Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques

Published 2014-12-04
Matt Abrahams is a lecturer of strategic communication at Stanford GSB and the host of the award-winning podcast "Think Fast, Talk Smart," a show with research-backed techniques becoming a more confident communicator.

Communication is critical to success in business and in life. Concerned about an upcoming interview? Anxious about speaking up during a meeting? In this talk, and through the podcast, you will learn techniques that will help you speak with greater confidence and clarity.

This video was recorded on October 25, 2014, in collaboration with the Stanford Alumni Association as part of Stanford Reunion Homecoming and the Graduate School of Business Fall Reunion/Alumni Weekend.

All Comments (21)
  • @user-gaszpla
    He Never uses "um","well","ah","hmm" for 50mins. Incredible....
  • I was brushing my teeth and this video popped up on my feed. Instantly, I recognized Matt’s face right away.. he was my speech professor in 2007! So happy to see him here all of these many years later!! Good memories came back right away cause he was one of the best teachers!
  • @panchajanya91
    He is very confident, calm and knows exactly what he is doing. He has the pulse of the audience. Even as an online audience, I found it very interactive.
  • Notes
    7:58 manage anxiety - acknowledge your anxiety
    9:22 reframe as a conversation, not as a performance.
    9:52 ask questions -gets audience involved, frames a conversation.
    10:12 note, should be questions -so you can answer, this is more helpful to remember
    10:29 use conversational language -includes audience and can help manage anxiety
    12:13 Be present-oriented -helps manage anxiety, helps bring you to the present
    16:42 Get out of your own way -stop thinking you need to get it right -you over analyze, you over evaluate, all this can make you freeze up
    24:41 make your challenging situations into opportunities -your approach affects the situation
    32:51 co-create and share -helps feel less nervous and defensive -these traits can help you accomplish
    33:32 slow down and listen -you need to fully understand the speaker in order to communicate
    38:35 Don't just do something, stand there -listen and then respond
    39:35 - 42:54 structures -structures in speaking helps you process information more effectively
  • @emjain1
    What I learned from this talk
    1) anxiety is very natural and don’t let anxiety overtake you . Learn to manage it. I personally use deep breathing and meditation to overcome anxiety .
    2) Be inclusive in your communication.
    3) First become a good listener by being focused
    4) Treat every speaking occasion as an opportunity not as a challenge
    5) Remove No- But with Yes -And attitude
    6) public speaking should be like an inclusive conversation not as a performance.
    7) Your body language counts a lot .
    8) structured communication- problem -solution - benefit OR what -so what - now what
  • @antoniomichael.6
    Every family👨‍👩‍👦 has that one person who will break the family financial struggle, I hope you become the one🤝
  • @yousefkotp6129
    Here's the notes I took, hope they are beneficial
    1. Have Anxiety under control
    1. Greeting Anxiety
    - Greet Anxiety, say hello to it, it's normal and natural, Take a deep breathe
    - Anxiety helps us, we just want to manage it
    2. Reframing it as a conversation
    - Use conversational language (Inclusive language)
    - start with questions in your presentation
    - reframe presentation as conversation with audience
    - presenting isn't performing
    3. Be in the present moment
    - bring yourself to present not the future
    - Be present Oriented
    - Walk out a building before talk
    - count number by back

    Audience should be comfortable

    2. Ground Rules

    - Get yourself out of your own way, don't be perfectionist
    - See things as an opportunity not a threat
    - Improvise
    - Dare to be dull
    - "Yes and .. " make it always on your tongue

    3. Slow down and listen

    - You should be in service of your audience

    4. We have to tell a story

    - Never lose audience, you can hook them by a story
    - you have two structure :
    1. Problem → Solution → Benefits
    2. What → So what ? (Why) → Now what

    -Structure sets you free
  • @sarahawkins1917
    The one thing I noticed is that he used humor to relax and open up his audience, which in turn helps him to do the same. Secondly, he used opportunities to make it interactive, which helps them learn better and also keeps their attention.
  • @LucasClearly
    Dare to be dull.
    I think this was speaking to me.
    I often find myself stuck trying to give the very best but end up not doing it at all.

    Thank you Matt Abraham, I'll allow myself to make mistakes and correct them as fast as I can.
  • I actually took the class he is referring to. It was a 12-week class held at the Stanford campus, a few hours a week. This is one of those "self improvement" classes that had a huge impact for me. It really helped me with public speaking inhibitions and freed myself to just speak and be in the moment. Highly recommended.
  • It's so rare to find a person with such exceptional EQ. His voice alone exudes such openness and joviality that I could not but relate. My heart is pounding right now.
  • @rose-wife
    i love his way of speaking,
    it feels like he is a father talking kindly to his own children (audience),
    it's comforting and easier to understand ♡
  • "What I have learned from this video is that listening is the key to being a good speaker. We should greet anxiety. If we get the opportunity to talk, just speak (get out of your own way) without worrying about whether you are right or wrong. Everyone gets anxious; it's normal. Speak confidently. Always use structured conversations when conveying the message. Thanks for the video."
  • @yousefhamed3171
    The lecturer is super humble and funny! What an exquisit style of speech delivering!
  • @spooks7070
    He is an incredible speaker and he knows how to efficiently get his point across I am a high school sophomore and I watched this entire video no issues its understandable and easy to learn from and take into your own life.
  • @sanabhabie7559
    First time in my whole life watching a video with 58min without getting bored even a second!!
  • @olivepeters1435
    The most inspiring thing about this video for me is his confidence while speaking and teaching
    The flow is smooth and worth emulating
  • @perrytalor842
    If you wanna be successful, you most take responsibility for your emotions, not place the blame on others. In addition to make you feel more guilty about your faults, pointing the finger at others will only serve to increase your sense of personal accountability. There's always a risk in every investment, yet people still invest and succeed. You must look outward if you wanna be successful in life.
  • @user-od8lz9bj1t
    "in spontaneous speaking situations. The very first thing we have to do is manage our anxiety. Because you can't be an effective speaker if you don't have your anxiety under control. And we talked about how you can do that by greeting your anxiety, reframing as a conversation, and being in the present moment" I love the beginning and ending with words