Trust me. Give your speech, change the world.

Nancy Duarte

Written by

Nancy Duarte

What you think is a tantalizing blog title, is in reality the titles of two of Nick Morgan’s books. His first book Give Your Speech, Change the World was introduced to me by Mitch Joel.

Cover of the book "Trust Me" next to a headshot of Nick Morgan, the author

Photo courtsey of

This last year he wrote Trust Me—Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma. One particular passage he wrote has changed my delivery style immensely. I mentally walk through this process now before I walk on any stage:

Most of the non-verbal mistakes that speakers make stem from not being open to others. So the goal is to be open without thinking too hard about body language at all.

To accomplish this, you simply think about someone with whom you would be delighted to be open. You think about your spouse, your child, or a friend. You imagine that you’re about to see that person after a long absence and you’re delighted to be together. In other words, you role-play in your mind a communication between you and your favorite person.

Nor form a memory of what that feels like physically, not about what you say. Notice everything you can about your behaviors. What are your facial gestures? What are you doing with your hands? How is your torso positioned? How close are you? Catalogue and remember the behavior, and then use that behavikor when you’re in a crucial meeting.


Listen to the podcast where he answers these questions:

  1. You defined authenticity as “the frank expression of emotion of some kind, whether positive or negative. It has to do with transparency of motive and intention or when people show us their hearts.“ I agree with that but get pushback from analytical types who say people don’t need heart, they need information. What do you say to that?
  2. You state that there are two conversations going on when communicating and we need to become skilled at both verbal and non-verbal because non-verbal trumps verbal. Does everyone have a gap between what they’re saying verbally and their body language?
  3. You say that “leaders who rely on ad-libbing and improvisation risk looking unprepared and stilted”. And that leaders need to practice to look spontaneous. To me, when people over-prepare the opposite happens, they seem stiff and rehearsed. How do you propose presenters find balance?
  4. I was happy to see Maslow touched on in both your books. I loved the section on being connected and agree that people listen to ideas that fulfill a deep need. Is there a process for helping find that “great need” for even what some would say is a boring type of presentation like a staff meeting update?

Subscribe to Nick’s blog and Twitter @nfrodom1 (I know, weird twitter name, so I had to ask. Apparently when AOL was out of normal e-mail addresses, he used that handle. Same happened with Twitter so he used his AOL name. He’s a huge Lord of the Rings fan. So it’s his first initial, then Frodo, then last initial, and a number one. I guess someone else already had it without the one.)

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