Presentation Skills

Write a personal note to spur action

February 27, 2015
When Guillermo del Toro wanted to direct his first major motion picture, he knew which actor he wanted as his star. But it took some convincing to get his way.

Tell stories that follow the rules

February 4, 2015

Great leaders tell great stories. They inspire, motivate and educate people with anecdotes, not lectures. Prepare by following a set of rules created by Emma Coats. She’s a former story artist at Pixar, the animated movie studio that made “Brave,” “Monsters University” and other hits.

COO’s solemn pledge gains staff buy-in

January 6, 2015

Tom Voss ran a company with a poor safety ­rec­­ord and the status quo was ­­un­­acceptable. At the time, Voss was chief operating officer of Ameren, a utility company in the Midwest. He sought to overhaul the firm’s lax safety culture by hosting a meeting with 200 of his senior man­agers. To galvanize his audience, the normally soft-spoken Voss turned into an inspiring dynamo.

Keep virtual meetings on track: 5 tips

October 20, 2014
It’s hard enough to keep face-to-face meetings on schedule. But conference calls can become a noisy free-for-all. Here’s how to run them smoothly.

Use embarrassment to your advantage

October 8, 2014
The best public speakers foster so much goodwill with their audience that even if something mortifying happens, they can recover. Just ask Joey Asher.

4 ways to build your people skills

August 13, 2014

Top leaders connect with others easily, emphasizing shared interests and minimizing resistance. Try these techniques to communicate better with colleagues.

Star Trek analogy conveys tough concept

July 28, 2014
David Pensak faced a challenge during the early days of the Internet. He wanted people to understand the purpose of a firewall. But they were still grappling with the newness of the Web itself, so he had to figure out a simple way to explain a complex concept.

Under fire? Opt for transparency

July 1, 2014
It took fewer than 60 days for Mary Barra, the new CEO of General Motors, to face a crisis.

Lift spirits with stirring stories

June 12, 2014
At Southwest Airlines, CEO Gary Kelly treats storytelling as a core element in uniting the company’s 46,000 employees. How does he do it?

3 steps to better conference calls

June 9, 2014
Even the most expensive video systems don’t replace face-to-face communication—but there are ways to maximize what you have to work with.