podcast image for Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques
Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques
Description

Join Matt Abrahams, a lecturer of Strategic Communication at Stanford Graduate School of Business, as he sits down with experts in the field to discuss real-world challenges.

How do I send my message clearly when put on the spot? How do I write emails to get my point across? How can I easily convey complex information? How do I manage my reputation? Whether you’re giving a toast or presenting in a meeting, communication is critical to success in business and in life.

Think Fast, Talk Smart provides the tools, techniques, and best practices to help you communicate more effectively.

Episodes
  • 2023 / 3 / 21
    It’s Not About You: Why Effective Communicators Put Others First

    It’s easy to feel like the star of the show when giving a presentation. But according to communication guru Nancy Duarte, you’re not the hero of this story.For Duarte, founder and CEO of world-renowned...

  • 2023 / 3 / 14
    Fact or Fiction? How to Communicate When We Hold Different Beliefs

    Why does disagreement feel so personal? According to author, journalist, and physician Seema Yasmin, it’s because beliefs aren’t just about what we think, they’re about who we are.“What [people] believe is...

  • 2023 / 3 / 8
    Magic Words: Change What You Say to Inspire and Influence Others

    Words have impact. But when it comes to enchanting audiences and captivating with communication, Jonah Berger, PhD ’07, says some words are more potent than others.Berger is a Wharton School professor and an...

  • 2023 / 2 / 28
    Equity by Design: How Diversity Ignites Creativity

    If we want healthier companies, schools, and teams associate professor of organizational behavior Adina Sterling says investing in the health of marginalized groups “can have enormous spillover effects for...

  • 2023 / 2 / 14
    Three Guiding Principles for Successful Communication

    To celebrate our 75th episode, we hosted a live "Ask Me Anything" event with Matt. In this global gathering, listeners called in with questions ranging from making a first impression and giving negative...

  • 2023 / 2 / 7
    Quick Thinks: AI Has Entered The Chat – A "Conversation" with ChatGPT

    In this "Quick Thinks" episode, host Matt Abrahams interviews ChatGPT, an AI natural language processing chatbot, about its purpose, sources of information, ethical considerations, and the importance of human...

  • 2023 / 2 / 1
    Think Fast, Talk Smart: The Podcast | Season 4 Trailer

    Join Matt Abrahams, a lecturer of strategic communication at Stanford GSB, as he sits down with experts from across campus to discuss public speaking anxiety, speaking off the cuff, nailing a Q&A, and...

  • 2023 / 1 / 24
    Change My Mind: Using “Pre-suasion” to Influence Others

    Want to change someone’s mind? First, explains Robert Cialdini, you have to change their framing.For Cialdini, the Regent's Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University,...

  • 2023 / 1 / 10
    Love & Money: How to Talk About Big Decisions Together

    Do love and money mix? Labor economist and Stanford Graduate School of Business professor emerita Myra Strober says absolutely. “Separating money and love is not a good idea. I have had 40 years to think...

  • 2022 / 12 / 20
    Best Of: How Emotion Shapes Our Communication, Decisions, and Experiences

    In one of our most popular episodes, professor of Marketing Baba Shiv shares his research on how emotions affect decision making. Knowing this, and applying techniques to help guide our audience...

  • 2022 / 12 / 6
    Listen Up: Why It’s Better to Be Interested than Interesting

    As a communication expert, Alison Wood Brooks spends a lot of time talking about talking. But, as she says, listening is just as important.“My course is called TALK,” says Wood Brooks, who is the O'Brien...

  • 2022 / 11 / 22
    Quick Thinks: Talk It Out – How to Successfully Negotiate and Resolve Conflict

    When it comes to negotiating and managing conflict, Professor Michele Gelfand says it’s time to get creative.Everybody has wants and needs. So what do we do when our priorities compete with those of other...

  • 2022 / 11 / 8
    Strategy Success: How to Communicate Your Gameplan

    As Professor Jesper Sørensen sees it, a winning strategy is the result of conversations, not commands.Sørensen says strategy can be directed from the C-suite, but it doesn’t have to be. “Lots of...

  • 2022 / 10 / 25
    Ideas Fuel Innovation: Why Your First Ideas Aren’t Always the Best

    What’s the secret to coming up with good ideas? For Jeremy Utley, it’s about generating as many as possible. The director of executive education at the Stanford d.school, Utley says, “very few problems...

  • 2022 / 10 / 11
    Feeling Nervous? How Anxiety Can Fuel Better Communication

    Stress, anxiety, nervousness — when these feelings inevitably arise, lecturer Kelly McGonigal says it’s not about making them go away, but using them to your advantage.“What I have come to value about...

