Speaking at the Speed of Trust

If you’ve ever sat in the audience and listened to a speaker whom you didn’t trust, chances are you felt defensive, dismissive, or even insulted. You probably rolled your eyes, crossed your arms, bounced your leg and sent a range of body language signals that you weren’t having it. You likely tuned him out—and even […]

Presentation Lessons from Improv Comedy: 5 Tips to Plan What You Say Before You Open Your Mouth

When I was a sophomore at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), my friends Wendy, Dave, Tom, Matt, Mike and I founded the school’s first improvisational comedy troupe. We had performed sketch and stand-up comedy before this – where everything was scripted – so changing our approach from a prepared routine to extemporaneous, fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants, created […]

A Simple Way to Get Any Point Across

Goldilocks would have a field day with my 11-year-old twins. Their chairs, their beds, and their oatmeal are just right, but their communication styles can be extreme. My daughter Sophie tends to be very straightforward and direct, employing a miser’s economy of words. “How was your day?” is answered with “Fine”—full stop. If I want […]

3 Strategies to Make You a Better Public Speaker

Author and presidential speechwriter James Humes once commented, “Every time you have to speak, you are auditioning for leadership.” Talk about pressure! Let’s face it: if every single time you get ready to share your proposal, pitch, or project with your colleagues, clients or boss you think to yourself, “This is an audition for my […]