You may know that I compete in speech contests.
I’ve been doing it since two years and a half and this I learned so far:
the first version of my speech is never the best.
If a speech does well, it’s because I change it along the way.
The process can be painful and I had a particularly painful experience when I recently tested a speech on my friends and mentors Tom Aerden and Daniel Mouqué.
They liked my speech. That was the good news.
The bad news? They only liked half of it. read more…
We always hear that people today have short attention spans.
I am sure it’s true.
But this is also true: attention spans have never been long to start with. That’s why the ancient Greeks and Romans gave so much thought to rhetoric. Their tricks are as valid today as they were 2000 years ago read more…
The ladder of abstraction is one of the most useful communication concepts I know.
Introduced by the linguist Samuel Hayakawa in the 1940s, the ladder of abstraction has two ends: at the top end are abstract things; concepts like integrity, trust, freedom and sustainability. Such concepts can be noble and meaningful. But they are definitely abstract: you cannot touch them and they don’t paint pictures in your head. read more…
Usability experts compare website visitors to carnivores.
Imagine a cheetah in the Serengeti.
When she picks up a scent, she will follow it. But the scent has to get more promising. If it doesn’t, she will not continue the hunt.
The visitors of your website are the same. read more…
You type this. But it doesn’t work and you delete it.
You type that. But it doesn’t lead you anywhere.
You type some more but you’re not getting off the ground.
You’re stuck. read more…
At a presentation the other day, the technicians struggled to connect the speaker’s laptop.
The speaker showed a great reaction.
He left his PowerPoint-script behind and spoke off the cuff.
And it was wonderful – wonderful, informative and inspiring.
20 minutes later, the technicians got the laptop connected. read more…