Okan Ekdi 20220808

In class: Homework: About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz,...

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MonthlyQuarterly XXX YYY About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like...

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About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

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About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

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About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

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About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

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About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

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About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

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About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

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About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

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About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

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About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

To speak up

About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

To put something back

About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

To wash up

About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

To rip something up

About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

To tear something out

About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

To get out

Meaning: to become known, to become public knowledge Examples: I don’t want it to get out that I am leaving. Please don’t tell anyone. If this bad news gets out, people will panic and try to run away. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an...

To set up

Meaning: to construct or build something Examples: The people set up camp by the lake. The child was building something with her blocks, so I asked her what she was setting up. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has...

To run on

Meaning: to continue without interruption Examples: The discussion ran on for hours. Don’t start that book, it runs on for hundreds of pages and never says anything. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To run around

Meaning: to be very busy doing something Examples: My new boss asks me to do a million different things. She makes me run around all the time. I am tired, I have been running around all day, fixing the house, doing the shopping, etc. About Matt KrauseMatt began his...

To put something across

Meaning: to explain something Examples: This is a complicated subject, I don’t know how to put it across to you. If someone does not understand that other subject, it is hard to put this across to them. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an...

To run away from something

Meaning: to escape from something Examples: The prisoners ran away from the prison during the fire. I don’t like my job. I don’t like this city. I want to run away from everything. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and...

To let someone in on something

Meaning: to allow someone to know something Examples: I let him in on the big changes happening in our office. I never know what he is doing, he never lets me in on his life. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To cut something up

Meaning: to cut into pieces Examples: My mother cut the onions up before cooking the meat. This big project will be easier if you cut it up into smaller pieces. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching...

To cut across something

Meaning: to cross something in order to make a shorter route Examples: If I cut across the field, it’ll save time. If I cut across the school, I can get to work earlier. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To cut into something

Meaning: to make something shorter or smaller Examples: The knife is very sharp, it will easily cut into the cake. I like my family time very much, I don’t want my new job to cut into it. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and...

To look back

Meaning: to think about the past Examples: It is important to look ahead at the future, and to not spend too much time looking back. When I look back at my childhood, I realize it was a very good childhood. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an...

To cut back on something

Meaning: to reduce something Examples: My doctor told me to cut back on salt. Money is tight these days, we need to cut back on expenses. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect...

To take down

Meaning: to remove something from a high position Examples: He took the vase down from the high shelf. I don’t like that man, I think he got his position by stealing it. I am going to take him down. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import...

To take something over

Meaning: to take control of something Examples: He loves to control everything. If we invite him to the party, he will try to take everything over. A new boss took the company over last week. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and...

To look in on someone

Meaning: to give a short visit, often just to make sure someone is okay Examples: My father is very old. Can you look in on him a few times each week, just to make sure he is okay? When I was in the hospital, my best friend came to look in on me every day. About Matt...

To look around somewhere

Meaning: to visit a place and look at the things in it Examples: When I visit a new city, I like to just look around the place. When I go to a store, sometimes I just want to look around at things. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer,...

To look back

Meaning: to think about the past Examples: It is important to look ahead at the future, and to not spend too much time looking back. When I look back at my childhood, I realize it was a very good childhood. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an...

To look ahead

Meaning: to think about the future Examples: The past if finished. We must look ahead. I know this won’t happen for another year or two, but I just want to look ahead. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To read up on something

Meaning: to read a lot about something in order to learn about it Examples: I wanted to learn more about the war, so I read up on it. Before we met, I read up on you. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To read something back

Meaning: to read something again, especially to someone else Examples: That last sentence was really important, can you read that back to everyone in the room? Could you read that back to me? I want to hear your pronunciation. About Matt KrauseMatt began his...

To make something into something else

Meaning: to change something into something else Examples: I don’t like my new boyfriend. He keeps trying to make me into someone I am not. If you add blue paint, you can make red paint into purple paint. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an...

To keep something away from someone

Meaning: to not tell someone something, to not let someone near something Examples: He doesn’t like bad news, so I try to keep bad news away from him. It is important to keep medicine away from children. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an...

To keep off

Meaning: to not touch something, or to not discuss something Examples: He talks a lot, but he keeps off the subject of his divorce. I ask the children to keep off the grass. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To keep someone in

Meaning: to not allow someone to go outside Examples: Because they were noisy during class, the teacher kept the children in after class. The dog is barking a lot today, I am keeping him in because it is raining. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an...

To hang around

Meaning: to move slowly, to do something slowly Examples: Don’t hang around, you have a train to catch! I am doing nothing today, just relaxing and hanging around the house. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has...

To get away

Meaning: To take a vacation Examples: I have been working too hard, I really need to get away to a tropical island. Sometimes I just want to get away from this big city. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To set off

Meaning: to start a journey Examples: They set off for London at 5pm. I want to set off for a distant location. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and...

To carry on with something

Meaning: to continue with something Examples: When I am gone, I want you to carry on with this project. Even though he asked me to stop singing, I decided to carry on like I was before. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since...

To check off

Meaning: to mark with a tick mark, to mark something as done Examples: I like my “to do” list to be clear. Please wait while I check off these last two things. Here is a list, let’s check off the names of the people we don’t want at the party....

To clear up

Meaning: to solve, to explain, or to remove a problem Examples: This project is confusing, I hope he can clear it up. It rained a lot today, maybe it will clear up tomorrow. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To clear out of somewhere

Meaning: to leave from somewhere Examples: We need to clear out of here before that bad man comes back. I haven’t paid the rent in many months. The landlord asked me to clear out of the house. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an...

To clear away

Meaning: to open a space, to put things away Examples: You should clear away all your toys before bedtime. I need to clear away the trees before I can farm this land. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To catch on

Meaning: to become popular Examples: This game will catch on among young people. In the past, that song was not popular, but now it is catching on. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to...

To catch somebody up on something

Meaning: to give somebody the latest news or information about something Examples: Can someone catch us up on the latest news? He doesn’t know about the new products. I will catch him up on them. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import...

To make up for something

Meaning: to recover, to make something better, to fix a problem you created Examples: Nothing can make up for a lost child. I came to work late yesterday, so I have to work this weekend to make up for it. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import...

To take in

Meaning: to allow somebody to stay in your home Examples: My house has an extra bed, so I can take in one more person. Our friend was homeless after the fire, so we took his family in. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since...

To make up

Meaning: to make peace after a fight Examples: I had a big fight with my dad, but we made up and have a good relationship now. Let’s not fight, please come home and let’s make up. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and...

To hang on

Meaning: to wait for a short time Examples: She told me to hang on, she would arrive in 10 minutes. I am in the middle of an important task, you need to hang on for a few minutes, and then we can talk. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import...

To stop over

Meaning: to stay at one place for a short time on the way to another place Examples: They stopped over in Singapore on their way to Australia. We stopped over at the grocery store on our way to my parents’ house. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life...

To touch down

Meaning: to land (an airplane) Examples: The plane touched down at 6:38pm. This flight is really long, when do we touch down in Hong Kong? About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect...

To carry out

Meaning: to perform a task Examples: He carried out the work like we planned. I carried out my promise to her. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and...

To carry over

Meaning: to continue past the planned ending time Examples: The meeting carried over past lunch. The game went long, it carried over until evening. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to...

To knock back

Meaning: to quickly drink something Examples: At the bar after work, we knocked back 6 vodkas. After exercise, I like to knock back a tall glass of cold water. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching...

To catch up with somebody

Meaning: to talk to someone whom one has not seen for a long time Examples: It’s always good to catch up with old friends. I haven’t seen you in years. We should meet for coffee and catch up. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import...

To knock off

Meaning: to stop working for the rest of the day Examples: It’s nice and sunny today, we should knock off early and go get some ice cream. What time do you knock off today? I want to take you to a movie this evening. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional...

To turn something on

Meaning: to start the operation or flow of something Examples: She turned her PC on and opened her browser. It was dark in the room, so I asked her to turn on the light. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To put up with something or somebody

Meaning: to tolerate, endure, or bear something or somebody Examples: I’m leaving, I don’t want to put up with you anymore. We put up with the high prices because we like living here. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and...

To give up

Meaning: to stop making an effort; to admit defeat Examples: It’s not like you to give up so easily on an assignment so early. We knew we couldn’t beat the other team, so we gave up in the second half of the game. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional...

To log in

Meaning: to enter a database, system, or software Examples: I tried to log in with my username, but I couldn’t remember my password. Before you can use Facebook, you have to log in. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006...

To work something out

Meaning: to find, or try to find, the answer to something; to resolve a dispute Examples: She worked out the math problem quickly; I was still trying to solve it. We had a big fight, but we worked it out and are friends again. About Matt KrauseMatt began his...

To give in to someone or something

Meaning: to accept someone’s wish or stop fighting; to admit defeat. Examples: He gave in to the group’s pressure and decided to accept the decision. My mother told me to not give in to peer pressure. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an...

To print something out

Meaning: to make a paper copy of information stored on a computer Examples: My boss asked me to print out the report and give it to him. I need to print this document out before I mail it. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since...

To pay something or somebody back

Meaning: to repay some money or a loan or a favor to someone Examples: If you lend me the money, I’ll pay you back by Friday. He did me a big favor last week, now I need to pay him back. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since...

