Mastering Unplanned Communications: Insights With Matt Abrahams

June 25, 2024
Adam Morrisey


In a world where the majority of our conversations are unplanned, the ability to communicate effectively on the spot has never been more crucial. With research showing that 85% of people feel nervous in high-stake speaking situations, the stakes for mastering unplanned communication are high. This episode of Tuesdays with Morrisey delves into the art and science of impromptu speaking.

How can we master unplanned communication? This is the central question addressed in this episode.

In this episode, host Adam Morrisey sits down with Matt Abrahams to explore practical steps that can help anyone improve their effectiveness in spontaneous communication. Matt shares his journey into this niche of communication research, discussing how he has kept the content fresh and exciting after over 20 years of study. He highlights the current state of people’s relationship with unplanned communication and provides actionable steps to improve it.

Here are the main takeaways from their conversation:

Managing Anxiety: Matt emphasizes the importance of managing anxiety to improve unplanned communication, noting that 85% of people feel nervous in high-stakes speaking situations.
Skill Development: Developing skills in approach and messaging is crucial. Frameworks like problem-solution-benefit and ‘what-so what-now what’ can help structure our thoughts.
Permission to Err: Matt highlights the importance of giving ourselves permission not to be right, as this can significantly enhance our speaking experience.

Throughout the discussion, Matt draws on examples from his experiences at Stanford and his insights from hosting the Think Fast, Talk Smart podcast. He also reflects on the importance of unlearning and accepting mediocrity to improve our spontaneous speaking abilities. Moreover, Matt shares his views on masters of spontaneous communication, citing Robin Williams as an exemplary figure who could respond to the moment and capture the room’s emotion to tell a compelling story.

Matt Abrahams is a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an expert in spontaneous conversation. He is also the author of Think Faster, Talk Smarter and hosts a podcast by the same name. Matt’s extensive background in communications research and education has made him a leading voice in the field of spontaneous speaking.

Article written by MarketScale.

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