Blog


New Promotional Video on Harvard Persuasion Seminar

posted Mar 6, 2014, 3:15 PM by Steven D. Cohen   [ updated Apr 17, 2014, 1:57 PM ]

The Harvard Division of Continuing Education recently released a new promotional video on my two-day seminar, "The Art of Persuasion: Influence at Work."

In this video, I discuss the importance of:

-  Managing first impressions
-  Exuding passion for your product or idea
-  Assessing what your audience is thinking or feeling

Click here to watch the video.  I hope to see you at one of my upcoming seminars!

Two-Day Seminar on Persuasion at Harvard

posted Mar 5, 2014, 3:56 PM by Steven D. Cohen   [ updated Mar 5, 2014, 4:42 PM ]

I am offering a two-day seminar on persuasion on April 7th & 8th, July 14th & 15th, and August 11th & 12th.

In this seminar, we go "inside" persuasion in an attempt to understand how and why it works. We focus on the techniques that salespeople use to design compelling messages and explore why some messages are more persuasive than others. Through hands-on exercises and simulations, this seminar helps participants develop a persuasive mindset and improves their ability to sell products and ideas.

Click here to learn more about registering for the program. You also can click here to watch me discuss a few "tips for speaking successfully."

New Blog Post on Default Public Speaking Settings

posted Dec 6, 2013, 1:04 PM by Steven D. Cohen   [ updated Dec 6, 2013, 1:06 PM ]

Check out my new post, "How to Recognize & Improve Your Default Public Speaking Settings," on the Harvard Division of Continuing Education blog, "The Language of Business."

Upcoming Professional Development Program at Harvard

posted Sep 4, 2013, 1:39 PM by Steven D. Cohen   [ updated Sep 4, 2013, 2:57 PM ]

On September 23rd & 24th, I will be teaching a two-day seminar through the Harvard Division of Continuing Education called "The Art of Persuasion: Influence at Work."

This seminar is ideal for managers, executives, and politicians who want to strengthen their ability to influence and master the art of persuasion. It is designed for aspiring or current leaders with some public speaking experience.

Click here to learn more about registering for the program. You also can click here to watch me discuss a few "tips for speaking successfully."

Interviewed on BBC Radio

posted Jul 9, 2013, 6:52 PM by Steven D. Cohen   [ updated Mar 22, 2014, 11:40 AM ]

I am interviewed as part of the BBC Radio 4 documentary, "Churchill's Secret Cabinet" (which originally aired on July 6th).  My commentary on the music of Sir Winston Churchill's rhetoric begins at the 48:11 mark.

Here is an excerpt from the program description:

    Clement Attlee once claimed that Churchill led Britain to victory in the Second World War through his words. But what influenced these words and their delivery?

    The answer lies in a newly discovered wooden cabinet containing not only Churchill's private collection of gramophone records, but also rare recordings of his unknown speeches.

New Public Speaking Reader Now Available

posted May 23, 2013, 2:35 PM by Steven D. Cohen   [ updated May 23, 2013, 2:40 PM ]

My latest book, On the Path to Success: Readings and Resources, is now available on Amazon. 

This edited collection features thought-provoking articles on the art and practice of public speaking. The collection challenges students to think about their own public speaking behaviors, and identify concrete strategies to become more effective public speakers. It takes students on a guided journey through the approaches and techniques that they can use to create strong impressions, sell their perspectives, and inspire their audiences to act.

Quoted in The Baltimore Sun

posted May 13, 2013, 9:20 PM by Steven D. Cohen   [ updated Mar 22, 2014, 11:52 AM ]

I am quoted in an article on commencement speakers that appeared in The Baltimore Sun.

Here is an excerpt:


Expectations are high for this year's commencement speakers at Maryland universities — an august crew that includes the Obamas and their team of writers as well as funnyman 
Bill Cosby and Hollywood director Jason Winer.

But to stand out — or simply be remembered — isn't a guarantee, no matter how high the profile of the speaker.

"The commencement speaker has to perform. He or she has the responsibility to inspire both students and graduates to make something of their lives" without falling back on cliches, said Steven D. Cohen, managing director of the oral communication program at the University of Maryland. "No one wants a speaker who's boring, who drones on and on."

New Public Speaking Tip Posted on YouTube

posted Mar 4, 2013, 9:58 AM by Steven D. Cohen   [ updated Mar 4, 2013, 10:00 AM ]

Click here to watch me offer a brief tip on "How to Calm Your Nerves."

New Video on Harvard Extension School Blog

posted Mar 3, 2013, 3:36 PM by Steven D. Cohen   [ updated May 23, 2013, 2:41 PM ]

Harvard Extension School recently interviewed me for a HarvardExtensionHub video feature. Click here to watch me discuss "3 Tips to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking."

Quoted in The Financial Times

posted Jan 3, 2013, 8:18 PM by Steven D. Cohen   [ updated Apr 17, 2014, 6:26 PM ]

I am quoted in an article on charisma that appeared in the Financial Times.

Here is an excerpt:


Tapping into rhythms of speech and developing an appreciation of what is easy on the ear are important, says Steven Cohen, who teaches oral communication skills at the University of Maryland and the Harvard Extension School, an offshoot of the university that runs open-enrolment courses. His favourite techniques are anaphora and epistrophe. The first device repeats words or phrases at the start of successive clauses, as in Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. The second repeats them at the end, as in Barack Obama’s 2008 electoral refrain “Yes We CAN!”. “Just as music can stir the emotions, language that appeals to the ear can lift people’s sights and spirits, inspiring them to do things that they would otherwise not,” he says.

However, even when sentences have a musical quality, it is often everyday language that works best. US president John F. Kennedy’s famously used chiasmus – in which the second half of a statement reverses the order of words in the first − as in “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”. The words were simple and direct – and their impact all the greater.

Ultimately, however, sincerity is vital. It is not just what you say, or how you say it, that convinces people you are not phoney. As Prof Cohen puts it: “You can dress things up with all the anaphora and epistrophe in the world, but if you don’t have a deep sense that something is important you’re not going to persuade anyone.”

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