To plug something in

Meaning: to connect an electrical appliance by inserting a plug in a socket. Examples: I need to plug in my phone; it’s completely out of juice. I thought the lamp was not working, but I just needed to plug it in. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as...

To rip something up

Meaning: to tear something into small pieces so as to destroy it Examples: She ripped up her pile of old letters and put them in the bin. I hate this contract, it is a bad deal, I want to rip it up. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer,...

To tear something out

Meaning: to remove something violently or suddenly Examples: He tore out the pages that he didn’t want anyone to read. We are going to redo the whole bathroom, but first we need to tear the old one out. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import...

To come down with something

Meaning: to begin to suffer from an illness Examples: Oh, god! I think I’m coming down with flu. I might not go to work tomorrow. Be careful around him, he has a cold. You don’t want to come down with it. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an...

To fall out with somebody

Meaning: to have an argument and stop being friends Examples: They were flatmates for two years, but then they fell out and never spoke to each other again. My best friend and I fell out over this issue, I don’t know if we’ll ever speak again. About Matt...

To look for something or somebody

Meaning: to try to find something or somebody Examples: Jack was looking for his phone everywhere, but couldn’t find it. I looked for my father everywhere. I finally found him outside in the garden. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer,...

To heat something up

Meaning: to make or become hot or warm Examples: I think we can heat up yesterday’s pizza and have it for dinner, right? The coffee should be fine once it heats back up. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To warm something up

Meaning: to reheat something Examples: My coffee is cold now, I need to warm it up. I am cold from playing in the snow, now I want to sit by the fire and warm myself up. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To wash up

Meaning: to wash your hands before eating or after doing dirty work Examples: My mom tells me to wash up before every meal. I just finished working on my car, I need to wash up before going in the house. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import...

To break down

Meaning: to stop working, to stop functioning. Examples: My TV seems to be breaking down a lot, I think something is wrong with it. It’s an old car, it probably breaks down all the time. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and...

To hang something out

Meaning: to hang from a clothes line Examples: I don’t mind ironing, but I hate hanging the clothes out to dry. After you wash the laundry, you should hang the clothes out. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To break something down

Meaning: to take a complex thing apart into smaller pieces Examples: If you have a complex problem, try breaking it down and solving the smaller pieces. I like the way she analyzes that song, breaking it down into single parts. About Matt KrauseMatt began his...

To break up with somebody

Meaning: to end a romantic relationship with somebody Examples: After they broke up, he listened to sad music and didn’t leave his house. You annoy me and you smell bad. I am breaking up with you. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer,...

To go for something

Meaning: to choose something and then pursue it Examples: I usually eat the steak, but today I am going to go for the fish. He asked me if he should apply for the top universities, and I told him yes, go for it. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an...

To chill out

Meaning: to calm down and relax Examples: At the end of the day, I just want to put my feet up and chill out before going to bed. Chill out, man, it’s not a big deal! About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To talk back to somebody

Meaning: to reply defiantly or disrespectfully Examples: My child talks back to me when I give him an order. That teacher lets his students talk back to him, I don’t think that is right. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and...

To look after somebody or something

Meaning: to take care of somebody or something Examples: My parents will look after my dog when I’m on vacation. My friend is alone here. Can you look after him when I am away? About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006...

To put something back

Meaning: to replace something Examples: Please put the book back on the shelf after you read it. I’m just going to borrow this shirt today, I will put it back tomorrow. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To run out of something

Meaning: to finish one’s supply of something Examples: We ran out of eggs, can you go to the store and buy some more? If we continue using paper towels like this, we will run out tomorrow. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since...

To doze off

Meaning: to fall lightly asleep Examples: I don’t take a real nap after lunch, I simply doze off for a bit in front of the TV. The meeting was really long and boring, so I dozed off for a while. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and...

To hang up on somebody

Meaning: to end a telephone call, especially abruptly or quickly Examples: When I told her the bad news, she hung up on me. I got angry during the call, so I hung up on him. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been...

To speak up

Meaning: to talk more loudly, or to express an opinion when you are usually quiet Examples: Could you speak up, please? The music is really loud, and I can’t hear you clearly. He usually sits in the corner silently, but today he spoke up, so we know what he thinks....

To pick up

Meaning: to answer a telephone call Examples: I kept calling her but she wouldn’t pick up, so I couldn’t tell her the news. When I call my mother, she always picks up on the first ring. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since...

To drink up

Meaning: to quickly consume the rest of a drink Examples: She drank up what was left of her beer and left in a hurry. He told me to drink up because there wouldn’t be more water, we are going to the desert today. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life...

To kick someone out

Meaning: to expel or remove someone Examples: They kicked me out of the club after the fight. I was really messy and got kicked out of the hotel, they won’t let me back. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has...

To move over

Meaning: to adjust one’s position to make room for someone else Examples: Could you guys move over so I can sit down too? He asked me to move the couch over so he could insert another chair, but I don’t want the chair there. About Matt KrauseMatt began his...

To come in

Meaning: to enter a room, building, or other place Examples: Please, come in and sit down. I wanted to come in the living room, but she was busy cleaning and wouldn’t let me in. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006...

To let someone in

Meaning: to admit someone to, or to allow someone into, a room, building, or area Examples: We let our dog in the house every morning, he prefers to eat breakfast in the kitchen. My boss is angry at me. I tried to go into his office, but he won’t let me in....

To work out

Meaning: to engage in heavy physical exercise Examples: I try to work out three or four times a week at the gym, it’s good for my health. I like to run in the forest. My brother calls it “working out,” but I just call it “having fun.”...

To warm up

Meaning: to prepare for exercise by moving or practising gently Examples: I always warm up thoroughly before going out for a jog. Before you lift heavy weights, be sure to warm up so your body is ready. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import...

To take off

Meaning: to remove clothing or items in general from one’s or another’s body, or from an object Examples: I took off my shoes and lay down on the sofa. I would like to use the new cooking pan, but first I need to take off the price tag. About Matt KrauseMatt began his...

To switch on

Meaning: to start a device, to start the operation of something by means of a tap, switch, or button. Examples: Please switch on the light, I can’t see. When I try to switch on my phone, nothing happens. I think it’s broken. About Matt KrauseMatt began his...

To tidy up

Meaning: to bring order to, to arrange neatly, especially in a quick action before a meeting or before a guest arrives Examples: The kids don’t like tidying up their room, but they always do it when I ask them to. The guests arrive in a few minutes, I need to tidy up...

To dress up

Meaning: to put on smart, nice, good-looking, or formal clothes Examples: I only dress up on special occasions, like weddings or other celebrations. The interview was very important, so I dressed up in my best clothes. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life...

To put something on

Meaning: to place a piece of clothing (like a shirt), jewelery, etc. on part of one’s body Examples: I put on my watch when I got dressed this morning. When I got out of the shower, I put my clothes on. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an...

To get (somebody) up

Meaning: To rise, or cause someone to rise, from bed after sleeping Examples: I get up immediately after waking up each morning. We got him up early, because he had to go to the airport. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since...

To wake (somebody) up

Meaning: to stop sleeping, or to cause someone to stop sleeping Examples: I woke up at 7 o’clock yesterday. The loud party woke me up during the night. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how...

To go off

Meaning: to begin to sound (usually said about an alarm) Examples: My alarm clock goes off at 6am, and then I begin my workout. During the fire, the alarm went off. It was really loud. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and...

To look forward to something

Meaning: to happily expect something that is happening in the future Examples: He had worked hard and was looking forward to his retirement. We look forward to your visit next week. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006...

To keep from

Meaning: to not do something, or to not tell someone something Examples: I couldn’t keep from eating all the food at the party. I think he’s not telling me the whole story, I think he’s keeping something from me. About Matt KrauseMatt began his...

To hold up

Meaning: to delay something or to rob something Examples: I’m sorry, I am late but I was held up in a meeting. The bank was held up by the two criminals. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies...

To run into

Meaning: to experience something or meet somebody unexpectedly Examples: I’ve run into a problem with the project. I ran into him on the street yesterday. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies...

To look on

Meaning: to watch something happen without taking part in it Examples: Look on the bright side – no one was badly hurt. You go speak to the group. I will just stand in the corner and look on. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and...

To get back to something

Meaning: to respond to something or to resume doing something Examples: I will get back to you tomorrow. (I will respond to you tomorrow.) That was a good meeting, but now I need to get back to work. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import...

To get up

Meaning: to wake up and get out of bed, or to stand up (like from a chair) Examples: Matt gets up at 5am. (Matt wakes up and gets out bed at 5am) I need to get up from this chair. (I need to stand up) About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import...

To look over

To examine or inspect something or someone. Examples: Can you look over this email and tell me what you think? He looked over my application and said it looked fine. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching...

To let up

Phrasal verb: to let up Definition: To become less strong or less intense. Examples: When the rain lets up, let’s go outside for a walk. A good coach never lets up on pushing her athletes to excellence. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an...

To run against somebody or something

Meaning: to oppose somebody or something, usually, but not always, in an election Examples: Luck was really running against you yesterday! Biden ran against Trump in the 2020 US election. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since...

