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Think Faster, Talk Smarter

How to Speak Successfully When You're Put on the Spot


About The Book

Develop the life-changing ability to excel in spontaneous communication situations—from public speaking to interviewing to networking—with these essential strategies from a Stanford lecturer, coach, and host of the popular Think Fast, Talk Smart The Podcast.

“A roadmap to mastering the art of thinking quickly and speaking confidently, this is the perfect book for…anyone else who talks.” —Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit, Smarter Faster Better and Supercommunicators

Many of us dread having to convey our ideas to others, often feeling ill-equipped, anxious, and awkward. Public speaking experts help by focusing on planned communication experiences such as slide presentations, pitches, or formal talks. Yet, most of our professional and personal communication occurs in spontaneous situations that creep up on us and all too often leave us flustered and stumbling for words. How can we rise to the occasion and shine when we’re put on the spot?

In Think Faster, Talk Smarter, Stanford lecturer, podcast host, and communication expert Matt Abrahams provides tangible, actionable skills to help even the most anxious of speakers succeed when speaking spontaneously. Abrahams provides science-based strategies for managing anxiety, responding to the mood of the room, and making content concise, relevant, compelling, and memorable. Drawing on stories from his clients and students, he offers best practices for navigating Q&A sessions, shining in job interviews, providing effective feedback, making small talk, fixing faux pas, persuading others, and handling other impromptu speaking tasks.

Whether it’s a prospective client asking you an unexpected question during a meeting or all eyes turning to you at a dinner party, you’ll know how to navigate the situation like a pro and bring out your very best. Think Faster, Talk Smarter is an accessible guide to communication that will help you master new techniques in no time.

About The Author

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Matt Abrahams is a leading expert in communication with decades of experience as an educator, author, podcast host, and coach. As a Lecturer in Organizational Behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, he teaches popular classes in strategic communication and effective virtual presenting. He received Stanford GSB’s Alumni Teaching Award in recognition of his teaching students around the world. When he isn’t teaching, Matt is a sought-after keynote speaker and communication consultant. He has helped countless presenters improve and hone their communication, including some who have delivered IPO road shows as well as TED, World Economic Forum, and Nobel Prize presentations. His online talks garner millions of views and he hosts the popular, award-winning podcast Think Fast, Talk Smart The Podcast. His previous book Speaking Up without Freaking Out: 50 Techniques for Confident and Compelling Presenting has helped thousands of people manage speaking anxiety and present more confidently and authentically.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon Element/Simon Acumen (September 26, 2023)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668010303

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Raves and Reviews

"An important part of leadership is being able to communicate effectively. People are frequently in meetings with others where they need to persuade those others. Being able to think on one's feet and make a positive impression through what we say is essential. I highly recommend Abrahams' book." Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stanford GSB Professor and author of The 7 Rules of Power

"Getting to sit in a classroom with Matt you quickly see why his course is one of the most popular on campus. It's a mini laboratory with constant experiments being conducted by students to see what works and what doesn't for each of them. And you're in luck... he's boiled down years of classes, thousands of hours of these experiments and created a clear, actionable six-step methodology with a set of frameworks for spontaneous situations to help anyone become more confident speaking in the moment. This is a must read for anyone who has to speak in public. Well that's everyone. So just do yourself a favor and get the book already."

—Anthony Veneziale, Co-Founder Freestyle Love Supreme and freestyle+, TED Speaker, Grammy Nominee and Tony Award Winner

“You can learn to navigate nearly any conversation with Think Faster, Talk Smarter. This concise guide offers science-based strategies for managing anxiety and delivering impactful, impromptu responses in any situation, from job interviews to those questions you get at the most unexpected moments. Abrahams' real-life examples and actionable tips provide a roadmap to mastering the art of thinking quickly and speaking confidently, and this is the perfect book for professionals, teachers, parents - or anyone else who talks.”

—Charles Duhigg, best-selling author of The Power of Habit, Smarter Faster Better and Supercommunicators

"Matt Abrahams has a gift for making complex concepts easy to understand and simple to enact. If you’ve ever struggled to summon the right words at the right time, this book is an essential read.” —Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of To Sell is Human, Drive, and The Power of Regret

Think Faster, Talk Smarter is just the book you need to improve at spontaneous speaking. Grounded in careful research and informed by Abrahams' many years teaching communication skills to Stanford MBAs, this book is filled with useful advice.” —Katy Milkman author of How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Choiceology podcast host

“We read the book and now we're furiously fast, shockingly smart. Matt blends wit with wisdom, science-backed strategies with actionable insights, empowering us all to communicate with greater confidence and connection. Plus, it's a joy to read.” —Jennifer Aacker and Naomi Bagdonas, authors of Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life (And how anyone can harness it. Even you.)

"Matt’s understanding of human interaction is exceptional. His tools for thinking quickly and speaking clearly are indispensable for anyone, even in our modern texting world. His easy-to-understand approach helps anyone to become a better “in-the-moment” communicator." —Tony Fadell, Nest founder, iPod inventor, New York Times Bestselling Author of Build

"Matt's ideas and insights in Think Faster, Talk Smarter are priceless. I spent my life working in front of a television camera but would get nervous speaking in front of a live crowd. That would shock people since millions saw me every day – but of course, I didn’t see them. It took me years to conquer my nerves and feel comfortable and confident speaking in front of a live audience. Matt makes it easy with his focus on the connection over perfection. His specific examples in the book provide a clear roadmap to help you be your best self when under pressure." —Joan Lunden, Journalist, Author, Keynote Speaker, and Television Host

"Think Faster, Talk Smarter serves as a gold standard for communication best practices. Matt’s six step approach to speaking confidently and clearly in spontaneous situations helps calm the nervous system so you can focus on what matters: creating connection with those around you and responding in the moment. If you struggle with any type of communication, this book is for you." —David Eagleman, Neuroscientist, Author, Technologist, Entrepreneur, and host of the "Inner Cosmos with David Eagleman" podcast

"With this enormously practical book, Matt Abrahams demonstrates why he is the world's go-to communication coach. His ideas for spontaneous speaking will help you build trust, influence your organization, and empower everyone around you." —Frances Frei author of Unleashed and Move Fast and Fix Things: The Trusted Leader’s Guide to Solving Hard Problems and host of The Fixable podcast.

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