Author Archives: Alastair Grant

Wedding speeches

Alastair Grant gives some advice on ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’ during a wedding speech. For many years, I have been advising and coaching others in affective business presentations and pitches. I tend to avoid helping those who are making a speech at a wedding. Although, there was one occasion where I […]

Ho ho um ho, by Alastair Grant

Most of us suffer from a few umms and errs as we speak. They are a type of disfluency, and sit alongside other impediments such as words and expressions that add no value, for example ‘you know’, and ‘like’ or simply repeating words or phrases. They are all ‘vocal fillers’. There are many more! How […]

Get that job! By Alastair Grant

Anyone can find that at an unexpected time in their careers, they have to go for interview. This might be to keep their job, get a promotion, or to apply for a new and better job than the one they have. We help our clients with pitches, handling the media, keynote speeches and presentations and […]

Two Routes to Persuasion – Richard Petty and John Cacioppo, by Alastair Grant

We know that a successful presentation can be measured under two headings. First, did the audience understand and remember the key points of a message? Second, were they convinced by the personality of the speaker? Putting this another way, was the act of persuasion successful because of the very well-argued message, or a convincing performance […]

Please don’t confuse me. Get to the point. Don’t waste my time.

 “If you use words that the viewer has to process, then they will miss the next three to six words that you say.” This is a quote from Scott Chisholm who, it appears, is the man who coached Alastair Darling’s performance in the first televised debate against Alec Salmond on Scottish independence.   Alastair, ‘as […]

Bullet points can endanger life

By Alastair Grant In the Summer of 2009, Kabul, Afghanistan, a slide presentation was given to the US command. One of those slides has since bounced around the Internet as an example of a military tool that has spun out of control. Like an insurgency, PowerPoint had reached the level of near obsession. Here is […]

How to make messages stick; use of “Stickies” and Daisy

By Alastair Grant We argue that if your audience cannot remember your key messages then your presentation has failed. It maybe the listener, if asked to comment, says: “Well there was a lot of information but there was no message” If it’s a competitive pitch you are making then this could be the reason for […]

I object!

We handle objections all the time both at work and at home. But how skilled are we at handling them and does it matter anyway? In a business setting with a prospect it could be a pivotal point. Objections may be just a way for the prospect client to test you; at least it shows […]

Deeper voices earn more money

By Alastair Grant Recent research at Duke University in North Carolina, USA has discovered that men with deeper voices make more money, run larger companies, and stay in their jobs longer. They are simply more successful. Dr Yi Xu of University College London agrees but also said that research shows that men prefer woman with […]

A great coming together

By Alastair Grant At various stages of our progression as presentation advisers, we latch onto ideas that make sense and can be applied to client presentations. After two decades of this two things are apparent: First, is there is lots more to learn; and second, there are recurring themes. I have a theory that there […]