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"The best speakers know enough to be scared... the only difference between the pros and the novices is that the pros have trained the butterflies to fly in formation." - Edward R. Murrow

…and the only way to train the butterflies is to practice, a lot!

One thing I’ve learned about great jazz improvisors is that even though they are playing “in the moment” and it sounds like they are creating their music spontaneously, it only comes after many, many hours of practice where you develop your ear and your toolbox of technique. 59 more words

Funding Pitch

"Good performance is about what you take in, not what you put out." - Livingston Taylor

Two things are relevant to this quote:

First, customer discovery – Talking to customers about their problems is about listening, not talking.  It’s tempting to share your bright idea for a new product but as soon as you do, you change the conversation and you won’t get all the information you need. 107 more words

Customer Discovery

"Nothing looks better on a human being than self acceptance." - Livingston Taylor

People can tell when someone is talking about their job and when they are talking about their life.  This is the challenge of acting; to convince the audience that you really are the person in the story.   93 more words

Funding Pitch

"A performance is a conversation between you and an audience." - Livingston Taylor

Pitching your company is a performance.  Singing a song in front of an audience is a performance.  The experience is completely different but the mechanics are exactly the same.   47 more words

Funding Pitch

"Trust me, no one will ever complain if you delete a few PowerPoint slides from your presentation and tell a story instead.” - Annette Simmons

Somewhere along the way, PowerPoint got declared the standard in business communication.  It a powerful tool but it is still a pretty small box.  PowerPoint dictates how you tell your story if you let it.   99 more words

Funding Pitch