Be Better at Spontaneous Speaking

Use these tools to help you think fast and talk smart.

5 Common Complaints About Meetings and What to Do About Them

We all complain about meetings. We have too many. They’re a waste of time. Nothing gets done. These complaints often have merit, but they are so broad that they’re difficult to argue with and harder to address.

There are specific complaints that can be tackled, however. When I ask people in the workshops I lead what they most want help with, five issues consistently come up. … [ Read more ]

The Art Of The Email Introduction: 10 Rules For Emailing Busy People

A large part of what I do involves introducing people by email. Over the years, consistently about 20% of my outbound emails contain the word “introduction” or “intro.” So that’s why I’m passionate about sharing some of the best practices I’ve learned along the way.

Wait But Why’s Tim Urban on Parsing and Transmitting Complex Ideas

Tim Urban is the Bruce Lee of long-form. In his inimitable style, he tackles the most enigmatic, entangled topics, ranging from AI to procrastination, from cryonics to picking a life partner. In this exclusive interview, the Wait But Why blogger shares how he distills and presents complex ideas so they’re rich and resonant for others: an act that every startup leader and team must master … [ Read more ]

How to Collaborate with and Influence People Using the SCARF Model

In today’s interconnected world the ability to collaborate with other people is an increasingly important part of workplace communication. In order to understand how to better manage bigger groups and improve co-operation, it’s important to comprehend what drives social behavior. In this guide, we’ll examine one model explaining this behavior, called the SCARF model. Will explain the basics behind the theory, the way it explains … [ Read more ]

How to Decide Which Tasks to Delegate

At a certain point, everything that can be delegated should be; with rare exception. Conduct an audit using the six T’s to determine what tasks make the most sense to offload.

How Our Company Learned to Make Better Predictions About Everything

our approach to prediction seems stuck in the past. Most business forecasts fail to include measurable outcomes and are not recorded, so it is hard to know if we are even getting better at them.

Research from organizational psychologist Philip Tetlock, the co-author of Superforecasting, suggests an alternative. Studying forecasting tournaments where anonymous experts predicted future events, Tetlock found that some forecasters could … [ Read more ]

One Communication Tool You Should Add to Your Toolkit

Want to provide better feedback, introduce people, or master small talk? Try this technique.

Tool: Use Unbiasing Checklists

Research suggests that checklists can help reduce the influence of unconscious bias in decision making. Google has tested checklists like these to highlight and remind people of common unconscious biases and provide employees with targeted unbiasing strategies.

Four Tips to Persuade Others Your Idea Is a Winner

“People just aren’t naturally oriented towards innovation or change,” says Loran Nordgren. “If you were dealing with totally rational agents, you could sell your innovation on the grounds of its functionality—in other words, why it’s a good idea. But you are almost never dealing with totally rational agents.”

Thankfully, if you are convinced that a certain new product, fresh strategy, or overseas expansion is exactly what … [ Read more ]

How to Send Better Email – Without Second-Guessing a Single Word

At Buffer, we strive for 100 percent awesomeness in the emails we send to customers, and that pursuit of excellence carries over to the emails we send to teammates, colleagues, friends, and family. We want to send better email, the kind that delivers the intended message plus the desired emotion.

So I’m happy to share some of my sources of email inspiration. These are the templates … [ Read more ]

How to Curate Content: The Secret Sauce to Getting Noticed, Becoming an Influencer, and Having Fun Online

If you’re looking for a competitive edge, a way to establish your authority, a way to get more followers, one of the best, proven paths to online success is content curation. It’s both as simple and as difficult as finding great content and sharing it with your audience. The difficult part is that there is a lot that goes into a world class content curation … [ Read more ]

A Checklist for More Persuasive Presentations

We all know the basics of good presentation skills: don’t read from a script; don’t overwhelm your audience with verbose slides; and the like. But for a particular kind of high-stakes presentation — one in which you’re trying to get buy-in from key decision-makers — those basics aren’t enough.

To persuade the people who have the power to approve your idea or let it die, you … [ Read more ]

Top Excel Tips For Data Analysts

Data and business go hand in hand. And whether you’re analyzing a client’s data or using your company’s data to make executive decisions, your tools have to be able to handle the tasks you perform with that information.

If you’re a data analyst, most of the time you go through these stages of data analysis:
– Data Cleaning: Transform and rearrange the data in a way suitable … [ Read more ]

Beyond 10,000 Hours of Practice: What Experts Do Differently

Whatever your chosen field or avocation may be, if you take it seriously, you probably wish you could become an expert – the sort of person who earns real success, better opportunities or even just more personal satisfaction from what you do. And if you’re not an expert, you may look at those who are and think, maybe they just came to the task with … [ Read more ]

A Big Data Approach to Public Speaking

Key takeaways from analyzing 100,000 presentations.

Seven Useful Microsoft Excel Features You May Not Be Using

Microsoft Excel is packed with useful data management features that don’t see a lot of use, like pivot tables, index and match, and conditional formatting. If you’re just using excel to sum and chart columns, this graphic can show you some other tools to help you become the spreadsheet ninja you always wanted to be.

Of course, real spreadsheet ninja probably already use these features on … [ Read more ]

Two Things to Do After Every Meeting

There are a number of reasons why the productive conversations in a meeting seemingly go nowhere. Attendees are often immediately running to another meeting where their attention shifts to a new set of issues. Or people leave the meeting without clarity about what was agreed upon.

To make sure productivity doesn’t slow after you walk out of the room, do two things after and in between … [ Read more ]

How to Give a Data-Heavy Presentation

Knowing how to develop and deliver a data-driven presentation is now a crucial skill for many professionals, since we often have to tell our colleagues a story about the success of a new initiative, the promise of a new business opportunity, or the imperative of a change in strategy — stories that are much more compelling when they’re backed by numbers.

In the past four years, … [ Read more ]

Seven Tools for Creating Infographics Without Using Photoshop

How can you create beautiful infographics without using Photoshop? I’m not a Photoshop expert, so I take days to create a basic infographic. I’m a Paint ninja, but I can’t create nice infographics by using Paint. So I searched for fast, easy, and cheap (even free) alternatives. [Easel.ly, Piktochart, Infogr.am, Venngage, Canva, Visme, Infoactive]