to replace my old phone; it had served me well and fit comfortably in my hands and in the little side pocket of my purse. But calls had been dropping and I couldn’t get online for information anymore. The very tool I had loved for communication was no longer doing the job I needed it to do for me. So, I ordered a better, bigger version. Not too fancy, but better suited to keep me connected and help me get my work done.

3 Keys to Dress for Success

DeathtoStock_Portraits-13Author Sarah Beckman

I recently watched a video teaching series by a very prominent women’s speaker. This speaker is world-renowned with an incredibly large following and she has produced countless bible studies with companion videos.

The moment she stepped on stage at the start of the video, the whole room gasped.

She was wearing the most hideous, bright, flowing, frock-type shirt that hung below her jacket. It was completely distracting causing everyone in the room to make a comment – not in a good way.

What I Learned at Launch by Arleen Spenceley

Author Arleen Spenceley

A week ago, I rushed from room 1018 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel to the hotel’s second floor so I would be early for the first session of the Launch Conference. I brought a laptop and a lot of expectations – high ones, inspired by the last Dynamic Communicators conference I attended: SCORRE™, in May of ‘14.

Average Alone; Exceptional Together

Author Mark Jevert

The start of the 2015 baseball season is upon us. As a Cubs fan, and for fans of all the teams, hope springs eternal, and everyone (well, almost everyone) thinks that this is the year for their team.

1907 CubsI came across this photo of the last Cubs team to win the World Series in 1908 (yes, it’s been a really long time). Three of the names that stand out to baseball fans today are the famous double-play combination of Tinker to Evers to Chance.

On Speaking: Lessons from Lincoln

Author Jeff Vankooten

Abraham_Lincoln_November_1863Written in 1863 in a scant 273 words and delivered in just over two minutes, Abraham Lincoln gave what is arguably the most famous speech in American History. It’s impact came not from it’s length or importance at the time (it was secondary to other presentations that day) but by the power it delivered on three levels!

Coming Soon: The Art and Business of Public Speaking Podcast

Stay tuned for the upcoming Art and Business of Public Speaking Podcast, hosted by, Ken Davis!

DCI Podcast Cover Art 6c FinalFor over 30 years Ken has helped speakers writers and performers build exciting careers. This podcast will be an extension of the SCORRE™ Conference and the Launch Conference. We hope our podcast will educate, encourage and inspire those who desire to communicate effectively.

Sign up for our newsletter in the sidebar so you’ll be the first to know when the podcast airs!

Enough Information Already, Tell Me What You Want Me To Do!

DeathtoStock_Creative Community4Author Curtis Fletcher

I am old enough to have lived through the rise of the Internet. Back in those early days, when some suggested this thing was just a fad soon to go the way of the television western, the terms “internet”, “world wide web”, and “information super highway” were used synonymously. Prior to the intrusion of this Infobahn into our daily moment by moment there were only three sources of information that were readily available to the general populace: the phonebook, the Encyclopedia Britannica, and the public library…and the latter was the easiest place to find the former two.

The explosion of enlightenment that has occurred with the waxing of the web has deeply impacted nearly every area of our lives. We have more facts and figures at our fingertips today than could possibly be used in a multiplicity of lifetimes. So it comes as no surprise that those who step up to the present day pulpit, be it religious, political, or corporate, afflict us with more anecdotes, stun us with more studies, and smother us with more statistics than ever before.

Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE a good illustration. I have been teaching people to use them for decades. But as an audience member in each of the three aforementioned arenas I can often easily sniff out when the speaker began their preparation with: “I must be sure to use this story”, or “We need to be sure we say something about…”, or “They need to know how good/smart/efficient/expert/better than the competition we are”.

Allow me to suggest that if you REALLY desire to have a deep impact on your audience you should start your preparation with two simple questions:

  1. What do I want my audience to do?
  2. Do I need to convince them to do it or do I need to train them how?

Allow me to further suggest that should you venture to give this rarefied approach a go, three essential benefits will ensue:

1. It will force you to put your purpose first thus simplifying preparation

Starting with these two simple questions will literally, with practice, allow you to capture any length presentation in a single sentence. No matter if that presentation is a five minute impromptu testimonial or a thirty-seven chapter book. In this age of information overload defining a discreet purpose allows you to eliminate the extraneous and focus on that which will be most effective in driving home your purpose.

