Last week I did a talk in front of 600 people. I was naked. No colorful Powerpoints, no music, no flashy videos to hide behind. Just me. Just my naked voice.
It’s Friday morning and I’m sitting on a crowded plane in the midst of 8 young men who are headed to Amsterdam for a big weekend together. They are incredibly talkative in an endless stream of chatter, banter, intense debate and raucous laughter. Normally I would have to put in earplugs to maintain my little zen bubble, but not with these guys. They are all deaf. The only noise they make is when one gets overly eager and bounces up and down in his seat in excitement. I’m amazed at…
Today I am in Moscow. доброе утро(“Good Morning” in Russian). I just finished leading a workshop for a fantastic group of Russian executives from the pharmaceutical company #Valeant. I taught them about leadership and powerful communication. They taught me something about speech. When someone is speaking and ummm, you know… like, ahh, uses sounds or words like ahhh, like so, ummm, you know… then this is what we call “Disfluent”. “Disfluencies” are any meaningless sounds or words that a speaker uses as fillers whilst thinking about what to say next….
Listening to Finnish entrepreneurs pitch, you would think it is a nation of Steven Hawkins voice impersonators with monotone, deadpan, and flat voices. But listen carefully and you will discover a real warmth underlying the cold exterior. What they taught me is that the Finns have a huge tolerance for silence.
7 Fatal Voice Mistakes that Entrepreneurs Make when Pitching. Why some of the things you can’t even hear yourself saying may be killing your pitch and ruining your first Impressions
In my head I sound like George Clooney – deep and sexy. But when I hear a recording of myself, I’m reminded more of Stevie Urkel. The voice inside my head is a lie. Inside your head too. Learn why.
Many entrepreneurs struggle. Some fail, yet some entrepreneurs succeed beyond their wildest dreams. What is the difference? What is the one key success factor that separates the winners from the losers? The winners are almost always great communicators.
Whenever I talk so enthusiastically about entrepreneurship, a few people really feel the need to correct me. They say that positive thinking is naïve, oversimplified and at best just a placebo. The serious pessimists love to point out that nothing so simple as positive thinking can be true. My job is not to prove them wrong, because at a gut level, I just know that positive thinking works.
Over the last year I have been working on a project funded by the European Investment Bank to help young entrepreneurs in the occupied territories in Palestine. The project has been an amazing learning experience for me. Sometimes you have to move outside your comfort zone and beyond your normal pathways in order to discover new parts of the planet and new sides of yourself.
Whether you are standing onstage in an auditorium speaking to an audience of 1000 or meeting a new client for the very first time, you will not succeed in influencing others unless you are able to connect with them first. Connection is absolutely essential to communication, especially if the message is important to you and to your audience. Connection is absolutely essential if you are going to persuade and to influence others.