Recent Articles in Tips

October 16, 2019

PowerPoint Makeovers: Three Quick Fixes


Tips , Three Things , Public Speaking , PowerPoint

Simple changes can make your too-busy slides much more audience friendly. Here are three quick ways to clean up a PowerPoint presentation...

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October 13, 2019

Public Speaking Nerves: How One High-Profile Speaker Copes


Public Speaking Fear , Seen|Read|Heard , Tips , Public Speaking

She speaks to large crowds. She's used to hostile audiences. She's known for making bold statements. And she still gets nervous. Here's how this public speaker deals with it and what you can learn...

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September 25, 2019

Public Speaking Sins: Failing to Respect Your Audience


Cardinal Sins , Strictly Speaking , Tips , The Buckley Experience

From our founder's 10 Cardinal Sins that amateur public speakers commit: Here's why you should work for the audience and assume they know a thing or two.

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September 13, 2019

How To: Project Confidence


How To , Business Communication , Public Speaking , Instruction , Tips , Public Speaking Fear

Most speakers want to appear confident. When you know what that looks like, you can project a more powerful stage presence—whether you're feeling it or not. Here's how...

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August 23, 2019

Public Speaking Sins: Failing to Appeal to Emotion


Cardinal Sins , Public Speaking , Strictly Speaking , The Buckley Experience , Tips

Even the most brilliant audiences need more than facts. From our founder's 10 cardinal sins, why you've got to break out of that box and get the audience to have feelings for you.

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August 22, 2019

Presentation Skills: Got Charisma?


Public Speaking , Resources , Tips , Strictly Speaking

It's that quality we struggle to define, yet seems to sparkle in the best public speakers. At The Buckley School, we call it personal magnetism. Here's how you can develop yours...

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August 15, 2019

Business Communication: Three Tips for Better Emails


Business Communication , Tips , Three Things

Don't be "that person"—especially when you can practice your writing and presentation skills AND craft better emails at the same time!

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August 9, 2019

How To: Manage Uhs and Ums


How To , Instruction , Tips , Public Speaking

Crutch words. Filler language. A natural way we all speak. What should you do about the uhs and ums when you're making a presentation? We have a few ideas...

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August 5, 2019

Ditching Jargon to Promote Success


Public Speaking , Seen|Read|Heard , Faculty , Tips

Universities are starting to do something about their mind-boggling jargon. Here's how that can help you reassess your own approach to business communication...

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July 23, 2019

Public Speaking Sins: Grandiose Allusions


Cardinal Sins , Public Speaking , Tips , The Buckley Experience , Strictly Speaking

"Count on this: almost nobody who quotes Plato has read Plato," writes Reid Buckley in his advice to speakers. Before you start strutting that stuff in your next speech, consider the consequences...

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July 5, 2019

Vulnerable, Courageous: Speaking to Defy the Odds


Alumni , Public Speaking , Tips

Public speaking skills help prison inmates restore self-esteem and succeed on the outside. No one knows that better than Quan Huynh. Here's how he's using his voice to help other incarcerated men and women defy the odds...

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June 21, 2019

Your Big Idea: The Poster Approach to Public Speaking


Public Speaking , Tips , Resources

What can we learn from a well-designed poster? There's a movement afoot to change how scientists use poster presentations to communicate. The same techniques can work in your presentations...

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June 19, 2019

Public Speaking Sins: Reckless Use of Quotes


Cardinal Sins , Tips , The Buckley Experience , Public Speaking Books

Before you start Googling quotes for your next presentation, take a moment to reflect on this cardinal sin that amateur speakers commit...

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June 12, 2019

Great Speeches: Berlin, Donuts and Walls


Great Speeches , On This Day , Significant Speeches , Tips

One wall, two famous speeches separated by 24 years. In the month of June, both Kennedy and Reagan spoke before the Berlin Wall. A look at the impact of their words and what we can learn from those speeches today...

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June 10, 2019

Public Speaking & Storytelling: Stories to Teach


Resources , Public Speaking , Business Communication , Tips , Storytelling

Can a story help at-risk teens learn to make better choices? One former L.A. gang member thinks so. Here's how our Buckley coach helped him use his stories to teach and how the same ideas can work for your presentations...

