How To Speak.

Patrick Winston's 'How to speak' lecture has been on my watchlist for a while. It didn't disappoint. You can watch it here.


  • Start with an 'empowerment promise'
  • Cycle on the subject - tell them what you want to tell them etc
  • Build a fence around your idea - explain why your idea is different
  • Verbal punctuation - have set points where you help people “get back on the bus” e.g. repetition, numbered points
  • Ask a question, wait 7 seconds. Can’t be too easy or too hard
  • Time and place - well lit, 11am, “case it” Like a bank (See the venue before you speak) and pick an appropriate sized room for the number of people
  • People like props and 'chalk'. Has to do with empathetic mirroring. You can feel yourself writing on the board when you see someone else do it
  • Keep slides simple
  • Hapax legomenon (Something you can show only once. e.g. a complex slide)
  • Exhibit passion to inspire
  • Link passion with the promise at the start
  • Story telling. We are symbolic creatures
  • Practise
  • Show that you have vision (Problem and approach) and that you have done something (steps taken) in the first 5 mins.
  • Whys do you want to be famous? Because you want your ideas/work to be recognised.
  • Winstons star:
    • Symbol
    • Slogan
    • Surprise
    • Salient idea
    • Story

How to end? Never with a slide that says questions or thank you. Try a 'contributions' slide. Try to avoid saying thank you. It’s weak. Salute the audience instead.

Patrick Wilson


Hi, I'm Aaron. Director of Design at Nearmap. I like to create experiences that are simple, intuitive and empowering.

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