I had the pleasure of being on the Perspectives by Humand Podcast with Erika Giorgana the following excerpt describes my approach to communication.

 Erika Giorgana, Humand —

Most discussions of communication and business focus on developing skills, yes? But you have a very different approach. Can you share with our audience a little bit about that?

David —

Yes, of course. There is a level at which we are innately and naturally skilled as communicators. My experience is that we are naturally gifted as communicators until something happens in here [points at head]. A thought comes along, which gets in the way of that communication. That thought isn’t there when they are arguing with their friends about sports, or politics. It’s not there when we are telling someone how much we love them. But it comes along when people get up in front of a group, or senior leaders.

I came out of the theater world 30 years ago into the world of business doing presentation skills training. I'd come from a world where it was a joyful experience to be given the opportunity to communicate with my fellow performers and then engage with an audience and have them feel and see things that weren't there - and to be moved and touched and inspired by that. 

And then the guy who became our first business mentor said “There's this thing called presentations David, and people are not very good at presentations. You guys in theater know something about communication, so come and teach us about presentation skills.”

We didn't even know at the time what presentation skills were. But naively, you know, we showed up in these workshops saying, “Hey, ain't communication great folks? Isn't it really fun? Isn't it really creative? Isn't it really playful when somebody suggests an idea and you build on it?”

And our participants they're like: “No, no, David, you, you must understand that there's this thing called The Book of Lists. And in the list of people's greatest fears, number one is speaking in front of a group. Number two is death. Number three is getting cancer. So, that's what presentations are really like, David!”

And the essence of what I am saying is that the mind is the problem in our communication. That thought that this is difficult and alien - and we need skills to overcome the fear and anxiety we have. Skills can’t change that mind. As opposed to the mind that says “I want to share something. I want to engage people in conversation. I want to co-create with my audience something powerful - as opposed to try and influence them and persuade them and overcome them.”