How Anyone Can Tell a Story like J.K. Rowling

Top business schools ranging from Columbia to Wharton teach storytelling as a way to prepare leaders to deliver compelling, persuasive messages that appeal to both heads and hearts. Firms ranging from KMPG to Deloitte now couple candidate recruitment with storytelling, and companies like Nike and Disney include “storytelling skills” among other qualifications for open jobs. […]

How to Get a Standing Ovation

First let us ask, have you ever actually gotten one? We’ll bet it was a memorable moment in your life if you did. (And we’d love to hear about it.) But we’re thinking that most people have only seen others getting one: actors in a theatrical performance, concert performers, State of the Union address givers […]

Your, Um, Filler Words Are, Like, Killing Your Credibility. Here’s How to, Uh, Fix This in 4 Weeks

It doesn’t matter how elegantly your PowerPoint presentation flows, how artfully you can field difficult questions, or how perfectly balanced your mix of statistics and stories is. If you’re filling your delivery with filler words like “um”, “uh”, “like”, “right”, “so” or “you know”, you’re wasting valuable air time, undermining your professional credibility, and giving your listeners multiple opportunities to tune […]

The Presenter as Storyteller (Part 2)

In our last article (“Can a Good Story Save a Boring Presentation?”), we suggested that you try to add stories to enliven otherwise dull, data-driven technical and financial presentations (the kind where the audience wants “Just the facts, ma’am”). Individual stories about the folks who actually produced the data you’re reporting on can be a […]

Mario: Before and After

Several years ago, when I was still teaching my yearly “Report Writing and Presentation Skills” class to graduate students in the Beijing International MBA Program at Peking University, I had a young Chinese man in my class named Mario. (Quick aside: My colleague at PKU, Deborah Riegel, and I often had Chinese students who had […]