Alternative CYA phrases

“CYA” (cover your ass) is a great phrase for office life, but sometimes it has connotations of selfishness, like you’re saying someone just wants to protect himself, he doesn’t really care about the group or the company. Example: “That...

Key flagging phrases

Flagging is a way for you to call attention to the main point of your message. There are some key words and phrases that wake people up and tell them to listen carefully. Here are some of them: If you take just one thing away from this, it should be… The most...

Three tips for videoconferencing

I know a lot of you are working from home this week. It probably involves a lot of videoconferencing, which might feel a little strange, since it’s probably a bit unfamiliar. I do a lot of videoconferencing, so here are three tips that might help.  1. Humans...

Kill your darlings

Before all the other important stuff you might want to know about presenting, the single most important step is a brutal one: “Kill your darlings.” This phrase, often attributed to author William Faulkner, means get rid of the things that mean a lot to you, but that...

It’s not that faces are good or bad

It’s not that faces are good or bad, it’s just that they’re very distracting. One thing that we see often in almost every corporate presentation is there’s an introduction of the company. In that introduction, there will usually be a couple of slides with pictures of...

Yes, X, but the bigger picture is Y

When you want to persuade somebody to choose your argument over another, one of the things that you can do is tie your argument to a bigger picture. For example, we had a client recently who worked for a European bank, and there was an internal debate within the bank...

Fielding challenges from an angry audience member

Sometimes when an emotionally-stated challenge comes from an audience member, as much as 50% of the emotion behind the challenge might be the audience member feeling unheard. They don’t feel like their opinion is understood or being listened to, even if you think it...

Idiom: to make a splash

Definition: to attract a lot of attention; to get noticed Examples: Everyone is talking about the new movie. It really made a splash. That new book is really popular. The author is on all the talk shows. She really made a splash.   About Matt KrauseMatt began his...

Idiom: to make waves

Definition: to create a significant impression; to cause trouble, to be disruptive Examples: At your new job, be sure to speak up at meetings. You want to make waves right from the start. I didn’t know anyone at the dinner party, so I kept quiet. I didn’t...

CXO letter sample

———- Forwarded message ——— From: matt@krauseenglish.com Date: XYZ Subject: CXO Letter sample To: xyz@xyz.com A favorite word that I’ve run across an unusual number of times in my readings this week is “slog.” This...

Presentation checklist

Click here to download the presentation checklist (one-page PDF). About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul,...

Free stock photo sites

BucketListly Photos CC0 Archives | Magdeleine Cupcake FoodiesFeed Foodie’s Feed Free Refe Real Life Photos FreeDigitalPhotos Function – Design Blog Gratisography ISO Republic Jay Mantri Kaboompics.com Life Of Pix Little Visuals Magdeleine MMT morgueFile...

Interview with Memet Yazıcı

Baldwin and Matt interviewed Memet Yazıcı, Managing Partner of TRPE Capital. Memet speaks here about preparing for pitch meetings, a portfolio company’s management team’s role in telling the company’s story, and the importance of relationships with...

Interview with Roland Meerdter

This post originally appeared on Fund Marketing Secrets. Baldwin and Matt interviewed Roland Meerdter, co-founder of Door Ventures. Roland speaks here about streamlining the DDQ process, the origins of Door, how standardized DDQs evolve over time, and how...

Interview with Kyle Dunn

This post originally appeared on Fund Marketing Secrets. Baldwin and Matt interviewed Kyle Dunn, CEO of Meyler Capital. Kyle speaks here about marketing in the fund world, and what opportunities fund managers are missing, and that performance is vital, but...

Encore interview with JB Beckett

There was so much to talk about in the first interview that Baldwin and Matt asked JB Beckett to grace the podcast a second time. For those who missed the first interview, JB is the author of #New Fund Order and a very articulate veteran of the fund scene. In this...

Interview with JB Beckett

Baldwin Berges and Matt interviewed JB Beckett, author of #New Fund Order. JB has listened to thousands of fund pitches in his career. In fact, he’s such a wealth of information that we will bring him back for an encore presentation. A major theme running through...

Listener question for Ole

One of our listeners, a country fund investing in publicly-traded equities on that country’s exchange, had a followup question about something discussed on the Ole Rollag interview. They asked: “We send out a monthly newsletter about our fund performance...

Interview with Ole Rollag

Baldwin Berges and Matt interviewed Ole Rollag of Murano. Ole mentioned a couple things in particular that caught our attention: One is the importance of good old phone followup. Ole mentioned that Murano’s people spend a lot of time on the phone with allocators; he...

Mistakes fund managers make – bonus

The mistake: Mismatching their product design and their target investors. Summary: Okay, let’s do one more. Think of it as a bonus mistake, #6 of 5: Mismatching your product design and your target investors. #6 is kind of related to the mistakes that came before it,...

Mistakes fund managers make – #5 of 5

The mistake: Not qualifying their prospects. Summary: At first glance this one seems like a rookie mistake, but even people who have been in the business a long time still do it sometimes: wasting time talking to the wrong people. It’s not that the “wrong people” are...

Mistakes fund managers make – #4 of 5

The mistake: Putting the wrong person up there on stage. Summary: At a conference, the speaking gig often goes to the CEO. However, that’s not necessarily the best person to represent your company. The best person to represent your company is the one who can convey...

Mistakes fund managers make – #3 of 5

The mistake: Trying to go all the way on the first date. Summary: You get the meeting, it’s in the diary, and you walk in there with your big pitch book. You’re excited, maybe a little bit nervous. Gotta land this client! But slow down, cowboy! You wouldn’t...

Mistakes fund managers make – #2 of 5

The mistake: Rushing their investor. Summary: You went through a journey to learn what you know. Way back when, it was uncharted territory for you. Your investor is venturing into uncharted territory now, too. So give him some time. The things you think are obvious,...

Mistakes fund managers make – #1 of 5

The mistake: Not equipping your investor to argue your case to the other investors. Summary: You’re an expert, and the person you’re speaking to is probably also an expert. So it’s tempting to get lazy and stay in your expert comfort zone. But remember, you are not...

Tsufit on speaking at conferences

Tsufit (LinkedIn profile) started out as a lawyer, singer, and actress, but for over 15 years now she has been coaching others to step into the spotlight. In fact, she wrote a book titled exactly that: “Step Into The Spotlight!” As you’ll hear, one...

Baldwin Berges on speaking at conferences

Baldwin Berges (LinkedIn profile) spent years in the investment world, helped companies raise money, and is now helping them clarify their messages, making complex ideas simple to understand. In this interview he talks a bit about speaking at conferences, and gives...

Erik Vos on speaking at conferences

Erik Vos (LinkedIn profile) has worked and presented in 91 countries and counting. In this interview he talks a bit about speaking at conferences, and gives some tips to other speakers. As you’ll hear, he’s a big supporter of preparing a lot (a man after...

Zeynep Stefan on moderating a panel

Zeynep Stefan (LinkedIn profile) has been in the insurance and risk management business for over 10 years. In this interview she talks a bit about moderating a panel, and gives some tips to other moderators. As you’ll hear, she’s a big advocate of...

“Stories are good” is not actionable advice

“Stories are good, you should use them more often. And it’s important to put yourself in your stories.” That’s good advice. But these days a lot of people pass out advice like that, and then you ask them to explain themselves, and they tell you stuff...

Unlock the skills you already have

The most effective presentations aren’t presentations at all. They are conversations, and you probably already have all the skills you need, you’ve been using them since the day you were born. Let’s say the big boss is coming to your regional office and...

The “political changes” question in emerging markets

A question that often comes up in investor conference calls, especially with emerging markets companies, is “How are political or regulatory changes affecting the business environment?” The way your company chooses to answer this question is a stylistic...

They don’t know nearly as much as you think they do

Our clients often think that when audience members are high up in the industry or in the company, they already know everything. This is completely wrong. Yes, they are experts in something you are not. But you are an expert in something that they are not. That’s why...

Get to work

Steven Pressfield, the author of The War Of Art, one of my favorite books, once said: “The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome.” Since you’re a professional, you know what...

The most effective presentations are not presentations at all

The most effective presentations aren’t presentations at all. They are conversations, and you probably already have all the skills you need, they just need to be unlocked. Let’s say the Big Boss from Headquarters is coming to your regional office for a...

Wherever you look…

Wherever you look, your audience is probably going to look there too. This is a human trait. You’re not going to get around it. There’s no amount of presentation training that is going to help you overcome it. If your audience sees you looking at your...

The CEO on the conference call: Stick to your style

Every CEO has a different style when it comes to handling investor conference calls (for example, an annual earnings report). The styles lie on a spectrum. On the one end, you’ve got a Jamie Dimon style, which is where the CEO will just say two or three...

Aydın Bırık on a startup’s investor presentation

Alper and Matt interviewed Aydın Bırık, who in his job sees many, many startups pitch their companies to potential investors. Here he talks about what he does (and does not) like to see in the presentations, and what suggestions he would give to the entrepreneurs who...

Office hours

UPDATE: As of March 2017, Matt’s public office hours have been replaced by “members only” office hours. For the location of the members-only office hours, please see: https://dopplercomm.com/members-only/office-hours/ Matt holds weekly office hours...

Cultivating audience participation

When the speechwriting is almost done, it’s time to move on to the delivery training. Why do we say “almost done”? Because we need to make sure the speech we’ve written is going to work in real life, and we can’t start to gauge that until we start the training. Does...

