The Communication Skills Blog

How to Succeed at the Conference Social

Published by on 1/18/17

Have you ever given a presentation and thought afterward, “Well…that could have been better…”? We’ve all been there. You thought you had it figured out, you had a plan and you played the tape beforehand in your mind. It all seemed good – until it wasn’t. We teach our clients that true mastery of presentations […]

What I Learned Learning to Tie My Shoes at 41

Published by on 10/28/16

A couple years ago I saw an article about a 3-minute TED talk, “How to tie your shoes.” I was pretty sure I knew how to tie my shoes. Nope. You’ll want to check out the talk to see what we are all doing wrong. Here’s what happened when I did, and I’ll bet you’ll […]

When is Tea like Sex?

Published by on 8/12/16

OK…if you’re English, as I am, tea is the driving force behind everything – important before and after every major event, which answers the question in the title. But that’s not quite what I’m getting at here. As many of you know, whenever we teach the Oratium class, we stress the importance of engaging the […]

Distracted Loving and Sticky Language

Published by on 7/18/16

Saturday morning in the hammock, in the breeze…I was reading the most recent Psychology Today and came across an article titled “Love Interruptus” – about how devices like your smartphone are damaging the quality of your relationships, particularly close, deeply personal partnerships. I found it broadly fascinating because I was already aware of how poorly human […]

How Bad Presentations are Like Flying East: Finding and Losing a Precious Commodity – Time

Published by on 5/17/16

Sunsets are usually quick. From the time the bottom of the sun hits the horizon, it is just a couple minutes until it is gone. But for me today, that transition took 45 minutes. I also found 3 extra hours in my day today. They cost a bit, and I’ll have to give them back […]

The Qualities of Great Communications, Both Large and Small

Published by on 5/3/16

A Delightful Moment A dear friend, Michael, just wrote me. He was covering a few topics, but in his email he also forwarded as an attachment a very touching announcement he had received on the passing of a beloved, elderly family member, Harry. He told me to open it and look at the departed’s final […]

“How did he come up with that?” The Key to Creativity

Published by on 4/26/16

Recently I was building a sales pitch for a corporate client where one of the important concepts was “Visibility is critical to your business.” The team brainstormed a bit on how to convince audiences of this idea through a powerful illustration. It was fun, and we came up with various possible analogies involving magnifying glasses or foggy days […]

How to Write a Conference Speaking or Session Proposal that Gets Chosen Every Time

Published by on 4/19/16

You want to speak more about your great idea. You’ve even found a great conference that’s a great match for your goals. You excitedly await the day the “call for speakers” comes… and then you have no idea how to turn your great idea into a great session proposal. Greeeeeeeat. Now what? Actually, it’s pretty […]

Be More Interesting Than Your Refrigerator

Published by on 4/5/16

We’ve all been there. You’re in a meeting, maybe an important one, but the speaker is speaking in a monotone. And your mind drifts off to an unrelated topic…and after an indeterminate amount of time, you suddenly realize that the speaker has stopped talking…and is looking right at you – clearly expecting a response to […]

Where Cute meets Incomprehensible – The Hidden Perils of Insider Language

Published by on 3/29/16

I just landed in the U.S., flying back from Edinburgh, Scotland. There’s not a whole lot to do in the baggage claim area at the Newark airport, and maybe that’s why a sign caught my eye. It was a poster reminding visitors not to use unlicensed cabs. Quite an important message, delivered simply via a […]