  • 2022 / 9 / 27
    Directive vs. Dialogue: Communicating Better as a Leader

    As the dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business, Dean Jon Levin knows the importance of crafting the right message and sharing it in the right way. But, as he says, one of the biggest challenges for any...

  • 2022 / 9 / 13
    What Is Normal? How Culture Affects Communication Styles

    Why do we drive on only one side of the road? Why don’t we sing in libraries? Why wear a swimsuit?For Professor Michele Gelfand, it all comes down to culture. As a cross-cultural psychologist, Gelfand is...

  • 2022 / 8 / 30
    Best Of: Lessons from Neuroscientist Andrew Huberman to Help You Hack your Speaking Anxiety

    “There’s no difference between the physiological response to something that you’re excited about and something that you’re nervous about or dreading,” says Andrew Huberman associate professor of neurobiology...

  • 2022 / 8 / 16
    Ties That Bind: Why Remote and Hybrid Teams Need the Right Connection

    “We need to be much more adaptive in the way we think about hybrid work,” says Michael Arena. “Experiment, experiment, experiment.”Innovation relies on teams connecting in very specific ways. But are those...

  • 2022 / 8 / 2
    Best of: Techniques for Managing Your Reputation

    How others perceive us in person and via social media can impact our careers and social standing. But we can build the reputation we want through conscious communication.On this podcast episode, strategic...

  • 2022 / 7 / 18
    Cheap Talk: What Economics Has to Say About Communication

    Your words — are they credible? Or are they what Paul Oyer calls “cheap talk?”According to professor of economics Paul Oyer, how our words align with our actions isn’t just a matter of communication, but a...

  • 2022 / 7 / 5
    Best Of: Summer Learning Series, How Humor Can Be a Secret Weapon in Communication

    In the kickoff to our Summer Learning Series, we're revisiting one of our favorite episodes. This interview features Stanford GSB faculty members Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas and gives specific insights...

  • 2022 / 6 / 21
    Courage, Ambiguity, Belonging and Data: How to Design Your Communication for Success

    All communication comes from a place of creativity and creativity is rooted in design. In this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, strategic communications lecturer and podcast host Matt Abrahams...

  • 2022 / 6 / 7
    Communicating Uncertainty: How to Connect With Your Audience, Even When The Answers Aren’t Clear

    “It's not reassuring when we don't know the answers to critically important questions involved in health and wellbeing. But it's far more of a problem if we try to pretend we do.” In this episode...

  • 2022 / 5 / 24
    From Dreaming to Doing: How We Set and Achieve Goals

    Why do we do what we do? What factors drive us? And how do things like competition with others help us achieve our goals?These are the questions most interesting to Szu-chi Huang, an associate professor...

  • 2022 / 5 / 10
    Forgiveness: How the Right Communication Repairs Relationships

    In relationships between imperfect people, mistakes are inevitable. And when we find ourselves with damaged connections, it’s a specific kind of communication that can help us make amends.Fred Luskin is the...

  • 2022 / 4 / 26
    Are You Listening?: How to Stay Open and Curious to Other People’s Ideas

    “Listening actively and deeply happens when I genuinely believe that the person who's speaking has intrinsic worth and brings a perspective that I lack and need.”This episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart...

  • 2022 / 4 / 12
    Lean Messaging: How Simple Messages Really Stick

    “Anyone can make a complicated thing sound complicated. It takes real skill to make it sound simple.”This episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart features Steve Blank, seasoned entrepreneur,...

  • 2022 / 3 / 29
    Ideas & Empathy: How to Design and Communicate with Others in Mind

    “Very often, you are not designing for yourself. And you kind of have to get out of your own way to effectively design with others’ needs in mind.”In this podcast episode, lecturer Matt Abrahams is joined by...

  • 2022 / 3 / 15
    Leadership and Ethics: How to Communicate Your Core Values

    “A mistake that some leaders make is to assume that the people in your organization share your core values. Some of the time some of them do, but there's a bunch who don't, and those are the most difficult...

  • 2022 / 3 / 1
    Step Up and Stand Out: How to Create the Right Environment for Communication

    “You’re not going to hit the mark with everybody, but you still need to be mindful of everybody,” says Jonathan Levav, the King Philanthropies Professor of Marketing. “That’s critical to create an environment...

