When you need a shift, you need a story

Stories are all about shifts. Shifts from loser to victor, from oppressed to liberated, from lost to found, from unloved to loved. That’s why stories are such effective tools for communicating a vision of change, for persuading people to think or act differently. From time to time we still run across business leaders who disparage …

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Tired of political bluster? Try this antidote

If, as speakers and presenters, our only source of inspiration came from politicians, our spirits would be plumbing the depths. It’s easy to think that public discourse these days is dominated by bare-faced liars, cheats and dissemblers. Any speech from them, we can safely guess, would be an amalgam of bluster, bravado and self-aggrandizement. Thankfully, …

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Sticky storytelling: the key to being remembered

sticky storytelling

If you really want to make your messages memorable, turn your words into images. If you’re delivering a speech or presentation, it’s probably not the mass of your words that will convince an audience to march to your drum. More likely, it’s the few telling images that your words evoke in the minds of the …

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Are you game for the Post-It note challenge?

A dear friend once sent me a birthday surprise…. Post-It notes. Not a box of Post-It notes but one solitary package of Post-It notes. I was surprised at this unusual gift… but it all made sense when I read what was written on the Post-It notes.       “If you always do what you …

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Just because you know $10 words doesn’t mean you should use them

Keep your language simple if you want to make a quick and strong connection with your readers and listeners. Two Nobel-prize winning authors once got in an argument over words. William Faulkner accused Ernest Hemingway of dumbing-down his writing. Faulkner complained that Hemingway had ‘never been known to use a word that might send the …

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How your Mum or Charlie will improve your writing

writing starts with focus and structure

If you are wondering how you can be more conversational in your writing, here’s a tip. Think of someone you care about, and write to them. If you’ve attended any of our workshops, read our books or seen our video tips, you’ll be familiar with ‘Hi Mom’ When we’re working with a client who is …

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Lessons for all presenters from three strong speeches

3 strong women, 3 strong speeches

Three powerful women; three powerful speeches. All delivered on the same day. Very different occasions, very different styles – but they demonstrated qualities that all speakers and presenters can learn from. There was US soccer captain Megan Rapinoe, picking up a FIFA award as footballer of the year. Her powerful speech focused on the racism, …

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Don’t let ‘Imposter Syndrome’ sabotage your speeches

As a speaker or presenter, do you ever doubt yourself? Maybe you’re feeling a touch of the Imposter Syndrome. If that feels familiar, Halina St James has some advice. (If you can’t watch the video right now, here’s the transcript) I have many clients who sabotage themselves when they speak, especially if they’re setting out …

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