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05/10/14 Inspiration , My Work #

Don’t fill the bucket …

Based in Rome, Italy I help companies and individuals improve their performance in all areas of business and interpersonal communication.

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01/11/16 Inspiration # , ,

John Luther would make a great facilitator

John Luther would make a great facilitator

We know that being an effective facilitator is all about being neutral, listening and asking questions. But which questions?

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04/07/16 Inspiration # ,

House of cards speech writing secrets

House of cards speech writing secrets

Lovely piece in the FT on the man behind Frank Underwood. 

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12/05/16 Inspiration

Peter Kosminsky defends the BBC

I am often bored by or cringe at awards acceptance speeches but this measured and quietly passionate piece from Peter Kosminksy at this week’s BAFTAS is well worth watching. Why is it so effective?

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25/04/16 Inspiration # , , ,

Obama gives Dave a hand

Obama

Last week President Obama sent Brexit to the back of the queue. Watch his intervention.

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20/02/16 Inspiration # , , , ,

Cameron no Brexit

Brexit

A very tired David Cameron faced the press last night in Brussels.

Watch this short extract of his press conference and then we’ll see how he performed.

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06/12/15 Inspiration

Hilary Benn speaking on Syria

This is what is possible in a couple of minutes.

Analysis

First things to notice in this conclusion is the use of voice: slower tempo, variations in volume, enunciation (the way words are pronounced and syllables emphasised.
Then the body language: the audience is now his own colleagues. He turns and faces them, the wagging finger at the same time emphasising and admonishing. He looks down to check notes but the messages and head are up for delivery.

He draws on a biblical source (the good samaritan) for his analogy and calls for colleagues to show a sense of (christian?) duty.

Repetition: count the number of uses of the word “contempt”.

Voice – volume: “What we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated” (almost a whisper).

And then the finale building to his statement of support for the motion encouraging his colleagues to do the same.

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03/10/15 Inspiration

Awakenings – get it right for the audience

Too many presenters dive straight into the middle, technical section of their presentation either through fear or lack of preparation. If you don’t target your language for the audience in front of you it will be very difficult for them to respond to your objective.

An audience needs to understand the benefits in their reality of what you are telling them.

Try these tips:

  • Start with something the audience knows, something easy (like in every good story)
  • Then take the audience to where they could be (if they adopt the change in behaviour you are proposing)
  • Use numbers, data, statistics that mean something to that audience
  • If you are not leading your visuals and the visuals are not synchronised to your words – TURN THEM OFF and just talk!
  • Show YOU care about the issue (or the audience never will)

In the clip, Robin Williams, as a doctor has too much technical information at his fingertips for the audience. How does he manage to change tack and get the hospital patrons to pull out their cheque books?

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10/09/15 Inspiration

The wines were too various

So much language spoken and written is so tied up in itself that simplicity disappears. Long words, invented words, redundant words flap around aimlessly and what is meant is so often not understood.

I remember Brideshead so well from so many years ago. Apologies for the sick but enjoy the explanation for Sebastian’s poor health and Charles’s “yes”.

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16/08/15 Inspiration # , ,

No bullets in Amazon

No bullets in Amazon

Couldn’t agree more with Amazon/Bezos creed:

Amazon doesn’t allow PowerPoint presentations as he (Bezos) believes bullet points don’t convey quality information.

Making a list of points or issues is actually often an excuse for NOT thinking about them properly – just a series of things to do like on a shopping list but not actually really any analysis or even much thinking.

As someone who spends a lot of time in unprepared and unprofitable meetings I also like the idea that the number of participants in a meeting shouldn’t exceed those who could be fed by two pizzas!

Read the full interview in the Daily Telegraph. 

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01/08/15 Inspiration

Foo Fighters Rockin1000

If you want inspiration you don’t need to look much further than this.

It says everything that is good about the creativity, passion and resilience of young Italians.

Watch to the end and listen to the organiser’s speech!

It brings goosebumps to watch parts of this performance.

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