Reader question: How to ask difficult questions?

A reader asks, “How can I ask difficult questions?” You know the kind of questions, the ones where you wonder beforehand if you dare ask them, the ones where you stop first and think things like is that question too forward, or too bold, or is it too early in the...

Reader comments on Kevin Spacey speech

One of the most commented-on items in our Tips & Tricks email series is this Kevin Spacey speech: https://www.getdrip.com/9763063/campaigns/7516685/emails/102822/archive The comments are often to the effect that the readers loved the speech, for various reasons,...

What’s behind that 25 times

What’s behind that 25 times There’s more behind that “practice 25 times” advice than just an unthinking “more practice is good, so get a lot of it.” Here’s what’s behind it… (click here if you don’t see the...

Speaking

About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

Freelancers’ Show

Welcome to the Freelancer’s Show podcast listeners! Here are a couple things to reinforce what we discussed on the show. Just sign up with your email address, and we’ll send them along to you. They are: a brief guide covering the three mindset changes...

Email styles

A great cartoon showing one of the main differences between executive and associate email styles… About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients...

Swim in my ocean, or splash in my puddle

Before they realize there is huge power in deep preparation, some of our clients at first resist the idea of practicing a lot. They think practicing a lot is going to kill the spontaneity in their speech. What they haven’t realized yet is that you will never...

Mindset change

Why we do Tips and Tricks as a weekly email, not a once-and-done ebook: New Service: Test My Presentation. You send us your presentation, we suggest how you can improve it. Click here for more info. Pro Tip: Use this service once a month, and watch your presentation...

The Jesse Interviews

Jesse Scinto, our head speechwriter and presentation trainer, is a faculty member at the Strategic Communications department at New York’s Columbia University. So, understandably, we are proud of him and happy to have him on our team. In these interview...

Why we don’t do many one- or two-day trainings

Why we don’t do many one- or two-day trainings We get a lot of requests for one- or two-day trainings, but we don’t do very many of them. Why? It is almost impossible to make a deep change in someone’s life, or in a company’s performance, in...

Stories happen in the listeners’ heads

Transcript: The title of this segment is The Story Happens In The Listener’s Head, Not In The Teller’s Head. There’s a story about Ernest Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway is in a bar and there are a bunch of other writers at the bar. They have a little...

The moral of the story

Here we dive deeper into one of the five elements of story structure. This one is perhaps your speech’s most important element, but it’s usually the most difficult element to communicate clearly… Notes: HGOMM (5 points of story structure) Jesse...

The fastest way to say more

Go slow and speak less. Yes, I know it’s counterintuitive. I can barely believe it myself, even though I see it happen almost every day. Here’s an example: These days I’m helping a client prepare for a speech at a major committee meeting. It’s...

Reader question: example of a marketing story

One of our readers had an excellent question about HGOMM… (HGOMM: the five elements of a marketing story, outlined here: https://krauseenglish.com/hgomm/) His question: Can you send an example of a short marketing story with these 5 components? Yes, of course....

Reader question: feel sense describe about numbers

One of our correspondents had a very good question. She watched the Feel Sense Describe video, and asked, “That’s nice, but how do I do that when I’m talking about numbers?” Good question. Here’s a voice response with two suggestions: By...

More on stories happening in the listeners’ heads

In another blog post, we mentioned that stories happen in the listeners’ heads. In presenting, do not underestimate the power of this dynamic. It is a special talent pretty unique to humans. It allows us to organize into groups of millions (nations), or even...

Preparing for “12 Minutes With…”

Equipment: Please use headphones. They don’t have to be fancy; the ones you use with your iPhone are fine. Please use Chrome or Firefox. Sometimes Internet Explorer works for this, but most of the time it doesn’t. Preparation before the call: Please look...

Remote Coaching

xxx About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G,...

Softening words

This guy Eric Takaha at Franklin-Templeton is a master of using what I call “softening words,” which can come in very handy when you are describing overall trends in a public forum. I’ve bolded the “softening words” in the transcript...

Acid test of a good financial speech

The acid test of a good financial speech: When you read the speech to someone who is not in the target audience, and ideally who barely even understands the subject, can you hold their interest to the end, without losing the interest of your target audience? If you...

Work the crowd

Three tips for working a conversational style into your presentation: 1. In the first 30 seconds of your presentation, ask a couple audience members a simple yes or no question related to your topic (If you are speaking about nutrition: “Murat, did you eat breakfast...

Client Communications

xxx About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G,...

Investor Presentations

ZZZ About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G,...

Executive Communications

xxx About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G,...

Message focusing: Six-word story

One of our clients is an executive at an international bank, so he presents to global management quite often. To be able to give his message using a few well-chosen words, instead of dozens of data-heavy charts and graphs, would be revolutionary. We took one of his...

What do I do with my hands? (Eric Takaha video)

One of the most common questions we hear when people go onto the stage is, “What do I do with my hands?” Believe it or not, that question is actually more common than “Where’s the nearest escape route?” 😉 Watch Franklin Templeton’s Eric Takaha’s hands in this...

Money is especially emotional

One of the best arguments for how people make decisions based on emotion, even when (perhaps especially when) they are making decisions about money… Especially after expenses, most actively-managed funds perform worse than their benchmark. If you listen to many...

The wrong question

All day long, I am surrounded by people who are fluent speakers of English, or nearly fluent speakers of English. One of the main questions people ask me is how can I speak better English? I tell them, if you are a fluent or near fluent speaker of English, then asking...

Method actor approach to communications

Michael Bierut describes not only the method we use, but why we use it, so well I read it and thought, “Yeah, that’s me!”… http://99u.com/workbook/51901/the-method-actor-approach-to-design About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an...

You are just a midwife

The presenter is not the star of the show, the audience is the star of the show… http://www.duarte.com/blog/like-yoda-you-must-be-2/ The fastest way to Death By PowerPoint is to think you are anything more than a midwife to the audience’s dreams. About...

Pause

I love this article,… Pause. Just Pause. …Especially the third tip: “Pause for a moment longer than you feel comfortable. Try pausing for 2 – 3 seconds. It might feel like an eternity to you, but it will sound perfectly normal to your...

Sometimes…

Sometimes public speaking doesn’t go so well… http://fortune.com/2015/09/15/bmw-ceo-collapse/ About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients...

The Curse of Knowledge

The “Curse of Knowledge” is the inability to clearly explain something to another person, because you know the subject so well. Not a clear explanation as defined by you. A clear explanation as defined by the other person. Why is it so hard to clearly explain...

Actually, attention spans are not shrinking…

At about minute 34:45 in this speech… …Kevin Spacey makes a very good point: Many people complain about their audience’s shrinking attention span, and yet people still find 12 hours to binge-watch a TV show. So instead of trying to trim things until you...

Look at your people, not your screen

One of the things I love most in the infographic below is the part that says avoid looking at your screen when pitching. Yes, this goes for pitching (selling) an idea or service. But it goes for just about any other situation, too. When you look at your computer...

And that’s how it’s done, folks!

Don Draper shows us how presentations are done right… Notice three things in particular: He starts his story with “my first job” — time-shifting phrases (“my first job,” “a couple years ago,” “once upon a...

Start with a joke. But how?

You don’t always need to start with a joke. After all, you are probably not a professional comedian, and no one expects you to be. And starting a speech with an irrelevant joke, no matter how funny it is, like “Two men and a dog walk into a...

Boy meets girl

American author Kurt Vonnegut diagrams some basic, but very classic, story structures… Believe it or not, the structures he outlines here even work for speeches about corporate debt and global financial crises. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life...

When you use video in a presentation

Videos can make an excellent addition to your presentation. Most of the time they work, but every once in a while they don’t, and then you’re left there on the stage feeling embarrassed and saying something lame like “Hey, there’s supposed to...

You’re going too fast!

A common issue we see is people speaking too fast, trying to cram too much content into too little time. Fortunately, there’s a very natural way around this. It’s something we’ve been practicing our entire lives, and we do it so naturally we don’t even realize we are...

HGOMM

The five components of a story: Hero Goal Obstacle Mentor Moral… Thanks, Copyblogger, for making one of the simplest explanations of the components of a story I’ve ever seen. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since...

Jesse Scinto: Presentations Are Not About Informing

According to Jesse Scinto… “A lot of people think presentations are about informing, but here’s the problem with that view…” “Audience members remember very little of what they hear in a presentation.” “If the purpose...

Jesse Scinto: Commitment Must Be Physical and Public

Here Jesse and Matt are talking about Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, particularly about the importance of audience members making their commitments physical and public, and how we can do that in a presentation… “One...

Jesse Scinto: Commitment and Consistency

Matt and Jesse discuss a chapter from Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, specifically the human desire to seem logical and consistent, and how we can use this natural human desire to persuade our audiences… Using commitment and...

Jesse Scinto: The Credibility of Being Human

Jesse and Matt discuss Adam Grant’s book, Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, specifically Grant’s concept of the power of powerless speech. “When our audience can see that we have flaws, it really helps them identify with...

Jesse Scinto: “Progressive Complications” — What It Means

Jesse tells us what “progressive complications” are, where they come from, and how to use them in our presentations… “If you can arrange your presentation in that kind of fashion [using progressive complications], it’s really gripping for...