  • 2022 / 2 / 16
    Communicating Our Mistakes: How to Avoid Common Flaws and Make Better Decisions

    In this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, host Matt Abrahams sits down with finance professors Jonathan Berk and Jules van Binsbergen to talk about their new podcast, All Else Equal.Think...

  • 2022 / 2 / 10
    We Asked, You Answered: Celebrating our 50th Episode with your Anxiety Management Plans

    In this 50th episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, host Matt Abrahams and executive producer Jenny Luna share the winners' plans from our Confident Communicator Challenge and offer new, research-backed...

  • 2022 / 2 / 2
    Telling Good Stories: How to Use the Elements of Narrative to Keep Listeners Engaged

    “Make them want to turn the page,” says Paula Moya, a professor at Stanford University and author of The Social Imperative: Race, Close Reading, and Contemporary Literary Criticism. In this episode of...

  • 2022 / 1 / 18
    Make Numbers Count: How to Communicate Data Effectively

    “We have to make data emotional because emotions are what drive us to act,” says Chip Heath, a professor of organizational behavior and author of the new book, Making Numbers Count: The Art of...

  • 2022 / 1 / 5
    Speaking Up Without Freaking Out: How to Tackle Communication Anxiety

    “Eighty five percent of people report being nervous about speaking in public, and I believe the other 15% are lying,” says Matt Abrahams, lecturer in Strategic Communication and podcast host. “What is it...

  • 2021 / 12 / 14
    Quick Thinks: How to Use Storytelling to Be a Better Founder

    “Great founders are great storytellers,” says Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Stephanos Zenios in this “Quick Thinks” episode. Zenios is the director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies...

  • 2021 / 12 / 3
    Stay Creative: How to Keep Your Ideas Fresh and Practical

    “To be creative, ideas must be both novel and useful. That’s the definition that we use in creativity research,” says Justin Berg, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School...

  • 2021 / 11 / 18
    Recipes From the “Communication Kitchen”: How to Handle Three Common Challenges This Holiday Season

    In each episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, Stanford GSB lecturer and podcast host Matt Abrahams asks his guests the same question: “What are the first three ingredients in a successful communication...

  • 2021 / 11 / 11
    Act Like a Leader: How Lessons From The Theater Can Help You Step into Power

    "Leadership is a role that you play, like a part you play in other people’s lives. And [your] expression of that role is your responsibility as a leader,” says Stanford GSB lecturer Melissa Jones Briggs....

  • 2021 / 10 / 28
    Get Psyched: How Time and Situations Shape Our Communication

    “Social psychologists believe that if we want to understand our own behavior and the behavior of others, the first thing we have to ask or notice is, ‘What is the situation in which they are performing, in...

  • 2021 / 10 / 15
    Space, Pace, and Grace: How to Handle Challenging Conversations

    Being a better listener has a lot to do with silence, says Collins Dobbs, a lecturer in management at Stanford Graduate School of Business. “A lot of people are uncomfortable with the smallest modicum of...

  • 2021 / 9 / 30
    Speak like a Founder: How Successful Entrepreneurs Communicate to Their Teams

    “Part of teamwork is dating,” says Stefanos Zenios, The Investment Group of Santa Barbara Professor of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Operations, Information & Technology. “Dating each other to see whether...

  • 2021 / 9 / 16
    Mindset Matters: How to Embrace the Benefits of Stress

    “Stress is natural, stress is inevitable when you're living a life that's connected with things you care about. And learning how to embrace it, learning how to work with it is really what helps us thrive and...

  • 2021 / 9 / 2
    Brains Love Stories: How Leveraging Neuroscience Can Capture People's Emotions

    In this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, lecturer and podcast host Matt Abrahams sits down with David Eagleman, a neuroscientist and the host of the PBS series The Brain, to discuss why our...

  • 2021 / 8 / 19
    The New Normal: How Hybrid Work Actually Works

    “One of the things I think is really exciting about all this, and perhaps a little bit frightening, is nobody actually knows how to do it. It is not something that we’ve ever done before. And I’ve studied a...

  • 2021 / 8 / 5
    Be Better: How Communication Catalyzes Business Transformation

    In this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, Stanford GSB Lecturer Robert Siegel sits down with Matt Abrahams to discuss the role of communication in helping businesses to adapt and transform and his new...

  • 2021 / 7 / 15
    Perfecting Teamwork: Building High-Performing Teams By Encouraging Learning

    In this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, Sara Singer, a professor of organizational behavior (by courtesy) at Stanford Graduate School of Business and a professor of medicine at Stanford School of Medicine,...

