Interview with #BullCon15 speaker Holley Murchison of Oratory Glory

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Bullish: Hi, Holley! So, you run Oratory Glory (amazing name!) Tell is about what you do, and how your approach to communications is unique.

Holley Murchison: Thank you! I work with a small collective of designers and creative project & product managers offering presentation & delivery coaching, workshops & trainings and communication strategy for special projects.

What we do is centered around two beliefs: 1. Good communication leads to understanding and understanding leads to change. And, 2. If we can support makers and doers in honing their communication skills — people really pushing the envelope to forward culture — they’ll be more prepared to share their ideas in ways that move others to take action. So we work with people and companies using their platforms to disrupt what’s not working and add value to the world.

Before starting the consultancy, I spent 10 years in some unconventional leadership roles across industries from education to entertainment. Somehow the work always revolved around making sure everyone understood each other and was on the same page. I’m always drawing from those lessons, failures and experiences to inform the work we do with our clients. That’s what makes our approach unique— growing up as an introvert with 5 extroverted siblings helps, too.

Bullish: At #BullCon15, you’ll be focusing on being effective in work communications – the conversations we all have to navigate when we’re not standing up and making a Powerpoint presentation. Those are the times we’re often caught off-guard, we get interrupted, we don’t know what to say, we feel unprepared. What’s the antidote?

Holley Murchison: Absolutely. There’s actually a lot we can do to ready ourselves for these conversations. Three really simple places to start:

1. Act natural.
You’ve had these types of conversations literally thousands of times before with much higher stakes (making decisions on the fly as a parent, talking a designer through your vision for big project, hitting your girlfriends with witty comebacks over dinner). Communication gets pretty complicated the moment we stop being ourselves. Remember how you function in the non-work conversations where you’re caught off guard and bring that to the table.

2. Take good notes and review them!
This is where the true preparation starts – the same way it did in high school when you were studying for (or cheating on) exams. In meetings (especially w/ clients), on conference calls, during trainings or video sessions – take good notes. They become your talking points for the conversations that happen during and after.

3. P.R.E.P
Point. Reason. Explanation. Point.
An impromptu response method everyone should have in their toolbox. If you’ve taken solid notes in a meeting and someone puts you on the spot to respond, take a minute to refer back to your notes and:
• clearly state your point
• provide at least one reason to support the point
• share an example
• close with your point

Bullish: So, when you and I first spoke on the phone about BullCon, I discovered you and I have a lot in common! High school debate team, education background, NYC connection, using the word “badass” a lot. What else are you into?

Holley Murchison: I’m really into prioritizing play these days. When you’re born and raised in a city like NYC, it grooms you to be prepared to hustle ’round the clock. Living in California now, I think I work more efficiently when I let play inspire everything else. It definitely hasn’t been the easiest transition but I make a conscious effort to spend time doing at least one thing a day (outside of work) that fills me up and keeps me balanced. I’m into a random mix of stuff right now like meditation, training for my first marathon, songwriting, gluttonous dinner rendezvous with my girlfriends,  and action/extreme sports (I’m a bit of a thrillseeker).

Bullish: Well, we thank you for making your way back to NYC for the conference! See you in October – we’re really excited about this presentation.

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