Jesse Scinto: What Benefit Am I Going to Get?

Often, our clients feel like if they talk about conflict or problems in their presentations, their audiences won’t respect them. It feels kind of risky. We asked Jesse about this. If a speaker takes the risk, what is the speaker going to get in return?...

Jesse Scinto: Example of A Story About Corporate Restructuring

Jesse demonstrates how to tell a story about a corporate restructuring. [content_upgrade cu_id=”13259″]Get all 9 Jesse Scinto excerpts consolidated into one PDF:[content_upgrade_button]Email me the PDF[/content_upgrade_button][/content_upgrade] Transcript:...

Jesse Scinto: Using Stories in a Business Context

One of our clients asked us how to tell stories in a business context. Jesse gives a great answer about that… “When we’re talking about stories in a business context, we’re not talking about fables or fairy tales.” “It’s a...

Jesse Scinto: Complication and Resolution

Jesse describes a more interesting way to structure your information, one that will keep your audience’s attention better… [content_upgrade cu_id=”13259″]Get all 9 Jesse Scinto excerpts consolidated into one PDF:[content_upgrade_button]Email me...

Why Watch Videos of Yourself

There are a lot of reasons to watch videos of yourself practicing. Watching videos of yourself helps you improve your body language. It helps you improve your content, and it helps you improve your opening and closing. But mainly, watching videos of yourself helps you...

Turkish or English?

It’s a good question: Should I do my training in Turkish or in English? The best way to answer that question is probably to ask yourself, “What do I ultimately want to be able to do?” For example, if your ultimate goal is to give presentations in...

Brevity

Brevity is vital. But one thing that often gets lost is that brevity is not enough. If you can’t quickly articulate to an executive why he/she should care about your presentation, brevity won’t save you. When people talk about a flood of information, what...

Why listen over and over

Since I work in Istanbul, I run into a lot of people who are learning English. They often ask me for some tips. They often look at me, slightly puzzled, and ask, “Why would that help? In real life, people don’t repeat their words 5 times.”...

Hands When You’re Sitting

About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

Visualize Your Words in a Tag Cloud

A couple weeks ago I wrote about looking to see what grade level you’re speaking at. Here’s another neat tip for seeing your speech from another perspective: put it into a tag cloud: Go to the website, paste your text into the text box, click...

Game tape: Guy Kawasaki, TEDxBerkeley

Guy Kawasaki speaks at TEDxBerkeley, about the 10 points of innovation… Notes: Local references: In this speech, he makes a lot of references to local universities [Stanford, Cal (local nickname for University of California Berkeley), USC (University of Southern...

Do the Flesch-Kincaid

As a speaker, there are a couple numbers you should know. One is your average WPM — how many words do you speak per minute (the average human speaks about 120-130 words per minute). You do that so when you are writing a speech, you know about how many words you...

Get them to agree with you first

Sometimes you’re speaking about a hotly-debated topic, something that not everyone in the room agrees with you about. Here’s a tip for those situations: Before you talk about the hot issue, get the audience to agree with you on something else. Two professors, one from...

Sidestepping the bomb

Here’s a tip for those times when you’re speaking to a potentially hostile audience, or coming dangerously close to a hot, explosive topic: In your opening sentences, remind the audience you share common ground with them, but also acknowledge the debate....

When you can’t avoid the avalanche

Yes, you compete with your slides for the audience’s attention. When the audience is looking at your slides, they aren’t listening to you. So we preach, over and over, keep your slides simple, keep your slides simple. But in real life, you don’t...

Ira Glass interviews

Below are four videos, and a transcript, of an interview with a famous radio presenter in the US, Ira Glass. He speaks about storytelling, the importance of being yourself, and the difficulty of the early days, when you know what “good” is, but...

The Sullivan Nod

Here’s a body language tip: It’s called the Sullivan Nod. When you are talking to an audience, and you are listing three or four or five options, smile and nod when you’re describing the one you want them to choose. Chances are pretty good that they’ll choose it. The...

Review of a Jesse Jackson speech

In this speech Jesse Jackson, campaigning for US President in 1984, speaks at a church. There are two things I would like to point out in this speech, and they both have to do with point #3 in overcoming the Curse of Knowledge (make it concrete — use simple words and...

The seventh method

In the Fundamentals we mentioned the Curse of Knowledge, and six ways to overcome it. My personal favorite, though, isn’t on that list. It is: #7: Ask questions. Specifically, ask your audience to describe back to you what you just said. Ask them to describe your...

Reduce your ahh count

For you, as a listener, what’s easier to understand? “I… went… to… the… store…” …or… “Uhhh, I, uhhh… went, uhhh… to, uhhh… the, uhhh… store, uhhh.”? Which one was easier to understand? Probably the first one, right? Both of them took the same amount of time — the...

Stick to the delta

When you’re organizing your presentation, the Rule of Three is a good place to start. For example: We’re going to do A. We’re going to do B. We’re going to do C. The human brain loves things that are organized into threes. It tends to forget point #4, but it can...

How to make your audience feel like they’re in the right place

Remember the One Question, the one thing that’s on everyone’s mind. The one problem they’re trying to solve, the reason they asked you to speak. Then tell a story that basically goes, A. I had that question myself once, and B. here’s how I solved it, and C. now I’m...

What should I do with my hands?

When you’re on stage, what do you do with your hands? It’s one of the most common questions we get. Personally, I suspect you already know what to do with your hands, but the best answer is actually kind of zen, so we reserve it for more advanced courses. In the...

Chat with a couple audience members

Before your speech, meet some of the members of your audience. Talk to them, get to know them a little. It’ll make you a lot less nervous when you’re speaking, because you’ll be talking to friends, not a bunch of nameless, faceless strangers. How can you do this? At...

Video yourself

Have a friend video you while you’re speaking. And yes, watch it! I’ve never met a person who liked to watch himself speaking. Not once. But there’s something magic about it. Every person who ever watches himself on video decides to become a better speaker. It’s like...

Practice 25 times

When professional actors prepare for a role, they usually rehearse for hours, or days or weeks, learning how to make a particular facial tick appear at just the right time. When she was preparing for the movie Gravity, Sandra Bullock practiced one of the moves for...

The first three questions

Opening PowerPoint is one of the first things people do when preparing a presentation. However, it’s the wrong place to start. Opening PowerPoint first is like buying paint for the living room before you’ve even started building the house. Asking three particular...

SO Fundamentals index

There are 9 lessons in the SO Fundamentals course. They are: Lesson 1 :  The First Three Questions Lesson 2 :  Practice 25 Times Lesson 3 :  The Curse of Knowledge Lesson 4 :  Reduce Your Ahh Count Lesson 5 :  “B” is for Magic Lesson 6 :  Video Yourself...

How does this person think?

“How does this person think?” Maybe your audience members don’t know who you are. They might not even care about your subject. But they probably want to know how you think. It’s a natural human impulse: We want to know how other people solve problems, because maybe...

Doing the Bob Dole

We all have “tics,” little things that we do, little habits. Some presentation trainers tell people to get rid of their tics, but tics aren’t always that bad. Take, for example, Bob Dole. Bob Dole was a famous United States Senator in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. He...

To change the world

President John F. Kennedy once said, “The only reason to give a speech is to change the world.” When I first heard that quote, I thought, “Wow, that’s a high bar to set.” People who change the world are people like Winston Churchill, or Nelson Mandela, or Mahatma...

Are you sure you want to use that picture?

Yesterday I saw this ad in the subway station… At first I thought, “Oh, that’s such a pretty picture there on the screen… fish, water, blue, nature, sun, how nice!” But then I saw something completely different: A herd, moving in unthinking unison, swimming,...

And then we did this, and it was cool

Recently I was watching a TEDx speech video with a client of mine. The speaker was a designer with a doctorate from MIT, talking about research he’s doing into innovative mechanical solutions. Here’s the video: Neither my client nor I liked the speech. We both came...

The Joe Black Chair

Sometimes our clients ask us to sit in on their “real life” presentations. We love opportunities like that. Seeing our clients operate live, “in the wild,” helps us do our jobs so much better. When a client lets us watch them give a real-life...

Don’t stare at people

People are like dogs. If you stare at one long enough, he’ll attack. When you are giving a presentation, if an audience member gets aggressive and starts challenging you, resist the urge to spend too much time looking at that one person. Address his questions, but...

Slow down

The other day someone asked me for advice. He had wanted to give a speech that would last about 4-6 minutes, but instead the speech went for almost eight minutes. “What should I do?” he asked. “Slow down,” I said. Wait a second, shouldn’t I have told him to talk...

The famous 70%

The other day, a few of a client’s employees went to a presentation skills training. The trainer told them 70% of presentation is body language, voice tone, etc. My client asked me if I agree. This is what I told her: That 70% figure is bullshit. It’s not bullshit...

Like saying, “If the sex is bad…”

There are many ways to start a speech. One of them is outlining what you’re going to talk about. Watch how Guy Kawasaki does it in the first 90 seconds of his speech… He tells us that he’s going to cover 10 points, and that telling your audience...