2. It will force you to put your audience first thus connecting you more deeply to their need

These two questions, and especially that nagging second one, force you to examine what you know about your audience. If you allow it to it will become the voice in your preparation that brings you back to their perspective. You won’t have to search for the “perfect opening joke” to attempt to connect; you’ll be connected and connecting throughout.

3. It will force you to focus on outcomes thus bringing clarity and focus to your communication

I recently consulted with a gentleman who was looking to create a strategy for his online content. He was somewhat befuddled as to how to capture everything he MIGHT have in his arsenal to talk about and distilling it down into something to which his audience might subscribe. His options were so broad that he was all over the board.

By starting with these two questions we spent one 30 minute phone call and two email exchanges and came up with a content roadmap that will serve him for an entire year. The presentations nearly are writing themselves as he uses this mechanism to focus the vast information and experience he already has in his own head.

If you want to move an audience provide them with a clear destination and convince them why they should make the journey or help them know how to get there. Do this, and you’ll see and feel the difference in your preparation, your delivery, and your results.

How do you begin preparing your presentations today?

Do you find it difficult to package everything you have into the right timeframe or word count?

Would you like to learn an easier way to create presentation with laser-like focus?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

If you’d like help in how to use these two important questions join us at the SCORRE™ Conference this May in Orlando! Click here to learn more. 

Curtis is a speaker, coach, and grandiose pontificator who regularly consults with large organizations on topics ranging from customer experience to the Internet of Things. He has a passion for helping people create wow moments for their audiences and customers. When he is not coaching someone in communications or marketing he can often be found preparing for his next half marathon, something he finds terribly perplexing.

One Word: Focus


Author Mark Jevert

I’m one of many who choose one word to use as an anchor point for the year. I usually start thinking about it mid-December, and by the time the end of the year rolls around, I’ve settled on a word I believe should shape not only my year, but also me.

Books have been written about it, and I’ve seen entire schools, churches and businesses take on this practice. Now, each of my family members practice this each year, as it helps provide a daily compass.

In years past, my words have been:

  • Dance
  • Trust
  • Abide
  • Daily
  • Hope
  • Present
  • Joy

This year (shortly after Thanksgiving,) I learned that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet were each asked for one single word they attributed to their success — they both chose the word FOCUS.


As one who has learned that in order to achieve more focus and clarity in speaking and writing, one must narrow both the subject matter as well as what is communicated, this struck a cord. Furthermore, considering my decision to launch a new consulting company this year, it was a no brainer that focus should be my ‘word’ for 2015.

Steve Jobs once said, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.” I too often say “yes” to too many opportunities, cluttering my schedule with good projects but crowding out room for the best ones.


Another aspect of focus is to help ‘keep the main thing the main thing.’ This allows me the freedom to set my phone down one day a week and not jump to answer every email or inquiry. I think this is what Paul Allen was inferring when he said, “Technology is notorious for engrossing people so much that they don’t always focus on balance and enjoy life at the same time.”


I’m wearing this word on my wrist in 2015 with one of the bracelets pictured here. It’s a visual reminder for me each day (if you don’t think this helps, check out Louis Oosthuizen’s story in winning the 2010 Open Championship). An added bonus is that the company who makes these bracelets, Mud Love, uses 20% of all their sales to provide clean water in Africa.

I was one of thousands who took the “ice bucket challenge” in 2014. So MY challenge to YOU for the rest of this year is to consider choosing one word. It’s a powerful tool in my life, and I trust it will be for you as well.


Mark is the Chief Creative Strategist for Next Consulting Services, and serves churches and non-profits in marketing, branding, and strategic planning. He started his career in marketing and banking, and then served for 30 years with Youth for Christ in a number of roles. He is a fan of Chicago sports team, and He and his wife, Debra, call Kalamazoo, Michigan their home. They have three amazing adult daughters.