by Terry Gault of The Henderson Group

Hannah Fry, who delivers a very amusing, charming and useful TED Talk on “The mathematics of love”, used Prezi to remarkable effect in illustrating her talk titled:”Top Three Mathematically Verifiable Tips for Finding Love.”

One point she makes that would give singletons who, like me are not considered inherently ‘hot’, hope: Being attractive does not directly correlate to getting dates and being known as ‘ugly’ by some can even work in your favor.


You can view her Prezi only, if you like, here:

You can learn how to make a remarkable Prezi with The Henderson Group’s Art of Prezi workshop

Check our Workshop Schedule here.


People with high emotional intelligence tend to do better at work. So what habits do they have that set them apart?

It has increasingly become accepted that emotional intelligence is an important factor in our success and happiness, not only at work, but in our relationships and all areas of our lives.

So what sets emotionally intelligent people apart? Here are seven habits that people with high EI have:

1. They Focus on the Positive

While not ignoring the bad news, emotionally intelligent people have made a conscious decision to not spend a lot of time and energy focusing on problems. Rather, they look at what is positive in a situation and look for solutions to a problem. These people focus on what they are able to do and that which is within their control.

2. They Surround Themselves with Positive People

People with a lot of emotional intelligence don’t spend a lot of time listening to complainers and tend to avoid negative people. They are aware negative people are an energy drain and are not willing to let others exhaust their vitality. Because they always look for solutions and the positive in situations, negative people quickly learn to avoid positive people as misery loves company.

Emotionally intelligent people spend time with others that are positive and look upon the bright side of life. You can spot these folks as they tend to smile and laugh a great deal and attract other positive people. Their warmth, openness, and caring attitude leads others look upon them as more trustworthy.

3. They Are Able to Set Boundaries and Be Assertive When Necessary

Although their friendly, open nature may make them appear as pushovers to some, people with high EI are able to set boundaries and assert themselves when needed. They demonstrate politeness and consideration but stay firm at the same time.

They do not make needless enemies. Their response to situations, in which there may be conflict, is measured, not inflated, and managed appropriately to the situation. They think before speaking and give themselves time to calm down if their emotions appear to become overwhelming. High EI people guard their time and commitments and know when they need to say no.

Continued at>>

photo credit: purple sherbert photography


by Terry Gault of The Henderson Group

It turns out that you are FAR more likely to make good decisions (or even make them at all) early in the day and just after lunch.

I came across this piece recently but it was published in The New York Times Magazine back in August 2011.

The piece opens with a story about 3 Israeli prisoners with similar situations who were appearing before a parole board.

The study reveals that:

“Prisoners who appeared early in the morning received parole about 70 percent of the time, while those who appeared late in the day were paroled less than 10 percent of the time.”

This is due to the fact that humans experience “decision fatigue” when called upon to make multiple decisions throughout the day. Each decision we make tends to draw down on our decision-making capability:

… experiments demonstrated that there is a finite store of mental energy for exerting self-control. When people fended off the temptation to scarf down M&M’s or freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies, they were then less able to resist other temptations. When they forced themselves to remain stoic during a tearjerker movie, afterward they gave up more quickly on lab tasks requiring self-discipline, like working on a geometry puzzle or squeezing a hand-grip exerciser. Willpower turned out to be more than a folk concept or a metaphor. It really was a form of mental energy that could be exhausted.

This situation is further exacerbated by the fact that modern corporate employees are called upon to make more and more decisions all the time. For example, deciding to read or skip over an email or tweet requires a decision. And the more decisions we have to make, the more we are drawing down on our decision bank account. By the end of the day, this bank account can be depleted and we tend to make compromised decisions or avoid them altogether.

Yet few people are even aware of it, and researchers are only beginning to understand why it happens and how to counteract it.

Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue — you’re not consciously aware of being tired — but you’re low on mental energy. The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways. One shortcut is to become reckless: to act impulsively instead of expending the energy to first think through the consequences. (Sure, tweet that photo! What could go wrong?) The other shortcut is the ultimate energy saver: do nothing. Instead of agonizing over decisions, avoid any choice. Ducking a decision often creates bigger problems in the long run, but for the moment, it eases the mental strain. You start to resist any change, any potentially risky move — like releasing a prisoner who might commit a crime. So the fatigued judge on a parole board takes the easy way out, and the prisoner keeps doing time.

The piece goes on to make the point that the brain requires glucose to function effectively.

The brain, like the rest of the body, derived energy from glucose, the simple sugar manufactured from all kinds of foods.

