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Nov 20, 2023

We've all been there: put on the spot during a meeting and found ourselves tongue-tied. In this episode, we tackle the challenge of spontaneous communication head-on. I'm joined by Matt Abrahams, who is a Lecturer at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and the host of the “Think Fast, Talk Smart,” which draws in millions of listeners per episode. His TEDx Talk has captivated a global audience, and his latest book is titled, “Think Faster, Talk Smarter: How to Speak Successfully When You're Put on the Spot.”

Today, Matt shares his insights into preparing for those unscripted moments, managing speaking anxiety, and mastering the mindset shifts critical for effective communication. We'll cover practical strategies for nailing Q&A sessions and confidently handling challenging conversations. 

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Episode Highlights

·         How preparation paradoxically improves your ability to speak spontaneously

·         Making your message resonate and be memorable

·         Creating a personalized anxiety management plan to reduce speaking anxiety

·         A critical mindset shift that improves communication quality and effectiveness

·         Reframing errors as learning opportunities to improve communication skills

·         How improving our listening skills can make spontaneous speaking more effective

·         Mastering Q&A sessions by engaging with people who are opposed to your ideas

·         Methods for handling difficult questions in tricky scenarios

Matt’s view on the greatest unmet wellbeing need at work today

“I think we saw with the pandemic, just how raw some people can be. It exposed that and put a light on it. And it's important that we respect it and that we connect with it. As a teacher, I see it in my students, I see it my colleagues. So, I believe all of us have to take a step back and remind ourselves that first and foremost, we're humans, we have challenges and issues, both in inside ourselves and in the relationships we have. And I think we need to spend more time respecting that in offering to help those who are struggling.”

What “working with humans” means to Matt

“To me, it is a reminder that communication is relational and about connection, not about transactions. We work with others, others who have their own existence, their own ideas, their own belief, and we need to remember that it's all about the relationship and the connection that we have and I think that is very powerful and very important.”


Follow: Matt on LinkedIn

Visit: Matt’s website

Read: Think Faster, Talk Smarter: How to Speak Successfully When You're Put on the Spot


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©Michael Glazer