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Why Should You Read Practical Eloquence?

Maybe you shouldn’t. You’ve got a lot of demands on your attention, so you should get a return from taking a little time out of your life to read what I write. Everyone has different reasons for doing things, but here are a few that might work for you:

If you’re already a leader:

  • You are looking for ideas, approaches and techniques to get the best thinking and best efforts out of your subordinates.
  • You want to drive real change through your organization, advice and know it won’t happen just because you say so.
  • You don’t want to rely on authority alone to get things done.

If you’re not yet in a position of authority:

  • You want to exert influence above your pay grade.
  • You have good ideas but know that they don’t sell themselves.
  • You want to stand out in a world of information overload.
  • You’ve endured enough sleep-inducing presentations and don’t want to be part of the problem.

If you’re in sales:

  • You want to create maximum value (for both sides) out of customer relationships
  • You know the competition is getting more intense every day,  and you’ve bumped against the limits of simply working harder

In your personal life:

  • You care about improving yourself and your condition in life and not just getting through every day in the same old way
  • You want to enhance the quality of your relationships

OK, so what makes this blog different?

Practical Eloquence is comprehensive. There are already a lot of excellent blogs that cover presentation skills, sales, and interpersonal communication, but we cover a wide range of topics dealing with persuasive communications in one spot, including:

  • Sales
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Teaching and facilitating
  • Presentations
  • Public speaking
  • Clear thinking
  • Negotiations

Besides making it more efficient, the cross-pollination of ideas from these different fields will make for greater effectiveness. For example, I believe teachers and salespeople can profit from each others’ experiences, and social psychologists and speakers each work in laboratories that yield useful lessons.

Second, my blog will be solidly grounded in research and evidence. I respect the scientific method; at the same time I hope my thirty-plus years of sales experience and twenty years teaching and studying in the persuasive communications field provide a useful filter and reality check for ideas that work well in the lab but might not apply in real life, but you shouldn’t just take my word for it. The study of persuasion has been around for over 2,000 years, but recent work in neuropsychology and behavioral economics is beginning to provide fascinating insights that are proving useful in the field as well, and in some cases showing where “conventional wisdom” is just plain wrong.

Why Am I Writing This Blog?

For entirely selfish reasons, of course. There are three:

First is the blatantly commercial reason. Assuming people like to read it, it’s a great way to stay “top of mind” with people I’ve worked with in the past and to meet new people who may consider engaging my services for training or coaching.

Second, it will make me a better trainer and coach. The amount of reading required and the discipline of putting my thoughts down in writing helps me sharpen my ideas and their expression. I’m also hoping to learn a lot from your comments about my posts.

Finally, I occasionally hear from former students about a positive difference I’ve made in their lives or their careers, and I can feed emotionally off every one of those for at least a few days. I’m hoping that some of the ideas will make a difference to you, dear reader, and that you might deign to let me know once in a while.

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3 Comments
  • Shannon,

    It’s very kind of you to say that, and knowing I made a difference is one of reasons I love doing what I do.

    By the way, you left the first official comment on this blog, so congratulations and thank you!

  • Jack, great start to the blog. I really liked this post, as well as the others. You have a lot that needs to be said and heard, this is a great way to contribute to business professionals around the world. You’re in my reader now, look forward to future posts. Regards, Dave!

  • Shannon Matwiyoff

    Dear Jack,

    I enjoyed your videos I found through John Spence’s site on presentations. I have also NEVER forgotten the networking workshop I attended that you led at Abbott several years back (~5-7?). Excellent demonstration of the impact you left on others! I hope to read and learn more from this site on what you described….Practical Eloquence! Thanks and I’ll share your site with my colleagues.

    Best regards,

    Shannon Matwiyoff

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