Experiments revealed:

The benefits of glucose were unmistakable in the study of the Israeli parole board. In midmorning, usually a little before 10:30, the parole board would take a break, and the judges would be served a sandwich and a piece of fruit. The prisoners who appeared just before the break had only about a 20 percent chance of getting parole, but the ones appearing right after had around a 65 percent chance. The odds dropped again as the morning wore on, and prisoners really didn’t want to appear just before lunch: the chance of getting parole at that time was only 10 percent. After lunch it soared up to 60 percent, but only briefly.

What are the takeaways?

  1. Schedule key meetings early or just after lunch.
  2. Work on crafting presentations or preparing for critical conversations early or just after lunch.
  3. Avoid making important decisions late in the morning or more than 60 – 90 minutes after lunch.
  4. Don’t eat sugary treats when you know that your glucose levels are low. Eat foods with protein and/or complex carbohydrates instead.
  5. This fits under the heading of “Terry’s Speculations” but I’ll add it anyway:
    Identify, document, and review regularly your goals and commitments. These help you remember what’s important when making decisions. In a sense, you are making decisions beforehand and are more likely to make decisions that align with your goals and commitments especially when your glucose levels are depleted.
  6. While it may not always be possible to follow these guidelines, simply being aware that Decision Fatigue is compromising your decision-making effectiveness may help you to avoid a major fail.

photo credit: Daniel Oines


Art of Prezi with Terry Gault in San Francisco, CA.

Prezi is quickly becoming the preferred alternative to stale and tedious slide-based presentation media.

Why? Because Prezi empowers users to seamlessly combine text, visuals, audio and video into a communication media that is more powerful, memorable, and dynamic than slides.

In addition, Prezi’s unique capability for users to employ movement, spacial relationship, and ‘big picture’ storytelling in a way that makes the message far more ‘sticky’ and easier to understand than slides.

In fact, a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal raises the possibility that slide-based presentations—and the difficulty people have remembering them—contributed to General Motors’ recent recall disaster.

Because of Prezi’s unique almost-cinematic capabilities, it also requires a new and different mindset than traditional slide-based media: one that is more holistic than simply repurposing old slides into a new ‘deck’.

You must begin by answering one key question: “What is my underlying message?” We call it the “Main Takeaway Sentence.” If you ask an audience member, “What did you take away from the presentation?” the hope is that they would reply with your Main Takeaway Sentence or a reasonable facsimile.

Then you need to ask: “What is the Central Theme of my presentation?” You will be confronted with that question because your message overview needs to express that theme visually in a Big Picture way that is not possible with slide-based media.

The Central Theme generally flows form a story or metaphor that illustrates your message in a way that captures and intrigues an audience.

Hence, you cannot begin to build your prezi without these key questions being answered. For all these reasons, building a great prezi require a greater investment of time and a better-rounded skillset which will generate radically improved results. TED got the power of Prezi early and invested in Prezi back in 2009.

In Art of Prezi, participants will learn how to:

  • Use Prezi’s capabilities to deliver compelling, highly memorable, and sticky messages.
  • Craft prezis that illustrate a key Main Takeaway Sentence through the seamless use of text, visuals, audio and video.
  • Author and deliver compelling stories that succinctly illustrate the value of their solutions or ideas.
  • Fashion a visually striking Central Theme that communicates your message on multiple levels.
  • Increase audience attention span and retention.
  • Structure presentations for maximum impact.
  • Deliver a prezi in front of an audience with power and Executive Presence.

About The Instructor: Terry Gault
As an early Prezilian and a recognized expert in communication and media, Terry Gault is uniquely qualified to lead this workshop.

Having joined the Henderson Group in 1997 he has trained thousands of professionals at Prezi (Yes, they are a client), GE, Oracle, eBay,, Charles Schwab, and other organizations both large and small. Terry has been responsible for delivery of all services at the Henderson Group since 2003.

He is also CEO and Artistic Director of a video production company.‘s message is: “We illustrate your complex solution in a simple, fun way so that anyone can understand it in 3 minutes or less.” Terry’s experience and success in coaching and video production flows from his 35-year career in film, television, radio and the theater as an actor, writer, teacher, director, and producer.

For more information please contact Chuck Kuglen at 415-292-7587

or leave us a message below, and we will contact you.


by Terry Gault of The Henderson Group

Have you ever had this experience?
You are standing in front of a group of important people.
  1. Your boss or important client or friend averts their gaze when you speak to them.
  2. You notice that someone is typing on their their smart phone while you are speaking.
  3. There’s a lot of ambient noise from the group: coughing or shifting of chairs.
When things like this happen, our brain is programmed to make up stories about what it means.  Such as:
  1. The boss / client / friend looking away means they disapprove of what we are doing at the moment.
  2. The person on the phone is bored by us and our talk.
  3. You are losing our audience.  They are getting restless.  You are failing.

