Nick’s methods, which are well-known for challenging conventional thinking, have been published worldwide. His acclaimed book on public speaking, Working the Room: How to Move People to Action through Audience-Centered Speaking, was published by Harvard in 2003 and reprinted in paperback in 2005 as Give Your Speech, Change the World: How to Move Your Audience to Action. His new book on authentic communications, Trust Me, was published by Jossey-Bass in January 2009.
Nick served as editor of the Harvard Management Communication Letter from 1998 – 2003. He has written hundreds of articles for local and national publications. Nick is a former Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
After earning his PhD. in literature and rhetoric, Nick spent a number of years teaching Shakespeare and Public Speaking at the University of Virginia, Lehigh University, and Princeton University. He first started writing speeches for Virginia Governor Charles S. Robb and went on to found his own communications consulting organization, Public Words, in 1997.
Nick attributes his success to his honest and direct approach that challenges even the most confident orators to rethink how they communicate.
Popular Speaking Topics
The Two Conversations
Do you want to be a powerful communicator, someone whose words make people pay attention every time? Every communication is two conversations, the one you’re having on the surface – the content – and the non-verbal one you’re having whether you are aware of it or not. If those two conversations are aligned, and your message is strong, you can be a powerful communicator. But most people betray themselves with their second conversations – their ‘body language.’
How do you master that second conversation? Most studies of ‘body language’ have focused on particular gestures and their meanings. But in fact gestures can have many meanings, and memorizing lists of gestures is a poor way to learn to communicate.
The Two Conversations demonstrates how to analyze every important communication to decide upon its key meaning, how to ‘read’ the second, or non-verbal messages coming from the person or group you’re trying to reach, and how to ensure that your non-verbal signals are reinforcing your own content and the desired outcome.
Nick has studied and coached people in non-verbal communications for 19 years and draws upon his experience to describe 5 polarities by which to understand the non-verbal conversation and how to turn it to your advantage whether in one-on-one chats, important meetings and negotiations, or public speeches.
Communication for Effective Leaders
Are you a charismatic leader? Without strong communication ability, leaders cannot succeed for long. Customers, employees, shareholders – all take their measure of the leaders of an organization by how well they communicate.
Nick reveals the power of combining non-verbal communication with content to build trust and credibility. He de-mystifies this essential quality for leadership with humor and clarity.
The essence of effective leadership lies in getting people to act on your vision. And people won’t act on your words unless they find your communications compelling. But there are many kinds of compelling communications, and Nick works with the audience to find and develop that uniquely personal style that ensures that when you’re communicating, you’re doing it with integrity and purpose.
Communications for Managers
Managers and their direct reports today live in a world of information overload and constant change. And yet it is more important than ever that managers communicate clearly and effectively in real time the changing goals and needs of their companies. Flabby, ineffective communications are more than a time-waster – they can mean lost sales, confused employees, and reduced profits.
Whether you’re speaking with an external audience, or briefing one of your direct reports in the hallway on the way to an important meeting, getting the message right and clear is essential to the survival of your company.
Nick works with managers to analyze the essence of management communication – how it works, how to ensure that leadership and teams are aligned, and how to see that good communications spread throughout a company. Using humor, video illustrations, and audience interaction, Nick makes the mysteries of clear communications simple and fun.