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June 5, 2019

The Eyes of the World are Upon You: Eisenhower's D-day Speech


Significant Speeches , On This Day , Public Speaking , Great Speeches , Resources , Tips

On this day, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower recorded a message for D-day troops. Learn more about how this speech came together and the edits that made his words more powerful...

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May 10, 2019

Questionable Presentation Advice: Count Out Your Points


Public Speaking , Tips , Instruction

Enumerating your points can help you organize AND help your audience follow along. So why do we always offer this tip with a warning? Four reasons...

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May 7, 2019

Economic Developer: Speaking to Motivate Communities


Public Speaking , Tips , Resources , Business Communication

How do you convince leaders to take action before a crisis comes to town? Economic developer Crystal Morphis says public speaking is one of her most important skills for helping communities stay open for business...

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April 26, 2019

Three Things to Tell Yourself When You’re Nervous


Public Speaking Fear , Tips , Three Things , Public Speaking

That voice in your head? Give it a new script! Try these lines to talk yourself into being a more confident speaker...

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April 9, 2019

Business Communication: Presenting at the Conference Table


Business Communication , Tips , Public Speaking

You may not be standing on a stage--or even in front of a small group--but a seated presentation is no time to take a holiday. Here's how to pitch at the conference table and still own the room...

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April 2, 2019

Good Panel Discussions: Introducing Panelists


Panel Discussions , Tips , Instruction

Whether you're a moderator introducing the panel or a panelist instructed to talk about yourself, this simple recipe will help you better connect with the audience at your next panel discussion.

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March 18, 2019

March Madness: Some Public Speaking Slam Dunks


Just For Fun , Public Speaking , Resources , Public Speaking Fear , Travel , Tips

March Madness fans are arriving in our neighborhood, hoping to see Zion Williamson, perhaps unaware they could improve their presentation skills while watching the big games...

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March 4, 2019

Good Panel Discussions: The Moderator’s Role


Panel Discussions , Tips , Instruction , Resources

Asking questions, introducing panelists, sure--but the real job of the moderator is to represent the audience and work on their behalf. What would Oprah do?

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March 2, 2019

Questionable Advice: 'Dumb Down that Presentation'


Public Speaking , Instruction , Tips

Before you despair over "dumbing down" your presentation, consider how you can be smarter about making complex information accessible.

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February 20, 2019

Rhetorical Device of the Month: Antithesis


Rhetorical Devices , Resources , Public Speaking , Tips , Great Speeches

Why are we pro-antithesis? Here's how this artful juxtaposition can sharpen your point, challenge injustice, or make hearts soar--and make your words more memorable.

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February 7, 2019

Public Speaking Sins: Opening with a Joke


Strictly Speaking , Cardinal Sins , Public Speaking , Tips , The Buckley Experience

What must public speakers avoid if they don't want to make the amateur's mistakes? Next from our founder's 10 Cardinal Sins of Public Speaking, why canned jokes are no laughing matter...

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February 6, 2019

Good Panel Discussions: Tips for Panelists


Panel Discussions , Tips , Instruction , Resources

You've agreed to take part in a panel discussion. Now what? Dear panelist, here's how to make the most of it...

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January 21, 2019

Questionable Advice Department: Hand out Your PowerPoint in Advance


Resources , Instruction , Tips , Public Speaking , PowerPoint

Should you give the audience your PowerPoint deck before you present it? Why we question that advice on handouts and what you can do instead...

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January 14, 2019

How to: Use Gestures in a Presentation


How To , Instruction , Tips , Resources , Public Speaking

Do you talk with your hands? Terrific! Now let's make sure those gestures are saying what you mean...

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January 6, 2019

Public Speaking Sins: Arrogance & Conceit


Public Speaking , Strictly Speaking , Cardinal Sins , The Buckley Experience , Public Speaking Books , Tips

What must public speakers avoid if they don't want to make the mistakes of an amateur? Our founder's 10 Cardinal Sins of Public Speaking, starting with one that requires "cleansing your spirit."

