About

I run a company (www.garethbunnconsulting.co.uk) which as a core provides coaching and training  in the field of communications especially the spoken word – the world of presentations and conversational interaction and at the heart of everything we do in business.

The techniques and frameworks we use are well-researched – not  just the whim of the trainer. Technology evangelists would have us believe that  presentations should be state of the art in terms of multi-sensory  sophistication. But of course, much of this is counter to what we know about  human beings from neuroscience – and indeed our own experience.

So, we are continually searching for the real art and science of communication, while at the same time defeating some of the notions and assumptions that are  pressed upon us. As my friend and colleague Willie Macnair of The Rhetorical Company often says – “Just because the majority of people do it, that doesn’t  make it right”.

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First Post

Well – I have finally succumbed to the blog! I and my company run coaching and training programmes about communication – especially the spoken word – and many of those attending my courses have suggested to me that I should do a blog.So, here goes.

My purpose is to remind people about how communication operates between human beings. New insights from reading and making connections, reinforcements from training courses, and new challenges to old assumptions will be the stuff of this blog.

I thought I would start with my 3 big bug-bears – common misapprehensions – which come up frequently in the corporate world.

Firstly – good speakers (presenters) are those who entertain. Not true! Particularly in the world of business, the primary purpose of a presentation is to affect the future actions of one’s audience. So, your message needs to be memorable and this is the test of a good speaker. If you believe it is about making people laugh, then become a comedian.

Secondly – often assumed by sales people – the first part of a sales pitch must be about your company – its services or products. No. All my experience (on both sides of the sales pitch) tells me that the most effective way of really turning off your audience is to talk about yourself or your company. “Make it about them” is a much more helpful mantra.

Thirdly – presentations are just about story telling. Not “just”. Although story telling can be a compelling part of a presentation  it is not enough. The purpose and the power of a story is to evidence a specific idea. But the ideas must be landed along with structure and signposting to help the audience create memory. Otherwise all that the audience will take away is the story, not the point in telling it.

Get in touch or reply if you find this blog of interest.