March 23, 2018

About your public speaking professor

Have you ever wanted to inspire others with your words? Is fear of public speaking, or a lack of confidence, limiting your opportunities? Experienced frustration with an inability to connect with someone? Have you ever replayed a conversation in your mind and wished you’d responded in a different, better, way? This site was created to help in these situations and much more.

What should you expect?

Most of my articles are about public speaking, and if your job requires that you speak in public, or if you need to sell yourself or your project, this site is for you. But, I believe that public speaking skills are human communication skills. If you master public speaking, you can adapt those same skills to any professional, social, or personal situation.

Good Sophist is a resource for public speakers, organizational leaders, or anyone looking to leverage their communication skills to enhance their professional and personal lives. I want to help you improve all aspects of your communication – whether it’s in an auditorium, a board room, a phone call, or a cocktail party, the information in this site is a resource to help you maximize your communication potential.

Why should you listen to me?

The tagline for this blog is “Your Public Speaking Professor.” You should take that slogan literally. My career as a professor and consultant of communication spans over twenty years. During that time I have taught hundreds of people everything from public speaking to interpersonal communication. This blog reflects a desire to help even more people master the art and science of communicating.

good sophist is a resource for anyone who wants to improve their communication.What makes this different than any other public speaking course?

After I started teaching full time, I soon became dissatisfied with the traditional ways of teaching public speaking. Traditional teaching methods focus on transmitting information from speaker to audience and a checklist of techniques.

I shifted my courses to focus on outcomes. People recognize great speakers naturally. That is because people have a natural understanding of good communication. Excellent communication features clear messages and results in four outcomes.

  • Attention – Good communication holds the audience’s attention.
  • Retention – The audience better remembers good communication.
  • Connection – Great speakers form a relationship with the audience.
  • Reaction – Great speech fosters a positive reaction.

I want to help individuals find their voice while accomplishing these goals in all of their communication.

Why this blog?

I believe that helping people communicate better enables them to thrive in all aspects of their lives. I know public speaking skills have helped me find professional success and form lasting relationships, and I want to share my approach to the art of public speaking with everyone. Secondly, I believe that society is better when people are better able to express their ideas and connect through the spoken word.

What is a Good Sophist?

In Ancient Athens, a group of traveling educators spent their lives educating anyone who could pay for it. An important part of the education they provided concerned the art of rhetoric and public speaking. The exchange of knowledge for money was condemned by Plato and the like, giving the Sophists a bad name throughout history. While I want to provide you with rhetorical knowledge and skills, I do so free of charge. In that respect, you could call me a “Good Sophist.”

Who am I?

Outside of teaching in Dallas, Texas at SMU, I am just a guy. I’ve been married to my wife, Wendy, for sixteen years. We have two kids, Scarlett (5) and Asher (3), who keep us very busy. When I’m not running the kiddos to swim lessons or tee ball games, I like to read, watch movies and television, and occasionally collect art.

What now?

If you’re interested in improving your communication skills, take a look around. I will be updating this blog as often as I have time. If you want to stay on top of any new articles, check back whenever you like, follow me on social media, or sign up for monthly email updates.

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