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January 3, 2019

Good Panel Discussions: Start with Why


Panel Discussions , Resources , Tips

What makes the best panel discussion? What do moderators and panelists need to know to succeed? We're sharing tips from our experiences, starting with the most obvious and overlooked question: Why?

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December 20, 2018

All I Want for Christmas: PowerPoint to Pitch the Parents


Public Speaking , Tips , Seen|Read|Heard , PowerPoint

Should Santa be on the lookout for more PowerPoint presentations? Here's how The New York Times says kids are using formal pitches to persuade their parents...

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December 2, 2018

Questionable Presentation Advice: Get the Audience Involved


Public Speaking , Tips , Seen|Read|Heard

Of course, you want the audience engaged when you're presenting. But before you ask them to close their eyes or get up on their feet, consider this...

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November 13, 2018

Questionable Presentation Advice: Smile More


Public Speaking , Tips , Instruction

Asking a speaker to smile more may earn you a grimace or a frown. Here's how to solve the real problem with speaker engagement and facial expressions...

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November 12, 2018

Tips for Mastering Public Speaking Skills More Quickly


Three Things , Tips , Public Speaking

Helping military members master new communication skills has also taught us a few things. Here's how you can jump in, embrace the challenge, and accelerate your learning...

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November 8, 2018

How To: Calm Public Speaking Nerves


Public Speaking Fear , Public Speaking , Tips , Instruction , How To

When you feel nervousness coming on, what's a speaker to do? Here's how to manage that I'm-on-next stress and keep nerves from undermining your presentation...

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November 5, 2018

Public Speaking Lessons from 'The Voice'


Three Things , Just For Fun , Tips , Seen|Read|Heard , Faculty

Our Buckley coach makes the case for learning presentation skills from a popular TV show and why Taylor Swift would make an excellent public speaking instructor...

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October 17, 2018

Presenting to Decision Makers: Tips for a Better Pitch


Resources , Tips , Seen|Read|Heard , Public Speaking

Presenting to the C-Suite or a promising new client is the opportunity you've been working for. Avoid these common mistakes when you make your pitch...

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October 16, 2018

Questionable Presentation Advice: Walk to Engage the Audience


Resources , Public Speaking , Instruction , Tips

Walk around the room to connect with the audience? Yeah, we've heard that one, too. Before you step in it bigtime, consider our take...

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October 16, 2018

How To: Ask a Rhetorical Question


How To , Instruction , Resources , Tips

It's a simple technique for engaging audiences, yet many speakers don't make the most of it in presentations. Here's how to ask rhetorical questions that get you somewhere...

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September 18, 2018

Public Speaking Tips: Get More From Your Voice


Public Speaking , Faculty , Three Things , Instruction , Tips , The Buckley Experience

You don't need a different voice. You need to make the most of the one you have! Three ways to do that, plus a lifetime of insights from the Buckley vocal coach who pushes our students to stretch their performances...

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September 10, 2018

Speaking in Public: Reading & Managing the Audience


30th Anniversary , Speaker's Bookshelf , Public Speaking Books , The Buckley Experience , Instruction , Tips , Speaking in Public

To be unnerved or not to be unnerved? That is the question when facing a murderous room. Tips for how to read audiences and adjust your presentation like a pro...

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September 7, 2018

How to: Format a speech text


How To , Resources , Tips , Instruction , Public Speaking

Simple formatting changes can make it much easier to give a speech from a written text. Here's what you can do to see almost instant results:

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September 6, 2018

Questionable Presentation Advice: Always Repeat Audience Questions


Resources , Tips , Instruction , Seen|Read|Heard , Public Speaking

Maybe you've heard this tip for handling Q&A sessions after a speech or presentation: Always repeat the question before you answer it. But it's not that simple...

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August 13, 2018

Let’s Go There: Your Public Speaking Mindset


Public Speaking , Seen|Read|Heard , Tips

Might your dread of public speaking be worse than the experience itself? A look at the connection between mindset and public speaking success...

