As We Speak: Reading Notes

The below are reading notes of some good old truths, new aha-s and pro tips from a pretty good concise communications guidebook called As We Speak: How to Make Your Point and Make it Stick by Peter Meyers and Shann Nix. Mostly focussed on public speaking, especially to larger audiences – but touches upon other topics as well, such as small meeting settings, managing crisis communications, using comms & presentation technology and structuring 1:1 tough conversations.

The book was assigned as reading for a brief reflection essay in the Generative Leadership class at Stanford, but I would (and have already) recommended it as a no-brainer purchase for any manager to hand out to people on their team who need a little comms help. They’ll get through it in a few hours and be grateful for the few very tangible things they can implement the same day.

Read the rest of this entry »


On Skype and European Innovation at Stanford

I had an honor to speak at Stanford University on March 9th, as part of their European Entrepreneurship & Innovation Thought Leaders seminar series (see web site and Facebook group). I truly enjoyed the experience, meeting students, faculty and guests and joining a dinner in a smaller circle later for fascinating follow-up conversations around entrepreneurship.

Skype's Sten Tamkivi
(Photo courtesy of Steve Jürvetson, click on it for his notes from the audience)

Here are the slides I used:

As you might notice, my slides were just a light framework this time and most of content was oral and followed by interactive discussion. Unfortunately it is slightly more complicated with video this time. Please follow the instructions here, but beware that you need to create an account with the Stanford SCPD site (which you will hopefully find useful for accessing any other free seminars content they offer) and the videos are served using Silverlight, which may or may not be compatible with your choice of operating system or browsers, like Chrome.


A little rant on values and innovation

Found a video of my five minute speech in a panel at Restart 2008 conference in November. To disrupt the overall tone of the day a bit — focusing on tangible, measurable and often plain numeric aspects of a successful (liberal) macroeconomic environment — I decided on spot that I will instead talk about the softer side of life, namely the role values and tolerance in particular play for creating an environment where innovation strives in Estonia (or anywhere).

The clip below also has my fellow panelist Rein Raud, Rector of Tallinn University continuing on the same topic of innovation and openness.

Back then, I did my original conference notes post) in Estonian, but now realized that we actually spoke in English there. So here you go:

For context, please also see the very entertaining and inspirational intro to our panel by Pekka Roine, entitled “The Only Obstacle to Innovation Is Wrong Policy Chosen by the State” (videos: part 1, part 2, part 3).

The rest of the presentations of the day are available in video too, of course.