Episode #158 – Think Faster, Talk Smarter: How to Be Better Communicators

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In this episode of Team Anywhere, Mitch interviews the charismatic Matt Abrahams. Matt is a lecturer at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford and a communication expert. He’s also the host of the powerful podcast, Think Fast, Talk Smart, where he interviews experts in the field. Get ready because Matt’s new book, “Think Faster, Talk Smarter,” is  filled with practical tips and captivating stories from his years of experience. Get ready to level up your communication skills!

The Importance of Communication and Overcoming Anxiety

Mitch delves into Matt’s journey as a communicator and his realization of the impact of anxiety on communication. Matt shares his memorable experience as a 14-year-old boy embarrassing himself during a speech tournament but ultimately winning over the audience. Matt emphasizes that anxiety is a common challenge for many people, but it can be managed. In his first book, “Speaking Up Without Freaking Out,” he provides 50 techniques to overcome anxiety and become a more confident communicator.

What Separates Great Communicators from Others

Mitch poses the question of what sets great communicators apart. Matt believes that everyone experiences anxiety to some degree, but the key is learning to manage it. Great communicators understand that anxiety can be helpful, providing energy and focus. However, they also recognize the importance of being in service to their audience. It’s not about broadcasting their own viewpoints but rather helping the audience understand, be moved by, and informed by their message.

The Role of Audience-Centric Communication

Matt emphasizes the significance of audience-centric communication. Instead of focusing solely on their own perspectives, good communicators prioritize serving their audience’s needs. They aim to fulfill their audience’s understanding, emotional connection, and information requirements. By putting the audience first, communicators can enhance the impact and effectiveness of their message. Whether it’s a presentation, speech, or everyday conversation, being audience-centric is the key to successful communication.

Who is Matt Abrahams?

Matt Abrahams is a leading expert in the field of communication. As a Lecturer in Organizational Behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, he teaches popular classes in strategic communication and effective virtual presenting and has received the school’s Alumni Teaching Award. Matt also teaches public speaking and co-teaches Improvisationally Speaking in the Stanford Continuing Studies Program.

When he isn’t teaching, Matt is a highly sought-after keynote speaker and communications consultant and coach. He has helped numerous presenters prepare for high-stakes talks, including IPO road shows, Nobel Prize award presentations, and appearances at TED and the World Economic Forum. His online talks garner millions of views and he hosts the popular, award-winning podcast Think Fast, Talk Smart, The Podcast. His book Speaking Up without Freaking Out: 50 Techniques for Confident and Compelling Presenting has helped a wide audience manage speaking anxiety and present more confidently and authentically.

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