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August 10, 2018

Better Stories for Your Next Presentation


Resources , Public Speaking , Three Things , Instruction , Tips , Storytelling

Personal stories can bring a presentation to life. Apply these easy-to-use writing workshop tips to bring more life to your stories...

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August 7, 2018

Questionable Presentation Advice: Open With a Joke


Resources , Public Speaking , Tips , Instruction

When well-meaning public speaking advice goes wrong: Why you might not want to open that can of jokes.

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July 16, 2018

3 Tips for Better PowerPoint in 30 seconds


Public Speaking , Instruction , Tips , Three Things , PowerPoint

You can get a better PowerPoint presentation in 30 seconds, just by making a few simple changes. Here's how...

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July 11, 2018

Questionable Presentation Advice: Speak from the heart


Public Speaking , Resources , Seen|Read|Heard , Tips , The Buckley Experience

Heard some public speaking advice that made you wonder? Us, too. Here's another take on the old "speak from the heart" tip...

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June 28, 2018

Speaking in Public: How to Use a Lectern


Public Speaking Books , 30th Anniversary , Resources , Public Speaking , The Buckley Experience , Speaker's Bookshelf , Tips , Speaking in Public

A lectern can be a great home base for a speaker, when used well. Reid Buckley provides a professional speaker's tips and perspective from the podium...

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June 5, 2018

Using Quotes in Speeches: Should You?


Public Speaking , Seen|Read|Heard , Instruction , Tips , Just For Fun

Should you use a quote in your next speech or presentation? A graduation speech making news for its use of a quote inspires us to weigh in...

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May 11, 2018

3 Ways to Improve Your On-Camera Delivery


Three Things , Tips , Faculty , Media Training

From company video messages to online training, more of us expect to be on camera as part of our work. A news anchor, TV producer, and Buckley coach--Kara Gormley Meador gives you some tips for making the most of it.

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April 18, 2018

3 simple ways to build audience rapport


Three Things , Public Speaking , Instruction , Tips , Faculty , The Buckley Experience

When the audience likes you, they're more receptive to your presentation. Here are simple ways to win that rapport the next time you speak...

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April 5, 2018

Presentation Advice: The Case for the Simple Word


Public Speaking , Tips , The Buckley Experience , 30th Anniversary , Public Speaking Books , Resources , Speaking in Public

Thirty years ago, The Buckley School launched its flagship program and founder Reid Buckley published his first book on public speaking. From Chapter 9, here's his multi-syllabled advice for using the simple word...

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March 31, 2018

Books for Speakers: Woe Is I


Public Speaking Books , Speaker's Bookshelf , Instruction , Tips , Resources

One of our favorite guides--smart, easy to follow, and full of fun (yes, really) without any of the harmful side effects that caused you to doze off in middle school...

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March 29, 2018

Beyond 'You Were Great!' - 3 Tips for Getting Helpful Feedback


Tips , Three Things , Public Speaking

"You were great!" It's the response most people hear when they ask for feedback on a speech or presentation. Here's how to get the stuff you can actually use...

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March 9, 2018

Standing Up to Public Speaking Fears


Resources , Public Speaking , Seen|Read|Heard , Three Things , Just For Fun , Tips

When a hospital administrator wanted to give her career a boost, she had to overcome her fear of public speaking. So she took on an even scarier challenge. Should you?

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February 20, 2018

Speaking in Public: Using Humor and Wit


Public Speaking Books , Speaker's Bookshelf , The Buckley Experience , Public Speaking , Tips , 30th Anniversary , Speaking in Public

Our founder's first book on speaking was "Speaking in Public." As we mark our 30th anniversary, we're sharing excerpts, including Reid's take on adding humor and wit to your public speaking...

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February 13, 2018

Comfortable in the Spotlight: 3 Public Speaking Tips for Shy Speakers


Public Speaking , Three Things , Tips

Introverts, take heart! Every speaker can find a way to own the stage, even the ones who'd prefer not to be there. Here's how...

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January 4, 2018

Speaking to Lead: Recall what moves you


Public Speaking Fear , Public Speaking , Seen|Read|Heard , Tips

She wasn't much of a talker until her job demanded it. Here's how Olympian and once-shy public speaker Dawn Staley finds her voice and how the same technique can help you...

