This video is about 4 different types of audience that you can face as a speaker and how to adjust your objectives and manner of engagement to each of these distinct audience groups.

The 4 Types of Audience

There are four types of audience, and consequent persuasive strategy that you can come upon when you are seeking to move a group to action through your speech.

  1. Friendly. Your purpose: reinforcing their beliefs.
  2. Apathetic. Your purpose is to first to convince them that it matters for them.
  3. Uninformed.  Your requirement is to educate before you can begin to propose a course of action.
  4. Hostile. You purpose is to respect them and their viewpoint. The most you may be able to gain is respect to listen to your views. It is key that you can present some information that is viewed as new to the audience before asking for any change in their position.  This is firstly courteous, but also gives the listener’s ego room to change without feeling demeaned (“based on this new information, I ask you to change”)

Dealing with a Hostile Audience

Specific Actions for Hostile Audiences

When providing new information it is vital that you help the listeners “assimilate”.  How can you make it real for them?  There are a number of techniques to bear in mind.

  • Use stories (ideally real stories), metaphors, hypothetical situations
  • Stress common ground
  • Present statistics/data that is clear to conclude from
  • Address conflicting evidence (what are the strengths and weaknesses of the conflicting evidence)
  • AVOID exaggeration or gross hyperbole.  The use of exaggeration in a number of areas of public debate has caused extreme entrenchment of the opposing sides. eg. abortion, climate change. The persuasive speaker works hard to keep to the facts and be clear about the logic of the proposed course of action.

In the Photo above is Professor Nuria Mas presenting the Global Economic Outlook for the next 30 years during the IESE EMBA Alumni reunion at IESE Business School.  Nuria is a wonderful Economics professor at IESE Business School and is also a key member of the Advisory Board of the Bank of Spain.

I wrote down my summary points as she shared the economic data and outlook.

The 3 Safest Places to Be in the West…

The 3 “least likely to disappear” high income jobs are: Doctor, Dentist and CEO.  The key lesson for each individual reading this is to develop in 2 specific areas to improve your quality of life:

  1. Your Technical Skills (be good at something digital) and
  2. Your Adaptability to Change (change yourself before it becomes necessary)

Globalisation is not the cause of job insecurity.

Technology and automation are the major causes of job losses and job insecurity.

Lets look at how the world economy is in 2018 and what changes we will see over the next three decades.

All Significant Economic Growth will be in China and India over next 30 years

US and Europe are going from half of world GDP today to quarter by 2045; China and India will grow to represent almost 50% of World GDP by 2045.

There are 9000 “net new babies” born every hour (I think the actual figures were 15K births and 6K deaths per hour). Most net population growth is in Asia. 

The World GDP “center of gravity” is moving East… it will be located between India and China by 2045.

World Leaders are Scared of Two Things

The biggest likelihood & impact (can damage people & institutions) major events are climate events, and cyberattacks. This data is based on a question asked to attendees at Davos this year. This is what senior politicians, global business leaders are concerned about.

Western Middle Classes are the only major Population Segment without Economic Growth

Major job losses are on the middle income jobs.  The western middle classes are the only major population category that has seen no improvement in GDP per capital over last 30 years; most poor grew 17%, 50 percentile grew 76%, richest 1% grew 65%.  Western middle classes have seen no growth in average GDP per capita since 1990s.

The USA is the first ever nation with increasing GDP combined with reducing life expectancy- the major reductions in life expectancy are in “white 45-55 years old”.

It is not globalization but technology (job automation) that is leading to the loss of middle class jobs in advanced societies.

While official Debts are Huge, Off Balance Sheet Debts are Massive

USA, Japan, Germany have lots of debt; but they owe most of it to themselves. Spain owes 86% of its debt to foreigners. Ireland’s total debt is 7x it’s GDP and it owes lots to foreigners.

Unfunded liabilities are huge in western economies. This is predominantly pensions that are paid out of current taxes.  In most advanced western economies, unfunded liabilities are 2 to 5 times greater than oficial government debt.

Money supply has multiplied by 5 since the 2008 financial crisis. There is a lot of dollar bills and sterling out there than needs to be pulled back in by the central banks.  

Your Job is Going to be Automated

Unless you are a Doctor, a dentist or a CEO (top left on the graphic below), your job is at risk of automation.  Also safe: therapists, athletic coaches, priests, editors, firefighters, and actors.  Very risky: telemarketers and accountants.

With all of this negative economic news, you’d think we are in a bad place.  Not at all.  From a health point of view, we have never had it so good.  Life expectancy has doubled since 1800.  This chart is from the Our World in Data website.

What will this mean for you, your business, your children, your education?  The standard life of school til 21, work til 65 and then retire to the golf course til 75 is over.  Education and change must be continuous over your life. You will have major career changes every decade (if not by choice, it will come from the outside).

What do you need to learn this year?  What do you need to stop doing?  What do you need to automate in your job?  Who do you need on your team of advisors?  Do you have Chinese and Indian leaders in your network?  

