How to say no

How to Say No and Preserve Your Sanity

I have been asked several times by frazzled colleagues how I manage to avoid being overwhelmed with work. My answer is simple: I know how to say no. It goes back to my agency days. If you’re not careful, your time gets parceled out to so many clients and projects that none get the attention […]

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How to create a story

How to Create a Story: a 5-step Process

Study after study confirms that stories have unparalleled power to captivate audiences and persuade them to act in our favor. But how do you go about crafting a story? Here’s a step-by-step guide that will show you how to create a story that will help you win hearts, change minds and get the results you […]

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How to Rehearse a Presentation

How to Rehearse a Presentation: 5 Simple Steps

Failure to prepare is one of the biggest mistakes presenters make. But most people have a hard time getting their arms around the process. In my workshops I share the technique that works for me. Participants have found it to be one of their most valued takeaways, so here is my totally not-patented five-step process for […]

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how to write your own introduction

Speakers: How to Write Your Own Introduction

Here is one common phrase that you’ll never hear me utter at the start of a presentation: “Thank you for that kind introduction.” Why? Because it would be vain. After all, I’m the one who wrote that kind introduction! And that’s what every speaker should do. Even if you’re simply an occasional conference presenter, learning how to write […]

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How to use stories in a presentation

How to Use Stories in a Presentation: 6 Tips

The worst presenter I ever saw did everything wrong, from not understanding his audience to lecturing instead of engaging us to turning the session into one long sales pitch. Worst of all, his talk was nothing but data — endless columns of it, packed onto dense, ugly slides. There was no narrative holding his points […]

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What to Wear for a Presentation: 10 Tips

There are endless sources of information on what to wear for a presentation, but it’s a question I’m often asked. And it’s getting more complicated all the time as the workplace becomes more and more casual. Like it or not, audiences are making all kinds of conscious and unconscious judgments about you before you even […]

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Communication rules women

Are the Communications Rules Different for Women?

It’s one of the most common questions I’m asked during my talks: are the rules different for women when it comes to communication? My answer is no. AND yes. It’s complicated, so I’ll explain. But first, a story. A Lesson from a Favorite Teacher Among the many classes I took at Second City’s training center was […]

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do I need a micriphone?

Yes, Male Presenters, You Need That Microphone

It happened again yesterday. At an industry luncheon I was attending, a male presenter — and it’s almost always a man — declined to use the provided microphone. I see this a LOT, and it’s ridiculous. If you ever wonder whether you need to use a microphone, the answer is YES. That is why the […]

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storytelling mistakes

5 More Fatal Mistakes Storytellers Make

Last year I outlined 10 fatal storytelling mistakes — common ways we undermine the power of our stories — and now I’m back with five more. They all center around one big theme: simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. Storytelling does not have to be that difficult. But we tend to make it hard on ourselves. Here are some common […]

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Emma Gonzalez and the Profound Power of Silence in a Speech

Wherever you stand on the issue of guns, it’s hard to deny the power of Emma Gonzalez’s short speech at the “March for Our Lives” rally last weekend. As many have remarked, it wasn’t just the things she said, but the long, dark empty space she left between the words. And with nothing but the greatest […]

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