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November 22, 2017

With Gratitude: Thoughts on saying thanks in your next speech


Tips , Public Speaking

Audiences appreciate a courteous speaker--but what's the secret to conveying your genuine gratitude? Some ideas for going above and beyond...

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November 20, 2017

Public Speaking Fears: Make A Game Plan


Public Speaking Fear , Seen|Read|Heard , Tips , Public Speaking

How public speaking tripped him up and what you can learn from Duke's Grayson Allen about handling your nerves...

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November 16, 2017

Dial in a win: Secrets to successful phone interviews


Resources , Three Things , Tips , Etiquette , Faculty

After hearing some crazy stories from employers, we turned to our resident interview expert for help...

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October 25, 2017

Storytelling Tips via Camden's Most Famous Ghost


Welcome to Camden , The Buckley Experience , Just For Fun , Tips , Storytelling

Like any good ghost story, this one gets at least some of its staying power from techniques that you can use, too.

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October 23, 2017

Memory tips to spark your public speaking


Public Speaking , Seen|Read|Heard , Tips

Turns out the techniques that improve recall look a lot like the ones we use to help public speakers make their presentations memorable...

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October 4, 2017

Improv to Help Your Public Speaking


Three Things , Faculty , Tips , Just For Fun

You don't have to be an aspiring Second City cast member to benefit from giving improv a try. Here's what our Jenny Maxwell discovered...

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September 12, 2017

Help a Speaker Out


Public Speaking , Three Things , Tips

Buckley School director Karen Kalutz says you can make the world a friendlier place for every speaker (including yourself) in three easy steps.

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September 3, 2017

Handout Handoff: The ESPN Game Plan


Seen|Read|Heard , Tips

Do we owe our ESPN GameDay glee to proper use of presentation materials? The network's founder says how he timed handouts was key to a successful pitch. Here's what he did and what you can learn...

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August 30, 2017

Better Interviews, Better Presentations


Three Things , Faculty , Tips

Getting your story across in an interview has a lot in common with making a strong presentation. Our interview guru Katie Pope explains...

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August 14, 2017

Teaching Science to Teens: Lessons for any presentation


Public Speaking , Seen|Read|Heard , Tips , Resources

When our faculty Jenny Maxwell heard an NPR feature about teaching science, the discoveries sounded a lot like a Buckley primer for good public speaking....

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July 27, 2017

Better Answers for Your Next Q&A


Resources , Three Things , Tips , Instruction

"I know from my own experience," says Buckley coach Jenny Maxwell, "that the more you stand up and practice answering questions, the better you get at it." Here are some tips for your next presentation, drawn from our onsite training with companies...

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June 6, 2017

Cheers to the Happy Couple: When it's your turn to toast


Faculty , Tips , Toasts

When her son got married, Buckley Director Karen Kalutz had the wedding toast jitters. Here's what the mother of the groom did about it...

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June 5, 2017

Tips for Toasting: Reid Buckley's Rules


Tips , The Buckley Experience , Toasts , Public Speaking Books

Our founder loved celebrating with friends and family, and was a true master of the toast. Here's how he got it right.

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June 5, 2017

Raise a Glass and other Toasting Etiquette


Tips , Etiquette , Toasts

Before you clang on that glass with the butter knife, check out these simple rules for saying cheers with style.

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June 1, 2017

From Acting Class to Public Speaking


Three Things , Tips , Public Speaking , Faculty

What can a middle school acting class teach us about public speaking? Buckley Coach Emily Padgett has a few ideas....

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May 16, 2017

Graduation Speeches, Humor & Personal Experience


Public Speaking , Seen|Read|Heard , Tips , Storytelling

Every year, brave souls accept the challenge of delivering a commencement address. Two secrets of their success apply to any type of good speaking.

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May 12, 2017

Speaking Inspired by Lincoln


Public Speaking , Seen|Read|Heard , Tips

A tweet from Ford’s Theatre caught our eye: "Today ‪#FordsOratory students head to the Lincoln Memorial to practice giving their speeches in the footsteps of other great orators!" We had to find out more...

