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.…Continue reading How Anyone Can Tell a Story like J.K. Rowling

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

How to Grab Your Audience’s Attention, Immediately

Steve Jobs once commented, “People who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint.” Whether that’s a slight exaggeration or a big one, it is true that most of our sales pitches and presentations rely heavily on visual aids and collateral. These can be a crutch for those of us who might not know our…Continue reading How to Grab Your Audience’s Attention, Immediately

3 Tips for Presenting in English When You’re Not a Native Speaker

As a coach and international business school instructor, I have worked with hundreds of current and future leaders who are accomplished, bright, and capable — and who quickly lose their confidence and competence when making business presentations. For a subset of these leaders — those who need to present in English when it isn’t their…Continue reading 3 Tips for Presenting in English When You’re Not a Native Speaker

Stop Ending Your Speeches With ‘Any Questions’ and End With This Instead

You have a big presentation to make to your client, your funders, or your boss. You’ve spent hours developing a deck that’s concise, crisp, and visually stunning. You’ve practiced the delivery so that you speak with clarity, calm, and confidence. You’ve tested to make sure your tech is glitch-free, proofread the printed materials, and developed an…Continue reading Stop Ending Your Speeches With ‘Any Questions’ and End With This Instead

To See Yourself as Others See You: The Value of Being Videotaped While Making a Presentation

Many years ago, when I was participating in a video production class at my local college, I took my camera and crew to a nearby grocery store to tape some random scenes of shoppers. To my consternation (but also amusement), the minute I held up the video camera to record someone deciding which head of…Continue reading To See Yourself as Others See You: The Value of Being Videotaped While Making a Presentation

Want to Increase Your Presence? Start by Telling One of These Stories

Leading business schools, from Stanford to Wharton, teach storytelling as a business communication strategy. The ability to tell an engaging, compelling, and persuasive story is a hallmark of effective leadership and executive presence. Stories are a powerful way for leaders to engage customers, increase sales, rally the troops, sell ideas internally and externally, recruit talented…Continue reading Want to Increase Your Presence? Start by Telling One of These Stories

3 Presentation Mistakes You’re Making (and How to Fix Them)

When people think of public speaking mistakes, they usually imagine disaster scenarios – their minds go blank in front of the boss, or the A/V equipment stops working, or the client asks a question that stumps them.  And of course, these things CAN happen. I have presented during two blackouts, where not only did the…Continue reading 3 Presentation Mistakes You’re Making (and How to Fix Them)