Alan Alda on Improv, Empathy, and his New Book

Alan Alda on Improv, Empathy, and his New Book

I first encountered Alan Alda as the irreverent, anti-war doctor in M*A*S*H* the TV show.  It was one of those shows that seemed important at the time because of its anti-war attitude and other acts of rebellion.  It gave comfort to those of us for whom the war was a long way off, but the […]

The Neuroscience of a First Impression

The Neuroscience of a First Impression

You’ve heard the old saying that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so you know first impressions are important, and durable.  You may have heard that people make up their minds about each other within thirty seconds of meeting, or on some other equally flimsy basis.  So you know that […]

Why You Need to Pitch Your Voice Lower

Why You Need to Pitch Your Voice Lower

Back in the mid- or early nineties, I was videotaped for the first time, doing some media work for my then-employer, Princeton University.  Aside from the usual reactions – I didn’t like my hair, my clothes, my physique, or what I did with my hands – I was most astonished by the shrill, pipsqueak voice […]

Why We Need Conferences

Why We Need Conferences

Picture a worker in a cubicle. Gray walls, gray chair, gray computer. Gray hum of background noise all around. When she picks up the phone, the way in which the voice is processed over that instrument cuts out most of the emotion. That’s why telephone calls and webinars are so boring. No emotion. The rest […]

Why Speakers Need to Worry About Sleep

Why Speakers Need to Worry About Sleep

Back in the day when I taught public speaking at Princeton, one of the bits of bad news the students found most unfair was the attractiveness bias.  Basically, psychologists have found over and over again that more attractive people have an unfair advantage when it comes to attracting partners, getting hired, getting paid, being perceived […]

What’s Missing From Your Virtual Communications and How to Fix Them – 2

What’s Missing From Your Virtual Communications and How to Fix Them – 2

This post is second of two on virtual communications. The virtual world offers us two great conveniences; indeed, you can make a reasonable claim that the virtual world depends for its success on these twin pillars:  freedom from friction, and freedom from simultaneity. But those freedoms create new problems.  How can you solve the problems […]

What’s Missing from Your Virtual Communications and How to Fix Them – 1

What’s Missing from Your Virtual Communications and How to Fix Them – 1

The virtual world offers us two great conveniences.  Indeed, you can make a reasonable claim that the virtual world depends for its success on these twin pillars:  freedom from friction, and freedom from simultaneity. What does that mean?  Before email, we had to write or type out letters, memos, reports, white papers – the entire […]

Principles of Public Speaking – the Final Seven

Principles of Public Speaking – the Final Seven

With this blog post, I’m concluding a series of public speaking principles that are a summation of what I’ve learned about this fiendishly difficult art and science over three decades of practice, coaching, learning from others, and research, especially neuroscience.  The final seven concern general issues of delivery and the speaker. 71.Find ways to protect […]

Principles of Public Speaking – X

Principles of Public Speaking – X

I’m continuing a series of public speaking principles in the next few blog posts that are a summation of what I’ve learned about this fiendishly difficult art and science over three decades of practice, coaching, learning from others, and research, especially neuroscience.  Here are the penultimate seven, concerning conditions around speaking and speeches. 64.The most […]