I feel camera-shy

One of our clients asked what he called a “million-dollar question”… He asked, “I feel very shy in front of a camera. How can I improve? Any tips?” Here was my response: “Here’s what I do, try this… “Humans naturally relax and light up when they talk to...

Your speech will never be the same twice

You know the saying, “You never cross the same river twice”? That applies to speeches too. The other day I was speaking about my walk across Turkey. Because of a timing mixup, I ended up giving the same speech to two different audiences. To my surprise,...

What do you want your audience to do?

Transcript: Rule number two. Something to remember before you even start outlining your speech. Rule number two or question number two is what do you want your audience to do at the end of your speech. The other day somebody said, “Oh you mean, what’s my...

Three questions

When you start preparing a presentation, don’t you dare start by opening PowerPoint. Mull over these three questions first: Who are you talking to? What do you want them to do? Why should they care? Ask these questions because a good presentation doesn’t...

Dealing with fear

There are many ways of dealing with fear. Here are two of them: 1. Conquer your fear Try to wrestle your fear to the ground. Try to beat it. Try to control it. 2. Look at something else Your job is not to conquer fear, your job is to do something else. Don’t...

Fear makes bad things seem more real than they are

A couple years ago there was a woman who walked from Spain south to Morocco, and then east across Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, then north into Jordan, and then into Jerusalem. She walked alone, and she didn’t spend any money. When I talk about my walk across Turkey,...

Stories happen in the listeners’ heads

About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank,...

The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell

“The Tipping Point is the biography of an idea.” What is the idea? The idea is that “[i]deas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.” In addition to describing how the spread of ideas is like the spread of viruses,...

The edge and the center

There are different ways to see the world. One of them is “What can I do on the edge?” Another is “How do I get to the middle?” Before you ever open your mouth, before you even start thinking about a problem, you will, consciously or...

Some examples of Stage’s formatting…

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus laoreet sodales nunc, porttitor vehicula nisl elementum eget. Sed feugiat tristique tellus ac cursus. [highlight]Duis nec leo at enim egestas tempor nec id lacus. Nunc vestibulum nulla non nunc consequat...

Eye contact is good, but not always

As presentation trainers we tell our clients over and over, “More eye contact, more eye contact.” But sometimes you’ve got other stuff to do, and it’s okay to look away. Not to read your slides or look at your shoes, no. But to visualize...

No soggy noodles

The other day I was working with a client on her PowerPoint slides. We looked at the first slide, then the second slide, then the third slide. She asked me what I thought. “Should we add this?” “Should we take that out?” The thing is, she had...

Idiom: to put one’s foot in one’s mouth

Definition: to say something awkward or inappropriate Examples: I saw my boss on the street yesterday. He was with a woman. I said I loved his wife’s dress, but she wasn’t his wife. She was his girlfriend. I definitely put my foot in my mouth that time. I...

Idiom: to dig in one’s heels

Definition: to be stubborn, to refuse to move Examples: We tried to renegotiate the contract, but the customer dug in his heels. He said no, we could not discuss the contract again. I wanted to go to the beach, but my wife wanted to go to the mountains. She dug in her...

A Google story

Some years ago I heard a story about Google. I forget the details, but the gist of the story sticks with me, and I think of it often… In Google’s early days, before “google” became a verb, when the founders of Google were still just grad...

Idiom: to have the floor

Definition: to have permission to speak in a meeting Examples: The CEO had the floor for almost an hour during the meeting, but he didn’t have anything interesting to say. I fell asleep. Excuse me, but I have the floor. Please wait until I’m finished...

Idiom: all hands on deck

Definition: a job or task requires everyone’s attention or help Examples: This new client is our biggest client so far. It’s really important that we serve them well. It’ll be all hands on deck for a while. It’s August, and many people are on...

First, Break All The Rules, by Buckingham and Coffman

I threw this book across the room. Couldn’t read more than a third of it. Why? I’m no statistician, but, if I understand correctly, analyzing large amounts of data (which is the technique the authors used) is a great way to find a population’s...

If you can’t explain it simply…

If you can’t explain it simply, you probably don’t understand it well enough. Students come to me often and say, “I want to use more complicated sentences, like a native speaker.” Huh? Expressing yourself well does not mean using complicated...

The Dip, by Seth Godin

The upshot: If you want to get to the high points, you’re going to have to push through the low points. Most people don’t push through the low points, so the playing field will be nice and clear when you get to the good times. I recommend Seth Godin all...

The Black Swan, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The upshot: Sometimes big, disruptive things happen, and they can’t be planned for, because you don’t know what they’ll be. They will end life as you know it (or as your business knows it), and that’s just the way it is. About Matt KrauseMatt...

Resonate, by Nancy Duarte

Do not look for a summary of this book. In my opinion, this is one of those books you should either submit to, allowing it to change the way you think, or don’t even bother picking it up. Go big or go home. In other words, I loved it. The thing I liked most...

The Cluetrain Manifesto, by Doc Searls and others

The upshot: Marketing is a conversation. It is a two-way exchange between people, not an opportunity for you to shout at your customers. About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect...

How to be a Presentation God, by Scott Schwertly

The upshot: Blah blah blah, a bunch of stuff. When you are preparing a presentation, segment your audience. Blah blah blah, a bunch more stuff. That one part, the reminder to segment your audience, alone makes the book worth it. All too often, presentation books tell...

Spill your blood onto the floor

There’s a scene I love from the movie Cadillac Records. Beyonce plays Etta James, and she is in the studio recording the famous tune “All I Could Do Is Cry.” The producer tells her it’s not good enough, that she isn’t putting enough...

No visual aids

Transcript: I recommend, for the first 10 speeches, no visual aids at all, no slides, nothing. We’re there in Toastmasters to learn how to connect with the audience. We’re there to learn how to make eye contact, and how to relax, and how to use body...

You’ll probably never not be nervous

Transcript: People make a big deal out of being afraid of public speaking. When somebody tells me that they’re afraid of public speaking, I just want to tell them, “You know, you’re never going to get over it.” I’ve been going to...

Talk to the wall

Transcript: Talk to the wall. What does that mean? Sometimes when you’re doing a speech, before you’re even writing the speech, when you’re just at the very beginning and you’re outlining the idea, sometimes a real rational approach, a really...

Why practice 25 times?

New Service: Test My Presentation. You send us your presentation, we suggest how you can improve it. Click here for more info. Pro Tip: Use this service once a month, and watch your presentation skills rise up to the next level. It’ll be like your own personal...

Feel, sense, describe – don’t just tell!

Transcript: When you’re practicing and when you’re standing right there on stage, imagine the stuff that you’re talking about. Visualize the things you’re talking about, see them. When you’re talking about flowers, don’t just say,...

Put some Tuba in it!

Transcript: This one is called, “Put Some Tuba in It.” When you’re mentoring somebody, I recommend that you tell your mentee to put some of them into their speeches. If their name is Ayşe, or Mehmet, or David, put some Ayşe in it. Put some David in...

Channeling Don Draper

One of my favorite scenes from Mad Men comes at the end of season 1, when Don pitches Eastman Kodak using a slide show from his own life… There are many things I like about this scene. One of them is that Don knows his audience has a question (“What does...

Who is your audience? What do you want them to do?

These are the first questions I ask my clients when we are preparing a presentation. They are obvious questions. It is so easy to answer them quickly, forget the answers, and continue on, unthinking, unchanged, uninspired. The other day I was meeting with a client....

Keep your answers short

Q&A (questions and answers) is a great way to break up a speech and make sure you and your audience are thinking in the same direction. However, I often see my clients, when giving an answer, give answers that are too long. The result is that they become less and...

Call your audience

Ken Robinson is one of the most popular speakers in the TED community. But it’s not because he’s doing most of the things speech trainers tell us we should do. He doesn’t move around on the stage much. Usually he just stands in one place. His hands...

Idiom: scut work

Definition: boring, tedious, menial work Examples: Some people think a lawyer’s workday is filled with dramatic courtroom moments. In reality, however, much of a lawyer’s day is filled with scut work — reading long documents, going to boring...

Idiom: bang for the buck

Definition: value for the money Examples: When we advertise on the internet, we get a good bang for the buck. We don’t spend much money, but we get a lot of customers. Our Maltepe service center gives us a better bang for the buck than the Şişli service center....

Idiom: crunch time

Definition: a short period when there’s high pressure to get results Examples: This month is the busy season for our business. If we do well, we’ll make tons of money. It’s crunch time. I want to take a vacation, but it’s crunch time at work...

Idiom: to have one’s finger in the pie

Definition: to be involved in something, to get a piece of the reward Examples: This is not the only company he owns. He has his finger in the pies of many other companies, too. Almost every single person is involved in this project. Sometimes it seems like everyone...

Idiom: to land an account

Definition: To acquire a new customer Examples: My boss told me we really need more business. Maybe if I land this account, he’ll promote me. I’m not having a very good year, it has been a long time since I landed a new account. About Matt KrauseMatt began...

Idiom: the fine print

Definition: The limits, conditions, qualifications, or other details printed at the bottom or end of a contract. Examples: The contract might look good at first, but you have to read the fine print to know for sure. The cell phone company’s new promotion sounds...

Idiom: to pull the plug (on something)

Definition: to cancel or stop (something) Examples: This new program will never be successful. We need to pull the plug on it, before we waste more money. I was really excited about this new advertising campaign, but my boss didn’t like it, and he decided to...

