Idiom: in a pinch

Definition: in an emergency, in a difficult situation Examples: I don’t like fish, but if there is nothing else, I will eat it in a pinch. I don’t know much about finance, but if I have to read an income statement in a pinch, I can do it. About Matt...

Idiom: to hit the nail on the head

Definition: to describe something perfectly, to identify the source of a problem perfectly Examples: We were trying to explain why last night’s party was so funny, but we couldn’t. However, Murat found the perfect words. He hit the nail on the head. My...

Two ears, one mouth

Want to be more engaging?  Want people to think you are more interesting?Remember this old saying:"God gave us two ears, but only one mouth."Use them in that order.Listen twice as much as you speak.  And when you do open your mouth, use it to ask a...

Repeat back to me

When someone else talks, what’s a good way to make sure you understood?Remember this phrase:"Let me repeat what you said, to make sure I understood you correctly…"I’m a native English speaker.  I still use this phrase 10 times a...

Don’t blame your nervousness

Sometimes when I am coaching someone, we reach a very stubborn obstacle.  The obstacle holds my client back, unable to move, unable to advance.  This is what the client usually says:"I want to do XYZ, but I am so nervous."I’m sorry, but being...

Idiom: to take it down a notch

Definition: to reduce the intensity, to relax a little Examples: I am an intense person, and I was scaring our customers. My boss asked me to take it down a notch, to relax a little when we meet customers. You have been working way too hard, and it is hurting your...

Public Speaking is Abnormal

A short 33 second video on public speaking. One of my favorite lines: "Public speaking is abnormal. No one is born a great public speaker, so practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more." This video was brought to us by the good people at...

Idiom: bait and switch

Definition: selling one thing, but delivering another thing (usually of lower value) Examples: In the store, the dining room table looked very nice. But the table they delivered to my home was very different — the wood was different, the construction was bad,...

Perception is not reality

It’s a popular phrase: "Perception is reality".However, it is completely untrue.Perception is how you see things, how you feel about things.  It is your opinion about things.Reality is how things really exist, outside of your head.Sure, perception...

Urgent and important are not the same thing

Long term goals require short term actions, too.It’s Wednesday, 5:47 pm.Your boss brings you an urgent project.You can either:do the urgent project, and delay that important professional networking meetinggo to the important professional networking meeting, and...

There will always be something

There will always be something:a request will come from your bossthe phone will ringa friend from out of town will visityour bedroom curtains will need to be cleanedyour cat will need a bathThere will always be an excuse to postpone the things you really need to...

Idiom: to jump the gun

Definition: to act prematurely, to do something too early Examples: I should wait longer to agree to the price. I always jump the gun and agree too early, and we pay too much. In life, patience is important. Don’t jump the gun all the time. About Matt KrauseMatt...

Idiom: to split hairs

Definition: to analyze a subject down to trivial and unimportant details; to obsess over small disagreements, when you already agree on the bigger details Examples: I want to give the approval and all you want to do is split hairs about what color the body should be....

Idiom: to be under fire

Definition: to be under attack, to be criticized heavily Examples: Yesterday, I said some very offensive comments to my colleague. Today, I am under fire from the whole office. Everyone is demanding an apology from me. Sales are down, and the Sales Manager is very...