Ep30 “Becoming a Better Communicator” with Matt Abrahams | Summary and Q&A

August 2, 2023
Stanford Graduate School of Business
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Ep30 “Becoming a Better Communicator” with Matt Abrahams


Matt Abrahams discusses the importance of effective communication in business decision-making and provides insights on improving spontaneous communication.

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Key Insights

  • 🖤 Spontaneous communication is crucial in business decision-making but often lacks support and training.
  • 🪡 The top mistake in communication is focusing on what the speaker wants to say rather than considering the audience's needs.
  • 💄 Effective communication requires making content accessible and considering the audience's cognitive ability to understand.
  • 👾 Presenters should avoid overburdening their audience by pacing the information delivery and using techniques like priming, analogies, and logical chunking.
  • 🔨 Exaggeration can be a tool in communication, but it should be used intentionally and carefully.
  • 🔇 Coordinated communication requires coordination between speakers, knowing when to step in or step back.
  • 👨‍💼 Continuous improvement in communication skills is essential for business professionals.


[MUSIC] Hi, I'm Jonathan Berk, professor of finance at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. >> And I'm Jules Van Bins Bergen, a finance professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. And this is the All Else Equal podcast [MUSIC] >> Welcome back everybody to one of our monthly summer episodes. Well, Jules, one... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the main focus of Matt Abraham's new book, "Think Faster Talk Smarter"?

The book focuses on improving spontaneous communication and provides a six-step methodology for effective communication in the moment.

Q: What is the number one mistake people make in communication, according to Abrahams?

The biggest mistake is starting from the wrong place by focusing on what they want to say instead of considering the needs of the audience.

Q: How can presenters avoid overburdening their audience with too much information?

Presenters can consider pacing the information delivery, assessing the audience's level of knowledge, and making the content more accessible through analogies, stories, and logical chunks.

Q: How can presenters know if their audience is not following the conversation?

Presenters should pay attention to nonverbal cues such as disengagement, distraction, and lack of focus. They can also engage the audience through questions and monitor the quality of their responses to assess engagement.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Matt Abrahams, an expert in communication and a lecturer at Stanford University, discusses the importance of spontaneous communication in business decision-making.

  • Abrahams emphasizes the need for audience-centric communication and the top mistake people make is focusing on what they want to say rather than what the audience needs to know.

  • He suggests strategies such as making content accessible, pacing information delivery, and using questions to engage the audience.

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