You can be a brilliant conversationalist if you ask good questions and then listen, really listen.
What makes someone a brilliant conversationalist? Brilliant conversationalists engage others by asking excellent questions. You can improve the quality of all of your conversations, professional and personal, when you ask good questions and then listen, really listen, to the responses. This is also one of the best ways to get smarter.
Maybe you know of my brother Robert Fripp, the legendary guitarist? He’s one of Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time. You might not know that he’s also a thoughtful and erudite writer and speaker. In truth, Robert is one of the most brilliant people I know and he listenswell. He’s said: (more…)
At every stage of your career, when you open your mouth you sell yourself, your ideas, your value, and your ability. Fortunately, even if you’re not a born communicator, the ability to deliver a powerful presentation can be learned. I share this story about one intelligent and ambitious MBA:
Mary might have been the smartest in her class, but public speaking wasn’t part of her MBA program. Even with extensive planning and preparation she made some very common mistakes. These mistakes bored, and ultimately lost, her audience. When you learn the right way to prepare a presentation you will actually save yourself time. You will deliver your presentation knowing that your words will not bore your audience, but will hold their attention and get your message heard.
When you improve your public speaking and presentation skills, you increase your confidence and gain a valuable tool in furthering your career goals. If you avoid public speaking at the high cost of your success, why not get the training you need to speak confidently in public?(more…)
At a speech to Chicago’s Hamilton Club in 1899, two years before he became president, Theodore Roosevelt spoke about Greatness. “If we are to be a really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world,” Roosevelt said. “We cannot avoid meeting great issues. All that we can determine for ourselves is whether we shall meet them well or ill.”
These powerful words from one of greatest presidents resonate with me and shed light on my own personal pursuit of Greatness. After spending more than 25 years as a sports journalist, I’ve come to realize that there’s no metric or method we can use to precisely measure Greatness. It is something that can’t be quantified.
An excerpt from my book Greatness: The 16 Characteristics of True Champions provides context that explains what many in the world of sports interpret as Greatness and my interpretation of what makes the Great ones Great.
Outside your home, ALL speaking is public speaking.
I was chatting with a team member of a consulting firm who said that because his organization focused on innovation, it was absolutely necessary to clearly articulate his ideas. His problem: he often found himself struggling when approached in the hall by the head of another department or a senior executive. For him, it is much easier to speak in front of a large group than to master the “water cooler” vignette. He felt that larger venues allowed time for preparation and added that, “The impromptu meetings really catch you off guard.”(more…)