Blog

Is there a real role for ‘uptalk’?

One of the commonest verbal irritants I encounter in my communication skills training courses is ‘uptalk’ – a rising inflection at the end of sentences that makes statements sound like questions. I observe this speech pattern most commonly among younger women, and I invariably urge them to try to change a habit that makes them […]

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8 presentation hacks for holding attention

Presenting is a difficult business and presenters face numerous challenges if they are to be engaging, memorable and influential – the three key objectives of presentations. Of these challenges, none is more critical – or more tricky – than holding the attention of the audience. If you Google ‘audience attention span’, you will find endless […]

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End every presentation with a call to action

In my last blog I talked about the importance of making a powerful first impression when you present to an audience. But endings are just as important as beginnings, and the professionals I coach seem to find them just as challenging. Typically, they get to the end of their slide deck, summarise the data (although […]

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Five verbal habits that irritate the hell out of your listeners

When it comes to communicating effectively in media interviews and at meetings we are often our worst enemies. A potentially cogent and powerful argument is undermined by pointless, repetitive and largely unconscious verbal habits that irritate the hell out of our listeners and work against impactful communication. Here are five of the worst offences: Starting […]

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When did you last change your mind…

…about something really important?  This week I read something very unusual in my daily newspaper. A former practitioner – and passionate advocate – of naturopathy described how she changed sides and became an equally passionate sceptic after she discovered evidence of fraudulent claims in relation to cancer treatment. ‘Once I realised that, everything changed virtually […]

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Persuasion: why facts don’t work

As a communication skills coach I work regularly with individuals and groups to identify, prioritise and illustrate the key facts that support the arguments they need to put forward in presentations, media interviews, negotiations and other critical meetings. There is an assumption that facts are the ultimate, undeniable persuaders, in the face of which the […]

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