On the Job: Don’t kiss off the Q&A

You’ve just finished your big presentation and take a quiet breath of relief. Not so fast. A critical part of your presentation is about to take place. And if you’re not careful, it could spin out of control and undo all your hard work. That’s because it’s now time for the question-and-answer period. Be prepared to wait a full 6 seconds. That’s how long it can take before someone responds. » Nick… Read More

How do you take an ordinary presentation and turn it into a powerful story?

How do you take an ordinary presentation about 3Q profits or the S-17 update and turn it into a powerful story? And why would you want to go to that effort; is it worth it? Let’s deal with the second question first. Our minds remember stories, especially stories with emotions attached, much better than they remember lists, or even ideas. Our brains are constructed that way; something happens to us, and it… Read More

The role of emotion in public speaking

Emotion – is it a good thing or a bad thing? For many years, people struggled to keep it out of business, thinking that to be emotional showed weakness, or indecision, or lack of judgment, or something equally damning. Today, attitudes have shifted, and we now recognize the importance of emotion in motivation, in communications, and in leadership. Indeed, we’ve learned from brain research that without emotion there is no memory. So… Read More

How to decode other people’s body language

We are all unconscious experts in reading other people’s intentions toward us. We evolved these skills in the woolly mammoth era because our lives depended on them, and the unconscious mind works must faster than the conscious mind. But we are not very good at making this unconscious awareness conscious. We can react with blinding speed, literally before we can think about it consciously, to duck a punch that some drunken lout… Read More

Funny speeches: how to use humor in public speaking

Humor can be hazardous to the health of public speakers. Most speakers want to be funny, but you’ve got to do humor well, or it falls flat and that’s worse than no humor at all. Here I provide a guide for avoiding the worst mistakes of traditional one-liners and cheap irony, replacing them instead with ironic and witty humor that works and wins audiences over to your side. And, if you insist… Read More

The art of storytelling

These days, we’re awash in data and information and can’t remember it all. But we do remember stories. Effective storytelling is the key to making your ideas stick, your path to market unique, and your brand memorable. In this newsletter, we focus on a number of ways to make your storytelling better. First, a blog series, with five quick ideas on what storytelling is, and is not. Each one of these blogs… Read More

Nick Morgan Explains How To Give A Presentation That Changes The World

In the marketing world, the best ideas don’t always win. One of the main reasons is because they’re not presented well (in essence, a poor presentation can kill the best of ideas). In this podcast, Nick and marketing expert Mitch Joel discuss why being a great presenter is a must-have capability for business leaders. Website | Play

Leadership communications — four steps to authenticity

Authenticity is the most important quality in leadership communications today. With it, you can move people to action. Without it, you can’t even get a hearing. Where does it come from, and how can you achieve it? Every communication is two conversations. The first conversation in every communication is the one you’re aware of: the content. The second conversation is the one that most humans are unconscious experts on: the nonverbal one…. Read More

How to be a good corporate communicator

Presentations are a fact of life in the workplace. Most of them are about as exciting as Jello – and about as well formed. In this newsletter, we address the problem, hoping to improve the lot of audiences everywhere. We talk about how to get the structure of a presentation right, why your body language is just as important as your speech (and your slides) and how to overcome nervousness. We also… Read More

Is Q&A a good idea? And other questions

Why go to all the trouble of preparing a speech when you can just take questions? I’ve been asked that question many times by executives I’ve worked with that aren’t comfortable with the idea of all that focus on themselves, or the work involved in getting a speech ready, or simply can’t think of anything particularly earth-shattering to say. If you’re not sure what you want to say, Q&A can seem like… Read More