Persuasive Presentations, Part 5: Incongruity

Have you ever been in a presentation where the speaker is droning on and on about something – it could be The Most Important Information in the World – but you wouldn’t know. You are plotting your escape from this living hell. Can you fake your own demise by having a hellacious coughing fit, thus enabling you to rush from the room? Sure, it might tear up your throat, but it would be worth not having to sit through this. READ MORE

January 16th, 2013 | Comments Off on Persuasive Presentations, Part 5: Incongruity | Beyond Architecture
A Little Change, A World of Difference

Click image to view greeting

One of my favorite things about the holidays is receiving a multitude of greeting cards from friends that proudly display their smiling (or sometimes not-so-smiling) children.  Once the season is over, however, I always wish I had taken more time to enjoy those cards and spent less time occupied by all the hustle and bustle.  It’s for this very reason that Little waits to send its holiday greeting until after the new year. READ MORE

January 11th, 2013 | Comments Off on A Little Change, A World of Difference | Beyond Architecture
What Inspires Us

Architects are inspired by many things. Sometimes it is easy to see a direct correlation in our designs; other times the specific inspiration is not so readily apparent. Recently I had the pleasure of being on a retreat at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico – close to the area that inspired Georgia O’Keefe and her magnificent landscapes. The famous Flat topped Pedernal Mountain  in the Jemez Mountains was always in view, but it was the surrounding sandstone cliffs and canyons that inspired me morning and night. The transformative qualities from the rising and setting sun, against the backdrop of the deep blue cloudless sky, were mesmerizing. READ MORE

November 7th, 2012 | Comments Off on What Inspires Us | Beyond Architecture
Herman Miller’s “Why Design” Series

Last month, Herman Miller launched an exciting new video/documentary series called Why Design:

At Herman Miller design is the language we use to ask questions and seek answers to the problems our customers face. The design process is a journey into the unknown—or as George Nelson once quipped, “I have never met a designer who was retained to keep things the same as they were.” Before we decide what we do and how we do it, we like to begin by asking the question “Why?” In Why Design, a new video series, we explore the world through the eyes of our designers, and share something of why we value their point of view. READ MORE

October 29th, 2012 | Comments Off on Herman Miller’s “Why Design” Series | Beyond Architecture
Guide to Easier Living

I recently came across the book Guide to Easier Living by Mary and Russel Wright. Originally printed in the 1950’s it provides a glimpse into domestic life of that period while also presenting strategies for simpler living. The Russel Wright Design Center notes that the book “offered readers a declaration of independence from convention, rejecting the dogma of ‘etiquette despots’ like Emily Post. Defining the way Americans live even today, Russel and Mary Wright wrote, ‘Good informal living substitutes a little headwork for a lot of legwork. It doesn’t need wealth, but it does take thought, some ingenuity and resourcefulness, and more than a little loving care to create a home that is really your own.’ ”


September 28th, 2012 | Comments Off on Guide to Easier Living | P.S.
Persuasive Presentations – Part 4 Perception

The P in our SPICES acronym stands for Perception.  Perception is important because it gets to the heart of helping your audience understand that your information is for their benefit.  It frames the interaction and helps people let down their guard and absorb information.


September 10th, 2012 | Comments Off on Persuasive Presentations – Part 4 Perception | Beyond Architecture
Persuasive Presentations, Part 3: Simplicity

A Plan is Great – but a Framework Allows Shifting on the Fly

To catch up:

We have identified the six elements for any persuasive presentation:  Simplicity, Perception, Incongruity, Confidence, Empathy & Story.   The first one that we’ll pull apart is Simplicity.

Ironically, when I went to translate the content that I developed for my presentation into this blog, this section – on Simplicity – had the most slides.  I think that illustrates our problem perfectly.  Simplicity is not easy to achieve.

Fret not, Dear Reader, we have a solution!


August 16th, 2012 | Comments Off on Persuasive Presentations, Part 3: Simplicity | Beyond Architecture
Persuasive Presentations, Part 2: Setting the Stage

Seems so simple, right?

Right.  So far we have established that anyone can be a persuasive presenter, the first step as you embark on your new career as a Supersuader is to understand the raw materiel that you’re working with.  Of course you are delightful, with a sparkling personality.  At least that’s what your Mother says.  Even with your Mother’s rapturous endorsement you need to understand and evaluate – with the ruthlessness of a Visigoth – how other people see you.  You need to know what to emphasize and what to buttress.

Speaker, Know Thyself!


August 8th, 2012 | Comments Off on Persuasive Presentations, Part 2: Setting the Stage | Beyond Architecture