040: Nick Morgan - On Authenticity in a Conventional World


Welcome back! Season 2 of This Moved Me is starting with a bang - and I'm thrilled to be back at it. Summer was lovely (and long, these past two weeks, waiting for school to start, love you kiddos). And I'm pumped to begin this season with none other than Nick Morgan - CEO and Founder of Public Words, an organization that works to help people tell their stories. Nick is a communications coach, body language expert - and he brings his breadth of expertise in academics, politics, business to the art and craft of storytelling. Or, really, he brings the art and craft of storytelling to them. (I like to think of him as our real-life Sam Seaborne.)

If you're reading this on email, you can read this post on the website here.

Listen to the podcast

You can listen in iTunes, Stitcher - or, if you're reading this via email, on the website!

Show highlights

In this episode Nick and I talk about:

  • Writing speeches for politics. He was challenged by a colleague to get into politics, who said: "Let's see if all the academic B.S. can translate to politics..."
  • Political speechwriting and landmines. It's the politician's goal to be as IN-articulate as possible for as long as possible.
  • How to bring story and emotion into research and academia, a world with a lot of rules.
  • Bad storytelling is an information dump. Good storytelling is hard. If it were easy, Hollywood would be doing it every time and every movie would be good.
  • Authenticity... You have to be willing to share that part of you which is less than perfect. The vulnerable moments - when you made mistakes and what you did to overcome them.
  • How to bring yourself to a presentation where you don't have a personal connection. You have to ask yourself, "What's my emotional attachment to this story?"
  • The importance of audience-centered talks vs. an information dump

[Tweet "#Presentation Insight: "Authenticity builds trust, when it's done right." @drnickmorgan on @thismovedme"]

Coaches Corner:

This is a new segment I'm playing with here on This Moved Me - about what we as speakers are working on. It will vary quite a lot, as it's something I'm hoping to record 'on the go.'  But, you'll get to hear this sweet intro by my daughter Harper, which makes this whole thing soooo worth it.

On today's Coaches Corner I talk with Carla Staffa who organizes one of our TEDx Events here in the Twin Cities.  She shares what she'd like to do NEXT time... hint: it's a big event. You can't do it alone!

This Moved Me Moments:


Nick shared his experience of taking his grandkids to see Jersey Boys - which he didn't expect to like, and ended up loving.  If you can get yourself some tix for this, Nick recommends it!



And I discovered this wonderful little band called "Potluck and the Hot Dishes" (go ahead and laugh, anyone who's not from around Minnesota, we're laughing too). I got to hear them live at a house concert, and there's nothing quite like hearing a band up close and personal like that. I loved their connection with each other, their willingness to be vulnerable with us, and their music. So talented.

I even found a lovely little video on YouTube that can give you a taste of their talent:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-cqCA6UmA8] *****

Let's keep this conversation going:

Nick and I talked about how difficult good storytelling is. It's different than an anecdote; it's structure, and art.

Two things you can do -

1 - Download a short storytelling guide I created based on Nick and my conversation today.  Fun! Extra!  Free! PDF! Love it.

2 - And join us on Twitter. What is challenging about storytelling for you?  What helps?  Use the hashtag #thismovedme, and @DrNickMorgan and @ThisMovedMe to bring us into it.


Thanks so much for listening!  I'm so grateful for your support - your enthusiasm - and your continued connection. Let's keep in touch!  If you haven't already checked out our new website, I would love that. Send me your thoughts on what I can be doing and how I can help.  Just reply to this email. I'm all ears!

My best,


About Nick:

Dr. Nick Morgan is one of America’s top communication theorists and coaches. He helps people find clarity in their thinking and ideas – and to deliver them with panache.

You can find Nick on Twitter, and at his consulting company, Public Words.

You can also find Nick's presentation books, which I highly recommend, by clicking here:

Give Your Speech, Change the World: How To Move Your Audience to Action



Special thanks to one of our Sponsors for Season 2 of This Moved Me - We Edit Podcasts!  They are unbelievably fast, helpful and kind.  I have received so many compliments on the quality of my show - which has gotten so much better with the help of WEP.  They deal with issue after issue that I send to them.  If you are thinking of creating a podcast, utilizing their expertise will save you tons of time and stress. (Believe me.) Click on this link to support This Moved Me, and get try out We Edit Podcasts.  www.thismovedme.com/WEP