  • 2021 / 6 / 25
    Leading From The Hot Seat: How To Communicate Under Pressure

    “I say sometimes that leadership is a journey into yourself. It’s self-renewal, self-reflection, self-confidence. It’s going to bed kind of scratching your head and saying, “Man, I’m not as good,”...

  • 2021 / 6 / 3
    How We Gain — Or Give Away — Authority While Speaking

    “Simple language, forceful language, vivid language, and keeping it simple and direct,” says Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, are all tools to increase the strength of your communication. In this episode...

  • 2021 / 5 / 13
    Hacking your Speaking Anxiety: How Lessons from Neuroscience Can Help You Communicate Confidently.

    “There’s no difference between the physiological response to something that you’re excited about and something that you’re nervous about or dreading,” says Andrew Huberman, associate professor of neurobiology...

  • 2021 / 4 / 22
    Speech That Empowers: How to Encourage Growth and Resilience in a Younger Audience

    “Communication is such a delicate dance and kids need to emerge from childhood having practiced,” says Julie Lythcott-Haims, former associate vice provost of undergraduate education Stanford...

  • 2021 / 4 / 16
    Quick Thinks: How to Shine Online and Excel at Virtual Communication

    It has been over a year since millions of people have switched from office work to working from home. In this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, lecturer and host Matt Abrahams highlights guests’ top...

  • 2021 / 3 / 31
    Dissolve Disagreements: How Communication Impacts Conflict

    “Communication, conflict, and cooperation are intertwined in a multitude of ways,” says Nir Halevy, associate professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business. In this episode...

  • 2021 / 3 / 11
    Question Everything: Why Curiosity Is Communication’s Secret Weapon

    The information you receive is only as strong as the questions you ask. In this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, Stanford Graduate School of Business lecturers Matt Abrahams and Debra Schifrin discuss...

  • 2021 / 2 / 18
    Building Strong Relationships: How to Effectively Communicate in Your Professional and Personal Life

    Recognizing the importance of forging connections with others — and learning how to build those bonds in real time — is the focus of a course that’s been the most popular elective at Stanford GSB for decades:...

  • 2021 / 1 / 28
    Psychology Trumps Technology: How to Be a Better Communicator on Social Media

    “Psychology trumps technology,” says Jeff Hancock, founding director of the Stanford Social Media Lab and professor in the Department of Communication at Stanford.“If you want to understand what's going on in...

  • 2021 / 1 / 8
    Writing to Win: How to Quickly Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged

    “The reader is impatient,” says Glenn Kramon, Stanford GSB lecturer in management and editor at the New York Times. “Start with the most important conclusion and then explain how you got there.”On the latest...

  • 2020 / 12 / 4
    Quick Thinks: All Effective Communication Must Start With This

    As we look back on more than 20 interviews with Think Fast, Talk Smart guests, we’ve heard one piece of advice over and again: Know Your Audience. This wisdom echoes what research clearly shows:...

  • 2020 / 11 / 20
    Feelings First: How emotion shapes our communication, decisions, and experiences

    “Something like 90 to 95% of our decisions and behaviors are constantly being shaped the non-consciously by emotional brain system.” In this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, Professor of Marketing Baba Shiv...

  • 2020 / 11 / 6
    Look Within: How to Lead with Self Awareness and Vulnerability

    “Effective is being able to achieve your goals, which is important, but there are plenty of people who achieve their goals that most of us would find unworthy. So the question what does it take to be a good...

  • 2020 / 10 / 22
    Under Pressure: How to Communicate Clearly and Timely During a Crisis

    “Knowing your values gives you a beacon, or a lamppost, that can inform how you’re going to prioritize your actions.”   In this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, Stanford Graduate School of...

  • 2020 / 10 / 9
    Words Matter: How to Make Your Communication Inclusive

    What way can the language we use reinforce existing stereotypes and biases? In this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, Sarah Soule, Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Organizational Behavior sits down...

  • 2020 / 9 / 25
    Question Your Questions: How to Spark Creativity in Your Communication

    “Sparking communication starts with asking why or what or how.” On this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, Tina Seelig, the Professor of the Practice in Stanford’s department of Management Science and...

  • 2020 / 9 / 11
    Showing Your Smile From Behind a Mask: How Culture and Emotion Impact Communication

    “In companies, you’re interacting with other people who come from different cultural contexts, and in order to be effective, you have to understand how much of your own communication and other people’s...

  • 2020 / 8 / 28
    Managing in the Moment: How to Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

    “The less time you can spend dwelling on your mistakes, the more mental energy you can devote to doing what you need to do in that moment.” On this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, Christian Wheeler, the...

