All Posts By

Neil Thompson

Mary Shores

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She’s an author. She’s a speaker. She’s an entrepreneur. Mary Shores is a whole lot of things. Her recent book, Conscious Communications, has been met with rave reviews. Mary’s business has garnered over $40 million to date, and her success is still growing. She’s obviously a woman on the move. I found out about her business beginnings, her journey to entrepreneurship, and the motivation for writing her book. Great episode!

Learn more about Mary at While there, download her 36-page companion to Conscious Communications at

Adriannia Robinson

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Adriannia Robinson has come a long way. Homeless and unemployed in 2015, she decided she never wanted to be dependent on a single income ever again. I can relate! She started Designed by Adriannia in 2016 and hasn’t looked back. Branding is all the rage now, and Adriannia can help you improve (or even create) yours. I chatted with her about her bout with homelessness, the work she does for clients, and her future plans.

Get in touch with Adriannia at

Nikki Clarke

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Nikki Clarke is a tour de force. Jewelry maker, show host, public speaker. What can she not do? If you go on her website,, you’ll find all her shows. Yes, she has more than one. The Nikki Clarke Show, Foodie Central, And the Beat Goes On. The list seems to actually go on! Nikki’s also a motivational speaker at schools and events in the greater Toronto area. I found out about her speaking engagements, where she finds time to head all her endeavors, and her tips for becoming a great public speaker. What an informative and fun episode!

Keenya Kelly

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Looking to be empowered? Want to reach your full potential? Then Keenya Kelly is your girl. Mastermind leader, private coach, branding expert – Keenya is all of these things. She’s also a prolific speaker, delivering powerful messages to entrepreneurs and corporate professionals alike. As she sees it, her job is to convince the audience that it can succeed in making changes in their work and personal lives.

I was interested to find out about the various offshoots of her business and how public speaking has benefited her professionally.

Find out more about Keenya at

Speed matters

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Speaking speed matters. The brains of your audience members only work so fast. You need to give them time to take in what you’re saying.

What’s the speed to shoot for? You can use the Speed of Speech calculator to calculate the ideal words per minute. The author of the calculator, Jim Peterson, brings up some interesting points on speech speed.

If you’re addressing people who already agree with what you’re saying, speak more slowly so the audience can absorb your message and feel good about it. If you’re talking to a hostile audience, speak more quickly (around 160 wpm) to make it more difficult for the audience to form arguments against your message. So get a sense beforehand (if possible) if you’re speaking to a welcoming audience. You can then tailor your speed accordingly.

If you’re delivering technical information, opt for a slower speed (between 110 and 140 wpm) so people can fully take in your speech. Technical presentations typically have a lot of jargon and data. It’s essential to give the audience enough time to process it all.

To recap:

  • Speaking speed for welcoming audience: 140 wpm
  • Speed for hostile audience: 160 wpm
  • Speed for technical presentations: 110-140 wpm

Paul Kolecki

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Paul Kolecki is a voice coach who has developed a system that can teach people how to use voice, breath, and visualization techniques to improve pronunciation and reduce an accent. Classically trained as a singer and pianist, he initially made his system for actors who weren’t singers, but later adapted it for public speakers. I asked him about where he got the idea for his system from and how a public speaker can use it to great effect. After speaking with him, I need to stop putting bass in my voice when talking to women. They see right through it!

Find out more about Paul at

To subscribe, rate & review on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe, rate & review on Stitcher, click HERE.

No notes no more!

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Have you ever sat through a presentation where the presenter read the PowerPoint slides word for word? I mean…they read EVERYTHING and added NOTHING else. If so, do you remember thinking, “if I’d gotten the slides beforehand, I wouldn’t even have to be sitting here”? I can’t possibly be alone on this one!

Never read your presentation word for word. Perhaps you’re tempted to do it because you think that’ll ensure that you don’t miss any important points. What really happens, however, is that the audience stops listening. A voice that reads is almost always less interesting to listen to than a voice that doesn’t. When you read to yourself, do you do so in an animated and engaging voice? Didn’t think so.

What to do if you have a lot to say and want to make sure that you say it all?

While practicing your speech, make a list of topics and beneath each topic, a list of bullet points. Then practice your speech until you have all the topics and bullet points down cold. For instance, if I had to give a speech on a project’s progress, my topics might be:

  1. Tasks already done
  2. Tasks to be done
  3. Issues & proposed solutions
  4. Costs
  5. Time

The bullet points might be:

  1. Tasks already done – marketing assessment, R&D assessment, quality assessment, etc.
  2. Tasks to be done – product requirements specifications, risk analysis, design & development plan, etc.
  3. Issues – lack of operations representative for project (solution: request an ops rep from the appropriate department), unanticipated cost for legal assessment (solution: present options to do the assessment in house or outsource it), etc.
  4. Costs – cost performance index, earned value, present value, actual costs
  5. Time – schedule performance index, lack of operations rep has delayed operations assessment, no operation assessment has delayed timeline by X days, etc.

I’d practice my presentation until I had covered all the bullet points in the topics without missing any. I wouldn’t rely on reading PowerPoint slides or note cards to get me through the presentation. I’d even make sure that I didn’t have enough text on my slides so I wouldn’t be enticed into reading them verbatim.

So give this method a try. And say goodbye to note cards forever!

Eboni Gee

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Eboni Gee is the co-founder of LWAP (Living With a Purpose Consulting). A registered nurse who has over 15 years of healthcare experience, she’s a coach, workshop facilitator, course creator, and of course, public speaker. She’s a master of goal setting, obstacle smashing, and personal development. How does she deal with fear? How does she prepare? Does she having any tips for those of us who struggle with public speaking? Let’s get her take on public speaking!

I’m nervous about giving a speech. What should I do?

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You have a speech to give, and you’re nervous. So nervous that you’re thinking of every excuse in the book to get out of it. What can you do to make sure your speech is a success? Here are 3 tips:

1. Tell stories

Remember when you were a kid and your mom or dad would read you a bedtime story before you went to bed? Remember how happy that made you feel? Well, adults like stories, too! Telling stories makes it much more likely that your audience will listen. Just make sure that your stories are easy to follow, are personal, and are pertinent to your speech. No tangents allowed!

2. Practice beforehand

Especially if public speaking isn’t your thing, DON’T WING IT. Knowing your material well will help put you at ease. While practicing your speech, write down all the topics you will cover and bullet points beneath each topic. Practice your speech until you hit all the topics and bullets points without even thinking about them.

3. Believe in what you’re saying

It’s VERY difficult to deliver a convincing speech if you don’t believe in the message. So…make sure that you believe in the message. If you believe in what you’re saying, confidence tends to shine through.

Above all else, realize that everyone gets nervous when public speaking, even those who do it for a living. So go easy on yourself. You’ll get better every time you give it a go!

Damon Brown

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Entrepreneur. Author. TED Speaker. Damon Brown is all of these things and more. But all of these titles stem from Damon’s main mission – to help his clients get clear on their message to themselves and their desired audiences. I was interested in chatting with Damon about his many endeavors, including his latest book, The Bite-Sized Entrepreneur, his biggest accomplishment, and his biggest fail. We got through some of it, but what we did address was golden! It was definitely an informative 30 minutes.

Learn more about Damon at (I guess .com was taken…)


Tune in on April 4 at 10 am PDT for my public speaking webinar. Get more info HERE.