Author Archive

Your Hidden Bias in Public Speaking Skills and Conversations


In general, people believe they are ‘rational’ and that they make decisions based on facts, which will lead to effective solutions. However this is simply not the case. We are all prone to making decisions that are far from rational. Knowing how this affects your client, staff and boss can help you influence them. Further, it can help you question if you are introducing any bias into your own decision making.

This is super important for any public speaking situation.

Cognitive bias is one of the reasons why we don’t always make the best decisions. Cognitive bias comes in many forms and can be characterised by the tendency to make a decision and take action on insufficient information, overconfidence or reliance on past experience.

In business this can be a mistake. The wrong decision can cost your business financially and compromise your market position. An awareness of the types of bias that exist can help you overcome them.

Here are three of the most common cognitive biases prevalent in the business world: 

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An Unusual Request – Public Speaking tip

Arrows 2

There are times in public speaking when you know making a request will only result in a refusal. It almost doesn’t matter what you want, it seems the answer is pre-programmed to come out as ’No’. It’s a killer for sales presentations, managers and anyone needing to influence at work.

But there is a way around this. You can bypass the automated answer and get the answer you need. You just need to think a few steps ahead. 

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Reciprocity In Business – Public speaking Skills

Leadership Reciprocity

The law of reciprocity is a widely acknowledged psychological principle, and it goes like this: when somebody does something nice for, you have an instinctive, deep-seated desire to do something nice for them in return. Of course, this can go the other way as well—when somebody does something harmful to you, your instinct is to harm them in return.

The law of reciprocity is not limited to psychology. It is a principle used to explain behavior in a range of social science; it is applicable to pretty much all day-to-day human interactions, and that includes business interactions and public speaking situations as well. 

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Why Kerry Packer Would Still Be Successful Today

Though he has been dead for almost a decade, the legend of media mogul Kerry Packer, the risk-taking, larger-than-life billionaire business tycoon, still lives on today. The way he lived his life and ran his business should resonate with today’s business executives.

Kerry Packer was born 1937 into an already-successful media dynasty. His father, Frank Packer, controlled Australian Consolidated Press and Nine Network. All of this—an estimated net worth of $100 million—was passed on to Kerry upon his father’s death in 1974.

Packer established the World Series Cricket, but the interesting aspect of that story was how he developed the league. 

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How To Use Flattery to Influence People

Business Flattery

We are all familiar with the warm, pleasant feeling that comes with receiving a genuine compliment. When someone recognises something about us that deserves to be praised it makes us feel good about ourselves and it gives us that much-needed burst of confidence.

For the most part, we can tell the difference between a genuine compliment and one that is somewhat less sincere; and if we recognise the insincerity of a compliment, we won’t to respond to it positively—right?

Compliments can serve a strategic purpose, but are they effective if they are not based in sincerity? 

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How To Use The Uniqueness Principle To Become A Better Leader

Unique Business

People want to be part of something unique. Use this desire to your advantage.

People like to feel special.

We like to believe that we are individuals—that we are not one of seven billion but one in seven billion, that we possess certain qualities that set us apart from the rest of our fellow humans.

As a business leader, the desire to be unique can be used to your advantage. For purposes of leadership and communication this is known as The Uniqueness Principle.

This principle states that people are more likely to do something if they view the idea, concept or themselves as unique. (tweet this)

As consumers, we are attracted to products that we see as exclusive, special, limited in quantity.

In a business setting, employees are drawn to leaders perceived to be unique or to leaders that make the employees feel unique.

As a business executive, succeeding as a leader requires using The Uniqueness Principle to motivate employees. You want each individual on your team to feel that they are going to be contributing to something truly unique, something that will set them apart.

There are many ways to accomplish this. Let’s review a few. 

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How Romantic Comedies Can Help Improve Your Leadership Skills

Romantic Comedy Leadership

What can romantic comedies teach you about leadership? For one, emotion plays a role in both.

The title of this might sound silly to you, but take a moment to think about it. There is a time-tested formula for the making of a romantic comedy—and it works every time. Whatever each particular story arc happens to be about, rom-coms work because they drag people in, on an emotional level, and force them to care.

As a business leader, your job is so much easier when you get your clients, your customers, your employees, etc. to truly care about what you have to say. Once you have people invested at an emotional level, they will actively want to follow you, to help you, to listen to you.

So what’s the secret of the romantic comedy, and how can it be applied to your business world? Well, let’s break out down step by step. 

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Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker and Superman: Leadership Skills We Can Use


You can use the traits of #HarryPotter, #LukeSkyWalker and #Superman to improve your leaderships skills.

Most are familiar with the stories of Harry Potter, Star Wars and Superman.

If you’re a fan of these stories you might be aware of the striking similarities between the three main characters – Harry Potter, Clark Kent, and Luke Skywalker.

The similarities with these three characters are striking.

All three lost their parents at a young age. They lived their young lives with no idea of their true, remarkable identities.

As each grew older, their true identities were revealed to them. This put the characters on remarkable journeys. 

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Overcoming Nervousness: How to Control the Physiological Reaction of Fight-or-Flight When Speaking

Overcoming Nervousness

Preparation can help you take flight when speaking in public.

Even the most seasoned business executives get nervous.

Many people get nervous at the prospect of speaking in front of a large audience. They tense up. Some lie awake for nights before dreading the moment when we step in front of the crowd.

For a brand new leader in business, facing the challenges of public speaking for the first time, the nerves might seem overwhelming.

Are Nerves Psychological?

Nerves might seem like a strictly psychological problem, but it doesn’t stop there.

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How To Use Presentation Tools To Your Advantage

Poor Slide Presentation

A poor slide presentation will do more harm than good.

For many years I’ve used presentation tools to help with presentations.

Handouts, slides, props and more have made appearances with me in front of audiences.

There were tons of little devices I used to make the presentation more effective. I, like many others, have even used the overhead projector that beamed images onto a screen from those plastic pieces of paper-looking sheets.

On some levels it seems silly to use presentation tools. After all, if you’re confident in yourself as a leader and speaker you shouldn’t need tools to help you speak in front of people.

In my years of experience I’ve learned that presentation tools not only help the person in front of the audience. When used properly, presentation tools can help those in the audience comprehend what is being presented.

Since that’s the goal of a presentation it makes sense to use tools whenever appropriate. 

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