The 3rd Edition of TEDxIESEBarcelona is on today.  Here’s the agenda, a link to the livestream and a playlist of previous talks. (If you can see the embedded viewer via email, check it out here on the blog).

The Event has Finished.  I will share the videos here when they become available.


The Agenda for 7 April 2018

Talks from Previous TEDxIESEBarcelona

While you are waiting for the livestream to start today at 15:00 CET, you can check out some of the 19 previous talks on the stage of the Aula Magna at IESE Business School in Barcelona.

Some Tweets from #TEDxIESEBarcelona


This was the video script that I was developing for this week, but a lack of sleep and energy left me feeling zero credible to make this video.  

What is the good life?

The good life is choosing to go beyond mere survival.  Survival comes in the genes.  We are automated to eat, breath and procreate.  This is not living the good life.

The good life is a daily intentional choice to flourish.  We can develop to the full the best of our strengths and bring the worst of our weaknesses under disciplined control.

The ABCs of living the Good Life:

  • Action towards your strongest values (Productivity) make progress towards important things; Eisenhower’s matrix
  • Belief. Give your life away… chosen sacrifice-Sense of purpose (contribution, give your life away… can’t “save” your hours, must invest). The test of value: you get paid. Paid doesn’t guarantee value, but free is idealistic… and idealists will kill us all.
  • Curiosity – Life long learning (always curious, painful feedback) be better today than yesterday, be better tomorrow than today
  • Discipline over your poorer habits
  • Energy. Health (Imagine you had 1 car all your life… how would you take care of it? that is your body…)
  • Friends (top 20… when was last you spoke?) inner circle… better a shack with someone who loves you than a mansion with those that use you

What are your thoughts?  Should I make this as a video?  What questions do you have about the 6 areas?

PS The video that I ended up making this week was all about an excuse that I was using that was taking me away from any sort of good life.  I was being reactive and enjoying the feeling of victim of poor sleep and blaming others.  Not a pretty place.

The Top 6 Reasons why Leaders Seek Coaching

  1. Creating a 90-day plan
  2. Navigating Organization politics identifying tactics to deal with “politics”
  3. Managing work and life priorities achieving a workable “balance”
  4. Developing a strategy to grow your leadership presence
  5. Accelerating momentum in your current role
  6. Clarify goals and pinpoint how to achieve them

I’m in Dublin at my parent’s house. Sunday morning, out for a run before a mother’s day lunch with my family. I love to run the south Dublin country lanes up to the ruined Tully Church.

Tully Church and Graveyard

“Old Tully Church lies abandoned in a now overgrown patch of land in the old Town land of Lehaunestown. It is reputed to be dedicated to St. Bridget, which would date the original structure between the 6th and 9th centuries. The Nave itself dates back to the 13th century. In 1179 the Church was granted to The Priory of The Holy Spirit and remained in use until the mid 1600’s when it subsequently fell into ruin.” from Tully Church, Ireland in Ruins

As I stood in the graveyard of this ancient ruin, I reflected on the lives lived and ended buried in this field.  What did these lives mean?  What did they leave behind?  What can any of us leave behind?

My answer is heavily inspired by the work of Tolstoy: The Death of Ivan Ilyich.  Rather than explain the story, I would recommend you go read it.

The Hedgehog Parable

In the video, I share the parable of the hedgehog, sourced from Schopenhauer.

The “hedgehog in the cold” concept originates in the following parable from the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer’s Parerga und Paralipomena.

“A number of porcupines huddled together for warmth on a cold day in winter; but, as they began to prick one another with their quills, they were obliged to disperse. However the cold drove them together again, when just the same thing happened. At last, after many turns of huddling and dispersing, they discovered that they would be best off by remaining at a little distance from one another. In the same way the need of society drives the human porcupines together, only to be mutually repelled by the many prickly and disagreeable qualities of their nature. The moderate distance which they at last discover to be the only tolerable condition of intercourse, is the code of politeness and fine manners; and those who transgress it are roughly told—in the English phrase—to keep their distance. By this arrangement the mutual need of warmth is only very moderately satisfied; but then people do not get pricked. A man who has some heat in himself prefers to remain outside, where he will neither prick other people nor get pricked himself.” Schopenhauer

Photo credit: By InfomatiqueOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

This is a wide ranging collaborative video with Rich Mulholland and Seb Lora, two friends and great YouTubers.

We talk about making videos, living as a paid speaker, how to become a well paid expert, how to make powerful engaging videos… and enjoy an afternoon hanging out in Barcelona.

We spoke about AIDA as a model for engagement in speeches and for making videos:

  1. Attention
  2. Interest
  3. Desire
  4. Action

We spoke about how to go from local to global bookings as a paid speaker for companies and for events.

You should check out Rich & Seb’s channels:


One of my posts over at LinkedIn “11 Differences between Busy People and Productive People” was turned into a cool infographic by an author at Inc Magazines blog.  Given that it has horses and unicorns on it, I wanted to share it here.

Thanks Inc 😉

Check out the article over at Inc: The Differences between Busy and Productive People