Preparing for “12 Minutes With…”

Equipment: Please use headphones. They don’t have to be fancy; the ones you use with your iPhone are fine. Please use Chrome or Firefox. Sometimes Internet Explorer works for this, but most of the time it doesn’t. Preparation before the call: Please look at the typical questions below and think about them a bit. Your

Remote Coaching

With today’s technology, we don’t have to be face-to-face.

Speaking before an industry conference next month? Call on us to design your slides and coach you through the presentation.

Meeting with investors in London? Let us guide you through refining your message and designing your collateral materials.

Want to come across more professionally in those quarterly earnings conference calls? Perfect, we can help you with that.

Softening words

Eric Takaha at Franklin-Templeton is a master of using what we call “softening words,” which can come in very handy when you are describing overall trends in a public forum…

Work the crowd

If a presentation is part of your sales funnel, a conversational style will often double your conversion rate for that stage of the funnel. Here’s how to do it…

Client Communications

Equip your people to break through the barriers of resistance, to influence client decisions more effectively, and to use tested and proven techniques of visual design, communications framing, and neuromarketing.

We help your people focus on your client and transform confusing, cluttered messages into clearer, more impressive, and easier to understand sales tools.

You depend on your people to grow your business. Send them out into the field with the right tools for the job.

Investor Presentations

Markets are most unkind to things they don’t understand. We help you clear up those misunderstandings and represent your company and its ecosystem more clearly.

There’s almost almost always something about your company, or the market in which it exists, that you wish your investors understood more clearly.

Executive Communications

Expanding your markets. Representing your company on panels. Getting board approval for a major initiative. These all require the right presence, the right wordings and turns of phrase.

We edit/improve your speeches, practice your speaking skills, and design a whitepaper you can use in followup inquiries. But if you just want to talk astrophysics or House of Cards, we can do that too.

You’ve invested a lot in yourself, and made sacrifices for years, to get where you are. Don’t stop now.

You’re going too fast!

A common issue we see is people speaking too fast, trying to cram too much content into too little time.

Money is especially emotional

One of the best arguments for how people make decisions on emotion, even when (perhaps especially when) they are making decisions about money, is…

The wrong question

If you’re asking how can I speak better English, you might be asking the wrong question.

You are just a midwife

The fastest way to Death By PowerPoint is to think you are anything more than a midwife to the audience’s dreams.


I love this article, especially the third tip…

Boy meets girl

American author Kurt Vonnegut outlines some basic, but very classic, story structures…


Sometimes public speaking doesn’t go so well…


Check out this short list to learn more about the simplest explanations of the components of a story.

Jesse Scinto: Commitment and Consistency

Matt and Jesse discuss a chapter from Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, specifically the human desire to seem logical and consistent, and how we can use this natural human desire to persuade our audiences…

Jesse Scinto: What Benefit Am I Going to Get?

Often, our clients feel like if they talk about conflict or problems in their presentations, their audiences won’t respect them. It feels kind of risky. We asked Jesse about this. If a speaker takes the risk, what is the speaker going to get in return?

Why Watch Videos of Yourself

There are a lot of reasons to watch videos of yourself practicing. Watching videos of yourself helps you improve your body language, content, your opening and closing. But mainly, watching videos of yourself helps you get out of your head.

Turkish or English?

It’s a good question: Should I do my training in Turkish or in English?
The best way to answer that question is probably to ask yourself, “What do I ultimately want to be able to do?”


Brevity is vital. But one thing that often gets lost is that brevity is not enough.

Why listen over and over

Here’s one thing I recommend: Listen to the same thing, over and over. You want to listen to a 20-minute speech? That’s great. Pick three minutes of it, and listen to that same 3 minutes 5 times. Each time, write down one new thing you heard.

The Fastest Way to Say More

Go slow and speak less. Yes, I know it’s counterintuitive. I can barely believe it myself, even though I see it happen almost every day.

Hands When You’re Sitting

Ever wondered what to do with your hands when you are delivering a speech while sitting down?
Watch this short video for some tips.

Start with a Joke. But how?

If your natural sense of humor wants to come through, let it. Especially if the joke applies to you or to your immediate surroundings, and especially if you are making fun of yourself, like Guy Kawasaki is here.

Like Saying, “If the Sex is Bad…”

There are many ways to start a speech. One of them is outlining what you’re going to talk about. Watch how Guy Kawasaki does it in the first 90 seconds of his speech…

Game tape: Guy Kawasaki, TEDxBerkeley

Guy Kawasaki speaks at TEDxBerkeley, about the 10 points of innovation… Notes: Local references: In this speech, he makes a lot of references to local universities [Stanford, Cal (local nickname for University of California Berkeley), USC (University of Southern California)]. In fact, his very first sentence is about graduating from Stanford (a university near San

Swim in My Ocean, or Splash in My Puddle

Before they realize there is huge power in deep preparation, some of our clients at first resist the idea of practicing a lot. They think practicing a lot is going to kill the spontaneity in their speech.

Do the Flesch-Kincaid

As a speaker, there are a couple numbers you should know. One is your average WPM — how many words do you speak per minute (the average human speaks about 120-130 words per minute). Another number you should be aware of is what grade level do you typically speak or write at? Can a university

Get them to agree with you first

Sometimes you’re speaking about a hotly-debated topic, something that not everyone in the room agrees with you about. Here’s a tip for those situations: Before you talk about the hot issue, get the audience to agree with you on something else. Two professors, one from Toronto and one from Hong Kong, did a study. They

Sidestepping the bomb

Here’s a tip for those times when you’re speaking to a potentially hostile audience, or coming dangerously close to a hot, explosive topic: In your opening sentences, remind the audience you share common ground with them, but also acknowledge the debate. It’s important to do both. Remind the audience of your common ground, so they

When you can’t avoid the avalanche

Yes, you compete with your slides for the audience’s attention. When the audience is looking at your slides, they aren’t listening to you. So we preach, over and over, keep your slides simple, keep your slides simple. But in real life, you don’t always control the design, or even the timing, of your slides. Sometimes

Ira Glass interviews

Below are four videos, and a transcript, of an interview with a famous radio presenter in the US, Ira Glass. He speaks about storytelling, the importance of being yourself, and the difficulty of the early days, when you know what “good” is, but you’re not there yet: The videos: The transcript: Video one: One of

The Sullivan Nod

Here’s a body language tip: It’s called the Sullivan Nod. When you are talking to an audience, and you are listing three or four or five options, smile and nod when you’re describing the one you want them to choose. Chances are pretty good that they’ll choose it. The “Sullivan” of the Sullivan Nod is