Practical Charisma from Home

Photo: Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty Images

As I was doing the washing up today I caught the first episode of Francine Stock’s excellent investigation of Charisma (repeated from 2015 on BBC Radio 4). As you learn about its origin in the mystical writings of St Paul, it is worth asking about the behavioural element of this quality: what is someone doing, when we notice there is “a light in their eyes”? Because that quality might tip the balance in a job interview.

My next impact training session is on Wednesday 2nd December, 2-4pm on Zoom, where we’ll teach you some of these secrets, and how to apply the insights of our Charisma Key programme to the challenges of remote working. ‘Early bird’ booking opportunity closes in 3 days – so sign up now and discover “what good looks like in the era of virtual/remote training”

Sign up HERE.

By |November 15th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Next slide please

Saturday’s winter lockdown TV announcement contained a host of widespread bad practices –  many of you will already have made a note to do things differently in your next presentation. But beside the various traps the speakers fell into, the key  one is that they did not give (or even have) the time to practice it in front of someone from outside the team.  If they had done that the issues would have been fixed, the message would have been clearer and their job would have been SO MUCH easier.

We’ve been making the right changes to material like this since about 2005 – bringing technical skill and fundamental insight people’s presentations in professional services, law, finance – and medicine and pharmaceuticals. The translation of technical granular detail into a gettable and convincing story is our speciality. So if you have a high-stakes presentation or pitch coming up and you would like to run it by an expert eye, join one of our Open coaching sessions, or email

Watch (from 20:09):

By |November 6th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Winners and Losers

If all goes normally, tomorrow’s poll in the US will end up with a winner (and a loser). We are fascinated by stories of victory and defeat because our working lives are full of small triumphs and disasters, with competitors to beat and team-mates to celebrate with.

This is Velazquez’ great depiction of the Surrender at Breda. In the centre of the crowd you can see the Dutch leader Justin of Nassau yielding up the keys of the city to the Genoese commander of the Spanish forces, Ambrosio Spinola. The 17thC wars in the Netherlands were notoriously harsh, so this image has a job to do, and it does it well – Spinola is the image of magnanimity, still in his armour but sweeping off his hat to comfort his adversary at the moment Nassau acknowledges that he is beaten. What do you think?

We live in stories, which is why ‘losers’ consent’ matters so much. It’s worth noting tomorrow not just who wins, but how they win.

If you’re interested in exploring how questions like this affect our narratives at work, come on one of our virtual Open Courses, or drop me a line if you want to discuss the in-house virtual sessions we run on Impact and Story.

By |November 6th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

How Improvisation Can Help You In Life?

Improv is a popular stand-up technique. You go in front of a crowd and start telling jokes to people, and hope that they would laugh and not boo you. Well, much in life can be equated to the practice of improvisation.  You walk into a new room, a new school a new office building, and you hope that you will fit in and that people will appreciate you for who you are. Sometimes trying too hard, though, could have the exact opposite effect of the one you are looking for, so as with improv, it’s always best to let yourself go and do your best.  If things do go a little sideways, don’t worry. It’s all part of life – things do get a little hairy on occasion, but the key to good improv, and perhaps even life, is to know how to bounce back quickly and with confidence.

Take a bad situation in stride and laugh it off as it were. There is always something to do, and as long as you try, your improv act is going. Today, we will take a look at how improv can be quite a little way to help yourself through life, especially if you are a little more anxious in person. Here are some great takeaways from improv:

  • Teach yourself failure
  • Be more creative
  • Get out of your comfort zone

1. Teaching Yourself Failure

There are hardly comedians who were great when they started out. Writing jokes and attending other’s performances is all part of the craft, and it takes a lot of time, wit, research, and a naturally curious mind, not to mention talent, to be actually able to improvise well enough.

improv with life

However, before you are able to do improv, you will end up failing quite a few times, and this is good news. You need to know about failure so that you can progress through life with experience, confidence and admittedly that nagging feeling that you may not always be right.  Far more importantly, though, failure will teach you how to bounce right back, how to behave when you fail and to most importantly understand that failure is not a reflection – and it shouldn’t be a reflection – on your self-worth.  Improv is great at teaching all of this and more, and yes, sometimes your failures will come with a bunch of strangers probably chuckling at you.

2. Being More Creative on the Spot

Improv is great about the imagination. It will teach you about being creative, and if you are not creative enough, it will give you very good advice on how to get creative. The truth is creativeness is the result of inquisitive minds.  You may not really be creative unless you make an actual effort – to read books, read words, listen to smarter people talk and perform, and so on. You must constantly feed your brain so it can come up with new and imaginative things to do and say, and reading is by far the most efficient way to teach yourself new things and stir the flames of creativity in your brain.  In fact, paper reading is much better for your brain and you should embrace it plain and simple.

3. Going Out of Your Comfort Zone

The next thing to embrace about improvisation is that it puts you out of your comfort zone, and let’s face it – we have all been there. However, there is a way to actually feel comfortable operating outside of what you are most commonly used to.  As it were, the comfort zone is called such for a reason, but teaching yourself how to be a little uncomfortable on occasion, could have healthy effects on your mentality. It will make you more resilient mentally and it will give you the strength to tackle difficult issues.  There are many reasons why you should embrace this mentality. Yet, remember, not everything should be about you feeling uncomfortable. You can actually find your comfort zone right back by opting for a game you like.

For example, the best online casinos for 2020 are a great way to start looking for something that you can find enjoyable and helpful. Improv can teach you how to be a better player, too in the sense that something you have luck on your side and your act will work, but others it will sadly fail to hit the mark and that is a good thing.  If you are looking to enjoy yourself a bit, a nice game will surely do. Just improvise and you will surely find the thing that makes you -you.

By |April 2nd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments
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