One of the more-effective speeches to be delivered in the UK recently – effective in the sense that it inspired protests shutting down central London and sparked a debate over whether to accelerate clean energy targets – was given to Parliament by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish girl. Intrigued? Here it is: My first reaction […]
Your Brain’s “Law of Large Numbers”
Those educated in statistics are familiar with the law of large numbers: the larger the sample size (or the greater the number of trials run), the closer the sample’s mean gets to that of the overall population. In brain science there’s a completely unrelated law of large numbers, and it’s this: the larger the number, […]
How Not To Sound “Wooden” When You Present
How Not To Sound “Wooden” When You Present Catching up on our podcasts we came across a fantastic answer to one of the most-common delivery questions we field: how can I not sound wooden or forced when I present? The answer came from Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s SVP of Retail (and before that the CEO of […]
Wisdom vs. Intelligence: Why My 12th level Sorcerer is Easily Fooled
As a professional communicator, I used to be surprised by how often smart people would miss an obvious point I was making. I imagine I am not alone in this. But I get it now – A core element of our effective communication training focuses on the idea that there is a difference between what people […]
What Problem Do You Face That I Am Offering To Solve?
Everlane is one of the fastest-growing clothing companies. It also offers a great example of a core communications principle and how it can be applied not only to communication but to product design and business focus. The principle is: focus on an audience’s problem (that you solve). Far too often we see presentations that fail […]
You Can’t Back Up Your Ears
A recent comment got me thinking about the difference between absorbing information I read and absorbing information I hear. If you’ve ever read anything more than a couple of paragraphs long, you know that moment – you’re reading along, and a sentence triggers a thought, and your brain follows that thought for a few seconds. […]
How Buzzwords Undermine Effective Communication
I’m sure you’ve worked with someone who can’t finish a sentence without using at least one buzzword. Shout out to my former colleague who was fond of “helping clients catalyze transformative paradigm shifts and disruptive innovations across the enterprise.” He knows who he is. If only the problem were limited to a few bad apples. […]
A Communications Lesson from the NBA Playoffs
Imagine two people witness the exact same event. They are the same age, same gender and same education. You would expect that when asked, they would give you roughly the same narrative description of the events they witnessed, right? Actually… wrong. That is totally incorrect. Their interpretation of the events will be massively influenced by their personal predispositions A […]
Your Audience is Watching – Will They Know Your Purpose?
As an avid theater-goer, I generally find myself lost in the text of the play, a lyric from a song, or attempting to untangle the crisscrossed plot lines… all in order to make sense of the story and thereby be able to draw a conclusion about what “it” all means. This reflective, almost meditative, state […]
Does it matter if Bryan Adams doesn’t understand prepositions?
Editor’s Note: here’s a guest post from our friend Brian Samrick of Cisco. Brian is a talented communicator and a gifted practitioner of the Oratium principles and process. In this post (which originally appeared on Brian’s LinkedIn page), Brian shares some great thoughts on the use of correct (and incorrect) grammar in your communication. By Brian […]