First, there is nothing wrong with you if this is happening to you.  You are simply doing what human beings do.  We observe data.  Then we interpret it.  We make up a story about it.  We can’t help it.  It’s just what our brains do.

The problem is this – we treat our stories as if they are true instead of treating them as what they are – just thoughts.

Psychologists refer to metacognition which simply means an awareness of one’s own thoughts, or literally, thoughts about thoughts.

Our relationship with our thoughts makes a HUGE difference in how we represent ourselves in high stakes conversations.  In fact, I’d go as far as to say that if you master your awareness of your thoughts, you will master your relationship with fear – certainly the fear of public speaking.

Listening to KQED last week in my car, I heard an amazing program about thoughts on Invisibilia.  In fact, it was the debut of the show on KQED.

The show was so riveting that I pulled out my phone and logged into the KQED app because I didn’t want to miss the conclusion.  I’d arrived at home and wanted to catch the rest of the show heading into the house.

The show tells the remarkable story of two men whose thoughts COULD have ruined their lives.  Instead, they practiced metacognition and changed the story about their thoughts.  In so doing, they both ascended from the dark, hellish cave of their thoughts into a bright life filled with love and possibility.


photo credit: mkismkismk



by Chuck Kuglen of The Henderson Group

I’ve been speaking with (and hopefully soon working with) a newer vendor in the market who uses some interesting call recording technology in their solution. If you’ve ever done any work with The Henderson Group, you’ve probably heard one of us talk about “verbal filler” (in presentation, demo, sales – various components of how you represent yourself). And we too record virtually everything we teach and coach too.

This technology records conversations so it’s perfect for any lead-generative, conversational work. We find that, by recording word for word in video or transcriptions, you get very interesting input about how we all (can) minimize or maximize our conversations.

Filler Word White Paper – April 2015 (click to view and/or download PDF)

On average, reps used more than four filler words per minute. In fact, filler words were used three times more than the most important keyword. That’s lots of umming.

We often use filler words in everyday speech, but using them excessively in a sales call is dangerous. Why?

• Filler words signify you’re in trouble and make you sound less confident

• Filler words disrupt the flow of the conversation and stop you from hearing the other person

• Filler words distract your prospect, especially when they’re overused


by Terry Gault of The Henderson Group

Vocal fry is an issue that I run into often in my work.

My take is that those who use it (typically females) are:

  • Unknowingly undermining their power, authority and credibility,
  • Unconsciously mimicking the behaviors of those around them in order to fit in.

And there are plenty of people (actresses, celebrities, coworkers, etc.) in our purview that are modeling vocal fry. But just because something is ubiquitous, that doesn’t make it a good idea.

The following piece from Mental Floss discussed the phenomena in more depth and includes a terrific video featuring American actress, comedian, radio host, and television personality Faith Salie.

Salie sums up vocal fry beautifully at the end:

“It sounds underwhelmed and disengaged. It’s annoying to listen to a young woman who sounds world-weary — and exactly like her 14 best friends.”

You may have heard of the hot new linguistic fad that’s creeping into U.S. speech and undermining your job chances. Or maybe you know it as the debilitating speaking disorder afflicting North American women or the verbal tic of doom. It’s called vocal fry, and it’s the latest “uptalk” or “valleyspeak,” AKA the “ditzy girl” speaking style that people love to hate.

Unlike uptalk, which is a rising intonation pattern, or valleyspeak, which covers a general grab bag of linguistic features, including vocabulary, vocal fry describes a specific sound quality caused by the movement of the vocal folds. In regular speaking mode, the vocal folds rapidly vibrate between a more open and more closed position as the air passes through. In vocal fry, the vocal folds are shortened and slack so they close together completely and pop back open, with a little jitter, as the air comes through. That popping, jittery effect gives it a characteristic sizzling or frying sound. (I haven’t been able to establish that that’s how fry got its name, but that’s the story you hear most often.)

Vocal fry, which has also been called creaky voice, laryngealization, glottal fry, glottal scrape, click, pulse register, and Strohbass (straw bass), has been discussed in musical and clinical literature since at least the middle of the 20th century. It is a technique (not necessarily encouraged) that lets a singer go to a lower pitch than they would otherwise be capable of. It shows up with some medical conditions affecting the voice box. It is also an important feature in some languages, like Zapotec Mayan, where fry can mark the distinction between two different vowels. These days, however, you mostly hear about it as a social phenomenon, as described (and decried) as “the way a Kardashian speaks” in this video by Faith Salie.

Continued >>

photo credit: manduhsaurus