Idiom: to plug (something)

Definition: to promote or sell (something) Examples: He was on the TV news last night, but he didn’t have anything interesting to say. He was just there to plug his book. At job fairs, it’s hard to plug our company to potential recruits when we have such a...

Idiom: to keep something under wraps

Definition: to keep something secret, to keep something hidden Examples: Our development department is working on a new product. We can’t tell anyone, we have to keep it under wraps. My boss is going to promote someone. I hope it is me, but I don’t know...

Idiom: To tighten one’s belt

Definition: to cut back on expenses Examples: Sales are down, we need to tighten our belt until business is better. You should tighten your belt, if you spend money like that, you’ll go out of business quickly.   About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life...

Idiom: six of one and a half dozen of the other

Definition: two things are the same; the difference is zero Examples: The company is going to cut our pay, but increase our health insurance. So my paycheck will be smaller, but I won’t pay as much when I go to the hospital. I think it’s six of one, and a...

Idiom: to get off to a shaky start

Definition: to start roughly, to start badly Examples: The business is very successful now, but in the early days, we didn’t know if it would succeed or not. It got off to a really shaky start. When you meet the new boss, it’s important to make a good...

Idiom: to fall off the radar

Definition: to disappear, to be invisible Examples: We were good friends for many years, but when he moved to South Africa, I lost track of him. I haven’t spoken to him in 10 years, and I don’t even know where he is now. He fell off my radar. When our...

Talk to the dog

The other day, I was helping a client with a presentation. He was an engineer for a solar power company, and he was going to introduce his company to some potential investors. Other engineers would have loved his presentation. They would have picked him up, put him on...

Idiom: to cut your teeth

Definition: to learn a new skill; to get basic experience Examples: He is a big, famous Finance Guru at the World Bank now, but he cut his teeth managing the finances for small textile factories in Egypt. He is a great addition to our manufacturing team, because...

Idiom: To buy (something) for a song

Definition: to buy something for a really good price; to buy something cheap Examples: These days, a lot of banks are in distress, so they can be bought relatively cheaply. They can be bought for a song. I bought this house for a song, when prices were cheap during...

Idiom: Kill two birds with one stone

Definition: To solve two problems with only one action Examples: Last week the logistics department figured out how to deliver the customer’s goods early, and save money on shipping too. They killed two birds with one stone. If you want the promotion, you need...

Idiom: to take stock

Definition: to count, or to evaluate Note: Sometimes this is used philosophically (as in, to evaluate one’s life), and sometimes it is used literally (as in, to actually count the number of inventory items sitting on the shelf). Examples: On major birthdays,...

Idiom: to be in the black

Definition: to be profitable, to be making money Examples: Our new startup lost money for two years, but now we are profitable. We are finally in the black. Our company has a long history of financial strength. In fact, we have been in the black every year since 1972....

Idiom: to come on strong

Definition: to overwhelm with excessively strong language or personality Examples: The salesman came on too strong at the meeting and made the customer angry. The new employee has some really good skills, but he comes on too strong.  The other employees think he is...

Idiom: to give the green light

Definition: to approve something, to give approval to something Examples: This marketing plan is great, but you have to show it to the boss first. Until he gives the green light, we can’t do anything with it. I want to hire a new sales rep, so I checked with the...

Why do I have to practice 25 times?

People ask me for advice on how to speak better. When I tell them they have to practice 25 times, their eyes glaze over.  They don’t want to hear it.  What they want to hear is, “Yes, you can be lazy AND awesome at the same time”.  But it’s not...

Idiom: to be in the ballpark

Definition: to be near a target, to be close to the target Examples: You haven’t told me your target price, but I think it is probably around $100,000. Am I in the ballpark? The customer wants us to lower our price, he says we are way too expensive.  He says we...

Idiom: to adjourn a meeting

Definition:  to end a meeting Examples: It was late in the evening, so we adjourned the meeting until the next day. We’re not making any progress, let’s adjourn the meeting and go back to work.   About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an...

Idiom: number-cruncher

Definition: an accountant, someone who works with numbers Examples: Our president is a good number-cruncher and understands the finances of our company. I am an artist, but my brother is a finance guy. He is more of a number-cruncher.   About Matt KrauseMatt began his...

Idiom: to scale back (something)

Definition: to reduce or cut Examples: When Ayşe had a baby, she scaled back her hours to just work part-time. Times are hard, and we are losing money. It is time to scale back our spending — we need to spend less.   About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional...

Idiom: a company town

Definition: a town dominated by one industry or company Examples: When the coal mine closed, the company town faced a severe economic crisis. I come from a company town, where one company owns everything — the stores, the banks, the houses, and everything else....

Raise the bar, and then break it down

Text of the speech: Raising the Bar on Yourself Raising the bar on yourself. What does that mean? Well, “to raise the bar” simply means, “to set a higher standard”. Raising the bar on yourself just means setting a higher standard for yourself. At first, it sounds...

Idiom: to run short

Definition: to not have enough (in quantity) Examples: At the factory, we ran short of an important part, and had to close the production line. They ran short of gasoline at the gas station and had to close early.   About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as...

Idiom: a bigwig

Definition: an important person, or a leader of the group Examples: When the company’s bigwigs came to visit the factory, we all had to change our work schedules to accomodate them. That guy is the head of Marketing, he is a real bigwig in the company.  If you...

Idiom: a dog-eat-dog world

Definition:  a cruel and aggressive world, where people only look out for themselves Examples: Your company fired you two days after you had a heart attack? Well, it’s certainly a dog-eat-dog world! Be wary of your other competitors, especially in this industry....

Idiom: to drum up business

Definition:  to create new business, to find new customers Examples: Sales have been very slow lately. Do you have any ideas for drumming up business? Our production capacity is too low to meet demand.  We don’t need more salespeople to drum up business, we need...

Idiom: brownie points

Definition: Credit for doing a good deed, or for giving someone a compliment (usually a boss, teacher, or other authority) Examples: When I told the boss his new suit was very handsome, the other employees laughed and said I was just trying to score brownie points....

Idiom: to throw cold water (on something)

Definition: to discourage, to remove hope Example: Steve wanted to expand the business into China, but his boss threw cold water on the idea, and told him to focus on the domestic business. I was eager to try our big new software system with the new customer, but they...

No one cares what you want

Should you put an objective on your CV, or not? Probably not. Here’s a typical objective: "A challenging managerial position in marketing at a growing FMCG company." What’s wrong with this statement? First, it’s about you, and what you want...

Idiom: to generate buzz

Definition: to get a lot of attention; to promote; to cause people to talk about a product or service Examples: Procter & Gamble’s new toothpaste was really popular, and people talked about it a lot. It generated a lot of buzz. Facebook is in the newspapers...

Idiom: to call the shots

Definition: to make the decisions, to be the leader Examples: In this office, Joe is officially the boss, but everyone actually listens to Sarah first. She’s the one who calls the shots. This group is so disorganized, I don’t even know who approves new...

Kill popular but empty words

These words are on almost every CV.  They are popular, and everyone thinks they should use them. But they are empty, and they say nothing about you.  Kill them, and replace them with something else: responsible for experienced excellent written communication...

Idiom: to take a nosedive

Definition: to collapse, fail, lose value quickly Examples: The stock market took a nosedive during the financial crisis. If we lose permission to sell this product, our earnings will take a nosedive and we might go bankrupt.   About Matt KrauseMatt began his...

Idiom: to hold the line

Definition: to maintain the existing opinion, position, or status; to resist Examples: The employees are resisting the changes.  We need to train our team managers how to hold the line regarding this restructuring plan. Our competition is attacking us hard on pricing,...

Idiom: to throw money at (something)

Definition: to try to solve a problem by spending money on something Examples: You can’t solve this problem simply by throwing money at it. You need to use imagination and brains and try new things. The president of our company really wants to solve this...

Idiom: to make a go of (something)

Definition: to produce good results, to succeed (especially with an experimental project) Examples: This project is difficult, but try it, and see if you can make a go of it. Although he works very hard in his business, he has been unable to make a go of it and may...

Idiom: to deliver the goods

Definition: to succeed, to get results, to complete a project successfully Examples: Sure, everyone likes him and he is fun to talk to, but can he produce results? Can he deliver the goods? I highly recommend Murat — if the job is difficult and really important,...

Idiom: to sell like hotcakes

Definition: to sell very quickly, to sell really well Examples: Children’s toys were selling like hotcakes at the end of the year. In the summer in Antalya, Efes pilsen beer sells like hotcakes.   About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import...

Idiom: to mean business

Definition: to be serious, to be determined Examples: Our boss means business when he tells everyone to work harder. Don’t mess with them, they are determined to win. They really mean business.   About Matt KrauseMatt began his professional life as an import...

Idiom: to cut corners

Definition: to economize, to take a short-cut, to reduce quality in order to save money Note: this idiom is usually negative — don’t use it when you want to express approval or support something Examples: During these hard times, we are tempted to cut...

Idiom: to bankroll someone (or something)

Definition:  to supply someone (or something) with money, to finance someone (or something) Examples: This new project will be very expensive.  We need to find someone to bankroll it. The movie actor bankrolled his son while the son was producing his first movie.  ...

