Insights

7 Phrases to Eliminate from Your Presentations Right Now

There are certain phrases speakers use that set off alarm bells in my head. They signal a lack of preparation, audience focus or commitment to the opportunity. And it is an opportunity. You have a roomful of people who came to hear what you have to say and are hoping it will change their world […]

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following your heart

Lessons From 20 Years in Business: Following Your Heart is Not Enough

Twenty years ago I quit my job as a vice president at a top-10 PR firm. None of the things I’m doing now — author, professional speaker, workshop leader — were in my plan. Hell, I barely even had a plan. But it all worked out … better than I would have dreamed. As I […]

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Mistakes presenters make

5 Credibility Killing Mistakes Most Presenters Make

Being a professional speaker has absolutely ruined my ability to watch other people’s presentations. I can’t help but critique them, especially since working with people to improve their presentation skills is a big part of my business. Here are some of my latest pet peeves — the mistakes most presenters make at conferences I attend. […]

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Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion Lannister on the Power of Storytelling

I could (and do) cite studies all day long pointing to the power of storytelling. Like how the brain blurs the line between stories and experience, how stories activate our brains in ways favorable to persuasion, and how stories stick. But in my next speech or workshop, I’m not going to bother with any of that. […]

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Happy First Birthday to Unleash!

Hard to believe it was a year ago today that Unleash the Power of Storytelling was unleashed on the world. My latest book has not only exceeded my expectations, but it’s also exceeded the sales of my first two books combined. (Which says something either about the high level of interest in storytelling or the quality of […]

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successful presentation

2 Indispensable Qualities for a Successful Presentation

A few years ago I spelled out my 11 Deadly Presentation Sins — the key factors that can make or break any presentation. But 11 of anything is more than a handful, so I’m often asked to narrow it down to my top three. That always felt like an impossible task. But I’m happy to report that […]

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Secret to Happiness

Here is the Secret to Happiness

I’m pleased to report that I have found the secret to happiness. (Well, happiness may be a stretch. Let’s call it contentment, or satisfaction.) But it’s the reason that I can honestly say I have never had a bad year. And why I have trouble relating to the many social media posts every December bidding […]

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Handcuffs

Handcuffed to an Awful Presentation? 5 Things You Can Do

A new client came to me with a common problem: she was assigned to deliver a PowerPoint presentation that was created by someone else in her company but that she knew was no good. The slides were data-heavy and the script was boring and not audience-focused. All the recommendations I would normally give were non-starters: […]

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focus your presentation

How to Focus Your Presentation: 7 Tips

A British professor recently conducted an informal (and wonderful) study showing that boring speeches are more likely to go longer. (Wouldn’t you know it? The pain of sitting through an awful speech is compounded by time!) His findings point to the importance of brevity and discipline. So here are seven ways you can better focus […]

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how to handle negative feedback

How to Deal With Negative Feedback

It happens to all of us: no matter how much positive feedback we receive, we can’t help but focus on (and obsess over) the negative — even if it represents just a sliver of the overall sentiment. As a speaker (and actor) I get direct feedback all the time, and initially it can be hard […]

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