What a story is and is not – part 2

This is the second of a two-part post on storytelling — what it is and is not. As I said last time, connecting with another person is one of the highest forms of social being for humans. At the heart of it is good storytelling. When I’m telling you a story, and you’re engaged in it, you match your brain waves to mine. If I’m telling you a story with a familiar structure,… Read More

How Should You Gesture When Speaking?

How should you gesture in order to win the favor of the crowd, persuade the audience of your point of view, or appear most charismatic? I get asked variants on these questions all the time by speakers wanting to up their game, executives wishing to improve the odds of their success, and thought leaders wanting to get more attention for their ideas. The key to successful gesture is not what you think… Read More

How to use your voice for leadership

What’s the best voice for influencing others and dominating the herd? A recent study found that male horses with the deeper whinny appeal more to female horses and generally fared better in the DNA sweepstakes. Similar studies have found advantages of a parallel kind for humans. Researchers at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business analyzed speech patterns of 792 chief executives at major publicly held companies. Male CEOs with lower-pitched voices tended… Read More

How to Conquer Your Unconscious Fears

This is the final post in a series on putting your unconscious mind to work for you, rather than leaving the biggest part of your communications to chance – or letting your unconscious fears and memories hold you back. I am not a believer in that mumbo-jumbo from The Secret that says if you just believe that a million dollars will manifest itself in your pocket, it will. But I do think… Read More

How to train your brain for peak performance

So if we’ve got at least three brains and two of the three are busy sabotaging us at key moments of stress and performance, what can we do about it? What we’re going to focus on now is the unconscious work that you have to do to keep from giving up leadership automatically in those first few minutes of any conversation, meeting, negotiation, presentation, or high-stakes event, where the top dog gets… Read More