Idiom: the bottom falls out (of something)

Definition: a collapse occurs, and a new low is reached Examples: Things were good at our company, until the founder died of a heart attack. Then, the bottom fell out of the company, and we all lost our jobs. When the bottom fell out of the coffee market many...

Idiom: to be in the running

Definition: to be a candidate, to be competing for something Examples: This is a very competitive bid. There are three very strong candidates in the running — our company, and two others. Only one of us will win. After the interview, I felt very confident. I...

Idiom: across the board

Definition: including everyone or everything Examples: Our company decided to raise all the salaries. It’s across the board — everyone will get a raise. Times are tough, and we need to cut expenses. All departments have to reduce expenses 10%. The...

Idiom: make or break moment

Definition: an important moment that decides whether you will succeed or fail Examples: Today’s presentation in front of the board is very important. It will decide whether they approve our project and we get promoted, or they kill our project and fire us. It is...

Idiom: meet and greet

Definition: a basic introductory meeting, often informal, where you meet a person (or people) for the first time Examples: This is a new customer, and we’ve never met them in person. Let’s schedule a short meet-and-greet, so we can introduce ourselves. We...

Idiom: low hanging fruit

Definition: things that are easy to do, and give quick results Examples: This project is really complicated.  It will take years to finish. Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit, so we get some benefits quickly, and feel like we are making progress. The new CEO...

Idiom: a cash cow

Definition: a source of a lot of cash; a big profit-maker Examples: That is one of our best products. It is a cash cow. If we killed it, this company would lose a lot of money. That industry is very unpopular, and people want the government to regulate it more. But...

Idiom: a can of worms

Definition: a complicated problem, a tangled mess of problems Examples: If we layoff a few employees, it opens a can of worms.  You fire a few people, then the media says your company is sick, then investors start to worry, and your customers call your competitors,...

Idiom: to push the envelope

Definition: to test the boundaries, to try something new Examples: Our company is very conservative. Every presentation is always the same. I am going to push the envelope, and completely change the normal format. I’m trying a new sales technique with this new...

Idiom: a rocky start

Definition: a difficult beginning, a rough start Examples: In the end, the project ended well — on time, and under budget. However, in the beginning, it had a rocky start — important employees quit, there was no clear direction, and there was no support...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Rules for Writing

People ask me all the time, "Matt, how can I write longer sentences," or "Matt, I want to use bigger words."  Then I ask them, "Why?"  You don’t write to impress other people with big sentences, or big words.  You...

Idiom: mom and pop

Definition: really small, family-owned, family-style, not corporate (it is an adjective) Examples: When I was a child, I lived in a small town. The only grocery store was a small mom-and-pop store. I never saw a large hypermarket until I was older. When he started...

Idiom: to play fast and loose

Definition: to act with no long-term plan, and break the rules, without thinking about ethics Examples: Enron was a fast-growing energy company in the USA, but they played fast and loose with their financial reporting. When the fraud was discovered, the company...

Idiom: by hook or by crook

Definition: to accomplish something using any method available, especially creative or unusual methods Examples: We have no money left in the training budget, but this course is important. We will sponsor the training, whatever it takes. We will do it by hook or by...

Idiom: to work out the kinks

Definition: to solve small problems, usually in a larger process Examples: Don’t worry about the small stuff yet. Let’s focus on the big picture, and we’ll work out the kinks later. Before you introduce a new product, be sure to work out the kinks....

Idiom: to beat a dead horse

Definition: to belabor a point; to insist on talking about something that cannot be changed Examples: My boss hated my idea, and he said “no” quickly. But I continued to argue with him, and push my idea. I finally stopped, because I was wasting my breath....

Idiom: to go through the roof

Definition: to grow rapidly, unexpectedly, excessively Examples: The new product was a really popular, worldwide hit. Our company’s sales went through the roof. This year, oil prices have gone up really high. Last year we thought they were already high, but now...

Idiom: to hit the roof

Definition: to be very surprised and angry, shocked Examples: Last month’s sales numbers are terrible. When the CEO sees these numbers, he is going to hit the roof. I didn’t expect the hotel bill to be so expensive. When I saw it, I just about hit the...

Idiom: when pigs fly

Definition: never, not a chance Examples: The company I work for is very tight with money. I asked for a raise, and my boss laughed and said, “When pigs fly!” I want to manage the sales department. However, my performance is not good, and no one likes me....

Idiom: to bite the bullet

Definition: to make a difficult or painful decision; to take a difficult step Examples: When demand was down, U.S. automakers had to bite the bullet and cut jobs. I know tonight’s football match is big, but we have to finish this sales presentation. We have to...

Idiom: to move mountains

Definition: to do something difficult; to do something impossible Examples: My boss asked me to save the failed project, but it was already too late, the project was completely dead. I told him sorry, but I can’t move mountains. Changing a company culture is...

Idiom: come hell or high water

Definition: regardless of difficulties or obstacles Examples: The market is in a big crisis, but we are determined to succeed. Come hell or high water, we will dominate the market. This project is really important. I have to finish it, no matter what happens. My boss...

Idiom: to stand on the sidelines

Definition: to not participate, to watch but not do Examples: Murat and Ahmet are having a big fight. I am going to stand on the sidelines, I am not going to get involved. The company is going through hard times. Get involved with the rescue, don’t just sit and...

Idiom: to turn the corner

Definition: to change (usually in a good way) Examples: Sales have been down for three years, but now they are increasing. I think we finally turned the corner. This ERP implementation has taken so long to finish, much longer than we expected. But I think we finally...

Idiom: light at the end of the tunnel

Definition: the end of bad times; good results coming from hard times Examples: It’s been really busy lately, and I am working 80 hours per week. But soon a slower time will come — I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. These production problems...

Idiom: to rack up (something)

Definition: to add up, to accumulate Examples: The shipping container is stuck in Customs. Every day it is delayed, the shipping company charges us money. We are really racking up a lot of demmurage charges. Don’t pay the invoices late. When an invoice is late,...

Idiom: the devil is in the details

Definition: the details are very complicated; things look nice on the surface, but the details are bad Examples: The new building looks nice, but the landlord might be trying to trick us. Read the contract carefully. The devil is in the details. I thought the...

Idiom: cold call

Definition: a sales call with no introduction; an unannounced sales visit Examples: I want to start selling to XYZ Company. However, I don’t know anyone there. I tried to get an introduction, but none of my friends know anyone, either. I will just have to give...

Idiom: to have or get a piece of the action

Definition: to have or get at least partial ownership of a project or business; to get benefits from a project Examples: My cousin’s business is growing really fast. He is looking for partners, and asked me if I’d like to join him. Of course, I said yes,...

Idiom: to leave someone hanging

Definition: to be uncertain, to be unsure Examples: My company announced future layoffs, but they didn’t tell us specifically who will be laid off. Will I keep my job, or will I lose my job? I don’t know, they left us hanging. This meeting is really...

Idiom: to pull the plug

Definition: to stop something, to discontinue something (usually because it is not doing well) Examples: The project was not going well, so we decided to pull the plug. Tomorrow is the final day. If sales don’t increase immediately, we have to pull the plug. The...

Idiom: to touch base

Definition: to meet briefly, especially to discuss progress Examples: Next week, I will be traveling in Europe. However, let’s touch base each day, so you can update me about the project. Your boss needs to hear from you. If you don’t already have a...

Idiom: to drop someone a line

Definition: to contact someone, to call or email someone (an informal, casual phrase) Examples: We are old friends, but we haven’t talked in three years. I will drop her a line to say hello. When you are finished at the meeting, drop me a line, so we can discuss...

Idiom: to be as clear as day

Definition: to be obvious, straight-forward Examples: I trained Murat on the new procedure. He thinks it is difficult, but I think it is extremely simple, as clear as day. The boss loves him, and every year they give him more responsibility, and more money. I think it...

Idiom: water under the bridge

Definition: something in the past; something that is over, finished, forgotten Examples: We had a big fight last year, but we are good friends again. I don’t even remember what the fight was about — it is water under the bridge. I made a huge mistake last...

Idiom: to cut a deal

Definition: to make a deal, to negotiate a settlement, to make a compromise Examples: We’ve been negotiating for months. It is time to end this. Let’s cut a deal and be finished. I don’t know why they chose our competitor. He must have cut an amazing...

Idiom: to be hard-nosed

Definition: to be stubborn, to be tough, unwilling to compromise Examples: My boss refused to let me take vacation in July. He said absolutely not. I tried to persuade him, but he was really hard-nosed. This customer is a really tough negotiator. They are really...

Idiom: to make a mountain out of a molehill

Definition: to overestimate the importance of something; to take something small, and make it more important than it needs to be Examples: Yes, she made a mistake. But it’s really not that big. When you say we should fire her, I think you are making a mountain...

Idiom: to take five

Definition: to take a short break, to rest for a short time Examples: We’ve been working really hard this morning. Let’s take five, and then meet again at 11:00. It’s been a rough day. You need to rest. Take five and go to Starbucks for some coffee....

Idiom: big fish in a small pond

Definition: to be important or famous, but in a small group (note: this is not a positive idiom — if you tell someone they are a big fish in a small pond, they will get angry at you!) Examples: I am a top manager at this company, but the company is really small....