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*Repost with Video* Presentation Content vs. Delivery

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 […]

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. […]

Avoiding the Trap that Can Kill Your Communication

As I write, it’s January 2nd, and I have a shipping box full of Christmas presents sitting in my living room in Washington, D.C. They are not mine. They are for my nieces and nephews in Oregon. I spent a lot of time getting them right – the perfect gift for each person, lovingly wrapped. […]

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

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 […]

Be More Interesting Than Your Refrigerator

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 […]

The Power of Conversational Storytelling in an Extraordinary Political Season

Politics aside (big asterisk I know), this has been an extraordinary presidential primary season. With 3 of our Oratium team members based in the DC area, not only are we able to get past the politics pretty quickly (you need to if you live in the Washington area), but we also spend quite a bit […]

How to Develop a Presentation – Six Essential Steps

I get asked this question a lot: “Once I have the idea for my talk, what do I do next? How do I actually put it together?” This is the process I use (and we teach): 1. Define the idea at a high level. Can I summarize it in 140ish characters? Concise = clear. Is it in my “domain […]

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