As soon as you speak, you will instantly be judged


With first impressions, your voice is more important than you may realise. It takes less than 1 second for people to judge your personality. Yes, less than 1 second. That’s the time it takes to say the word “Hello”. There was a famous line in the movie Jerry Maguire. Renée...

What I learned from 3 days of complete silence


When I was a rowdy kid (yes, just ask my 4 brothers), my mother would (often) send me to my room. Being forced to sit alone was the punishment. Now imagine that I registered for a 3-day silent retreat where I’d be locked alone inside my head! I was not...

A Silent Retreat: Who are you without your Voice?


One of my life’s biggest missions is to help other people to find their voices. Not their singing voices, but their speaking voices. Learning to become a better speaker/communicator is profitable and great for your career, but discovering your Authentic Voice - your life’s calling - is one of the...

The Power of Pitching


Just before Christmas I competed in the Finals of the Techtour European Venture Contest. Oddly enough, I was one of the category winners (this surprised me, but never underestimate the power of a good story). Since I am a serial entrepreneur and back after 9 years, Techtour interviewed me in...

Learn from the Speakers You Admire


I just listened to an old speech by Martin Luther King Jr. from April 4th, 1967 at the Riverside Church in New York City. It wasn’t his most famous speech, but perhaps one of his most underrated. In this speech he changed his course and for the first time spoke out...

Naked on Stage


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. Here is what someone tweeted just after my talk: You know you're a confident speaker when you go on...

Words, Dance but no Music


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...

You know, umm, like Russian Parasites


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…...

A Tolerance for Silence 


Right now I am on an airplane. I’m flying home at 20,000 feet from Kuopio, Finland. I’m decompressing. Imagine a town dropped right in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Imagine being surrounded by a thousand miles of flat and nondescript landscape with nothing but seemingly endless trees and lakes… then...

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...