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May 2, 2017

VentureMom Encourages Entrepreneurs


Alumni , Public Speaking , Tips

Helping other entrepreneurs is what Holly Hurd's VentureMom is all about. Holly describes the public speaking and communication skills that help startups succeed.

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May 1, 2017

Lessons from TED for public speaking


Public Speaking Fear , Public Speaking , Faculty , Three Things , Tips

How can a TED talk help you improve your public speaking? Buckley faculty Elise Partin gave one--and shares her tips from the experience.

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April 24, 2017

What a Puppet Show Can Teach You About Presenting


Faculty , Just For Fun , Tips , Storytelling

They took a chance on entering a puppet slam: Here's what Buckley coaches Alejandro Garcia and Jenny Maxwell learned that can help your presentations.

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April 19, 2017

Facilitating Techniques for Speakers


Public Speaking , Faculty , Three Things , Instruction , Tips

Managing the audience and working toward agreement are two of the skills an expert facilitator will master. Buckley coach Katie Pope shares how her experiences as a facilitator can help your next presentation.

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April 14, 2017

The Scoop on Public Speaking: About that Lectern


Public Speaking , Seen|Read|Heard , Just For Fun , Tips

Bernie Sanders speaking from a pint of Ben & Jerry's has us thinking about some of the crazy things people believe about using lecterns--and the advice we give.

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April 11, 2017

Poems in your Pockets & Verse for Every Month


Resources , Public Speaking , Tips , Just For Fun , The Buckley Experience , Poems to Read Aloud

Years before there was National Poetry Month, The Buckley School was encouraging students of speaking to read poems aloud. Here's a little more about how you should and--with some help from Bill Murray--why it can even be fun.

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April 3, 2017

A Great Speaker Gets His Day


Public Speaking , Faculty , Tips , Resources , Public Speaking Books

Our memories of Winston Churchill, the leader, are tied to those of Churchill, the speaker. While April 9 is his "day," Buckley director Karen Kalutz says there are lessons to use from his speaking all the time.

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April 1, 2017

A Read Aloud to Make You Chuckle


Tips , Resources , The Buckley Experience , Poems to Read Aloud

Reading poetry out loud can improve your speaking--and when the poet is Ogden Nash, it's also just plain fun. Take a whirl with one of our Nash favorites.

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April 1, 2017

Lessons from Coaching Youth Debate


Public Speaking , Faculty , Three Things , Instruction , Tips

"Speaking is like sports. It's all about muscle memory," says Buckley faculty Jana Daley, who volunteers as a high school debate team coach. She shares three things she's learned that can help any speaker.

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March 17, 2017

An Irish Poet for March Read Alouds


Tips , Resources , The Buckley Experience , Poems to Read Aloud

The Buckley School has long encouraged speakers to improve their speaking skills by reading poetry out loud. This month, perhaps you'd like to read this poem from Irish poet W.B. Yeats.

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March 16, 2017

Deliberate Practice for Better Speaking


Resources , Instruction , Tips , The Buckley Experience , Seen|Read|Heard

What do a great orator of Ancient Greece and the queen of popular music have in common? And how can they help you improve your public speaking? Learning expert Eduardo Briceño says it's all about the power of deliberate practice.

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February 5, 2017

Can We Keep PowerPoint Under Control?


Instruction , Tips , Just For Fun , PowerPoint

"Just Say No to PowerPoint Week" is Feb. 5-11, but it's a campaign the U.S. Military has tried to implement every day for years. Buckley faculty member Jenny Maxwell says that while every presenter can't say "no" completely, there are ways to limit the damage.

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January 9, 2017

Make Yourself Bigger?


Resources , Public Speaking , Tips , Public Speaking Fear

We know audiences read body language. But what signals are you sending yourself with how you use your body? In one of the most popular TED talks of all time, Amy Cuddy explores how you can change your mindset by making yourself bigger.

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December 20, 2016

A Delightful Christmas List


Alumni , Tips , Seen|Read|Heard

It's worked for Santa, and for David Letterman, too. See how this writer (a Buckley alum) uses a list to organize an article about volunteering as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army.

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