Everyday Speeches

Improving public speaking one speech at a time

About Travis Nice

There was a time when I couldn’t speak in public. And I don’t just mean up on stage in front of a crowd, I mean one on one, even with people I knew well. I was practically a mute and kept to myself. I just didn’t know what to say, nor how to say it.

Although that’s a half truth, because when I was with a person who did have ‘the gift of the gab’, my words flowed. You couldn’t shut me up once I got going on something I knew about. And it took me a very long time before I knew about talking.

After all, who really teaches you how to talk. Of course, when you’re young you learn the language, as you get older you go to school and learn more about the rules of the language and how to build bigger words, sentences and so forth. But no-one really sits you down and says, hey, you know if you want to have a good conversation with someone, here’s how you do it.

Some of us are fortunate enough to have people in our lives who, whether intentionally or not, pass on those lessons. For many of us though, it’s a lesson that’s learned the hard way.

That’s why I, created this website. You see, I’ve learned many things but as I did so, I made many many mistakes. I’ve alienated people, I’ve excluded people, and I can’t count the number of opportunities that have passed me by because I simply didn’t know where to start.

Now that I’ve learned so much it would be a shame to keep it all to myself. So, I’ve built this site to help people just like me never let opportunity pass them by. I’ve created this site in the way that I learned.

I watched what other people did when they spoke and thought about how I could do the same. I studied different methods to keep calm, to keep a conversation flowing, to ‘act’ or in other words to ‘fake it until you make it’. And most importantly, I put pen to paper because there’s nothing worse than trying to recall that one line that you knew would bring the house down if only you could remember what it was.

So, peruse the site, join in the conversation with the comments, and most importantly enjoy your time spent on this site. After all, if you don’t enjoy something, then you won’t do very well at it.

Apollo 11: The Greatest Speech, Never Heard

June 9th, 2016 by US President Richard Nixon 1969

Yesterday, as I was reading through some articles, I was reminded of the unread speech by William (Bill) Safire. Bill was a speechwriter to the then US President Richard Nixon. In 1969, the US sent three men to the moon, two of whom landed on the lunar surface. History shows they returned to Earth safely, […]

Segue Writing Part 3 – How to Include Transitions, Learn by Example

March 28th, 2016 by Transition From Sail to Steam

We touched on various ways we could include transitions in our previous article, How to Write a Segue. That was already a long article, and we didn’t go into very much detail regarding transitions. Now’s our chance to give an example of how to use each of those ten transitions in a speech. In this article, I […]

Segue Writing Part 2 – Rhetorical Questions

November 24th, 2015 by FAQ - The ultimate source of rhetorical questions

Rhetoric is a literary device that is as old as history itself. Rhetoric, and by extension, rhetorical questions were first created as works of art and education by the great ancient Greek philosophers, particularly Aristotle. A rhetorical question is most easily made by taking a statement and turning it into a question. Quite often, a […]

Segue Writing Part 1 – Foreshadowing

November 23rd, 2015 by Segue Writing: Foreshadowing: Like giving a hint of a secret

Segue writing is the most searched term on this site.  Earlier this year, we wrote an article introducing the concept of the segue, and gave some insight on how to write a segue. That article was just a quick introduction and glossed over the details of segue writing. This is the first in a series […]

How do I Get Over the Fear of Public Speaking?

November 18th, 2015 by The fear of public speaking (Panic by Nate Steiner)

The fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears humans experience. There is a common saying that people fear public speaking more than they fear death.  To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, ‘you’d rather be the guy in the coffin than the guy giving the eulogy’. Fear is one of our most primal emotions.  It […]

Three Years on Mars! How to Give a Progress Report Like JPL

September 8th, 2015 by Curiosity Rover

I chose to use this video because it’s a good example of the 5 things you need to know when presenting a project progress report.  It’s a little tongue in cheek, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn anything.  Best of all, it’s a short one so it won’t take long to work your way […]

5 Things You Need to Know When Presenting a Project Progress Report

September 1st, 2015 by

This article lays out five key points that you need to know to give an effective presentation and update everyone on the progress of your project. Regardless of whether you are a CEO reporting to shareholders or a child reporting to a parent, we all will face a moment when we are asked to give an update on what […]

How to Write a Segue

July 4th, 2015 by Segways

When writing a speech, often you will have several points to discuss all of which are connected to the theme of your speech.  When passing from one point to another it is important to make a smooth transition.  This smooth transition is called the segue (pronounced seg-way) Transitions can be made in a large number of ways.  Mostly […]

Body Language in Your Speech

April 1st, 2015 by Jealousy and Flirtation

If a picture says a thousand words, what picture does your image on stage say about you? What do you want your image to say about you?

Our body language says so much about us, that we often take it for granted just how pervasive it is. When asked to give directions to somewhere we don’t know, the universal answer is a shrug of the shoulders. When we meet someone and we want them to like us, the universal language is to raise the eyebrows when our eyes meet.

Prepare With This 4 Step Speech Editing Technique

February 13th, 2015 by Editing

Writers often say, ‘editing begins with the second draft’. What they mean by this is you write the entire rough draft before you change anything.  With the speech editing technique in this article you’ll be guided through a process from your first draft to your last, and make changes at different levels of the speech. It […]