So you’ve written your 2,000-word report or 5,000-word white paper about the subject of the day. But it is the tiny handful of words at the top, the headline, that is a major factor as to whether people will read your document or shove it aside. The New York Times recently wrote an article sharing its latest insights about headlines that performed especially well. The Times uses an online publishing tool that allows it to simultaneously present two different headlines for the same article on its home page. Half of readers on the page see one headline; half see the other. The idea is to test the headlines’ effectiveness by measuring the difference in the number of readers clicking on each headline. The headline that convinces the most people to click and read the story is the winning headline and goes on the home page for all readers. The Times says it has learned several lessons from this testing program, but the most important lesson it learned is this ... (click on the headline to view the video)
I recently listened to a discussion with Chris Anderson, the head person at TED Talks, and a guy who knows a great deal about public speaking. When asked about the startling success of Donald Trump and his run for the presidency — and I would argue the same for Bernie Sanders — he cited the “first rule of public speaking.” Click on the headline to activate this video.
What happens when a woman named Erma freezes on stage during her 75-minute one-woman show? The answer to that question is an excellent lesson for all public presenters. (Click the headline to watch the video)
We sell our writing short if our language does not include the color and creativity provided by similes and metaphors. Our written – and oral presentations, for that matter – become more vivid, engaging and effective they are include these rhetorical flourishes. I won’t assume you remember the definition of a simile and a metaphor, so here we go. Both similes and metaphors are (...click on the headline to watch video)