  • 2020 / 8 / 13
    Think Fast: You Asked, We Answered

    We asked listeners to send in their communication conundrums and ended up with an inbox full of thoughtful, specific questions. In this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, host and Stanford GSB lecturer...

  • 2020 / 7 / 31
    Quick Think: How to Craft Your Body Language When Confronting Objections

    Knowing what to say to a skeptical audience is paramount, but how can your body language communicate empathy, openness, and power? In this “Quick Think” episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, we revisit Matt...

  • 2020 / 7 / 16
    The Art of Negotiation: How to Get More of What You Want

    Whether we realize it or not, we negotiate everyday. But when we approach these situations as a win-or-lose battle, we’re already showing resistance, and setting ourselves up for difficulty. But what if...

  • 2020 / 7 / 2
    Be Better At Work: How to Communicate Better With Coworkers and Employees

    Most of the work we do requires coordinating and collaborating with others. But how can we ensure the benefits of working with others, while avoiding conflict that’s inherent to communicating within groups?In...

  • 2020 / 6 / 22
    Make ’Em Laugh: How to Use Humor as a Secret Weapon in Your Communication

    Humor does more than just make people laugh. It allows you to connect with your audience, diffuse tension, elevate status, and compel others to your point of view. Humor can also help you and your message...

  • 2020 / 6 / 5
    It's Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It: How To Communicate Power

    Power exists in every relationship — whether we like that idea or not — and to be effective in any role, power needs to be understood. In this episode, Matt Abrahams sits down with Professor of...

  • 2020 / 5 / 21
    The Science of Influence: How to Persuade Others And Hold Their Attention

    We’re constantly bombarded with competing images, messaging, and bids for our attention. That's why as communicators, it’s increasingly important to know what engages people.In this episode of Think Fast,...

  • 2020 / 5 / 7
    High-Stakes Communication: How to Manage Anxiety When Speaking in Front of Others

    Most people feel nervous in situations such as speaking in front of a class, pitching a big idea, or giving a toast, yet research-backed techniques can help manage both the symptoms and sources of our...

  • 2020 / 4 / 23
    Quick Think: How Being Present-Oriented Improves Communication

    Although it may feel counter intuitive, letting go of our prepared notes and focusing on the present can help us communicate more effectively.In this "Quick Thinks" podcast episode, host Matt Abrahams speaks...

  • 2020 / 4 / 10
    Don't Get Lost in Translation: How Non-Native Speakers Can Communicate With Confidence

    Having to communicate in a language other than our native tongue can be quite a challenge. In this podcast episode, host Matt Abrahams speaks with Ken Romeo, the Associate Director for the Stanford Language...

  • 2020 / 4 / 3
    Quick Think: Use This Framework to Speak up in Virtual Meetings

    We've all been in the situation where you have something important to contribute to a meeting and you don't know how to insert your thoughts. On this "Quick Thinks" episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart,...

  • 2020 / 3 / 27
    Quick Think: Communicating and Leading Virtually

    Leading successful meetings remotely and being a strong speaker on-screen require specific skills. Communicating effectively has to do with your presence, ability to leverage tools, and your...

  • 2020 / 3 / 12
    From Monologue to Dialogue: How to Handle a Skeptical Audience

    Preparing to speak in front of a skeptical audience is more than thinking about objections beforehand – there are specific techniques you can use to respond to these challenging situations without sounding...

  • 2020 / 2 / 27
    The Journey to Mastery: How Self Reflection Can Improve Communication

    What does it mean to truly master communication? How can we speak and write for the most impact? In this podcast episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, Stanford Graduate School of Business lecturers JD...

  • 2020 / 2 / 11
    When Knowing Too Much Can Hurt Your Communication: How to Make Complex Ideas Accessible

    As communicators, we often need to take complex information (e.g., financial, technical, or scientific) and make it more understandable for our audience – we’re experts and they likely aren’t. But...

  • 2020 / 1 / 30
    Communicating Our Multiple Selves: How to Effectively Manage Your Reputation

    How others perceive us in person and via social media can impact our careers and social standing. But we can build the reputation we want through conscious communication. On this podcast episode, strategic...

  • 2020 / 1 / 15
    Speaking Without a Net: How to Master Impromptu Communication

    Most professional communication is spontaneous in nature: it’s providing feedback in the moment, answering questions, introducing people. On this podcast episode, Strategic Communication lecturer Matt...

  • 2020 / 1 / 10
    Introducing Think Fast, Talk Smart: The Podcast

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