How to Win Over Your Audience: Lessons from the Pianist With the Real-Life Rocky Story

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Remember that scene in Rocky IV, where Rocky battles Russian boxer Ivan Drago in Moscow, and the Russian crowd begins to cheer for the American? When I first saw the movie in 1985, right before Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms, I thought, “No way. This could never happen.” But, in fact, it had – only in the concert hall rather than the boxing ring. Back in 1958, the Soviet Union announced the first International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, just months after they had … Read More

The Proper Perspective for Powerful Presentations

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There I was, presenting to a group of young managers. I had the data, the experience, and the forum to make my points about customer satisfaction. And as I looked out at my audience, I noticed … Well, mostly I saw that they were bored. Some looked upset that I was wasting their time. When they walked out afterwards I got a few mumbled “thank you’s” and nothing else. Almost no one made eye contact with me. Sure enough, the evals were brutal. I’d tanked. Big … Read More

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