Scott Miller visited the Amcham Finland offices a while back to train the team in his communication skills technique, which is based on breathing. He’s honed it through learning and teaching about acting and sports. We loved it! Read his blog and contact us if you want more information!

One of the challenges of working with high-performing professionals is that past success can sometimes inhibit future growth if they lose obsession with the very trait that’s gotten them there: the desire to improve. I’ve seen this first hand as I’ve moved from the halls of academia in New York City to the corridors of power in Washington D.C. to the ever-changing landscape of Corporate America.

Over the past two decades as a Professor at New York University Tisch’s Graduate Acting Program, I’ve had the good fortune to develop my techniques through work with students who eventually went on to win Tony Awards on Broadway while others won acclaim as part of Academy Award- Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-winning casts in Film and Television.

The technique focuses on the voice and breath which facilitates an athletic and sustained connection to your authentic style and impulses while engaging the listener. At its core, it is an audience-based approach, connecting speaker to listener in a compelling and persuasive manner. Think of a shooting coach for a professional basketball player or the stroke coach for an Olympic swimmer.

Most people mistakenly believe, “if you see me, you’ll support me.” But the truth is, “if you see yourself in me, you’ll support me.” Clear communication is when your audience is able to see attributes of themselves in you. This creates a bond between a speaker and listener, binding not only the listener’s attention, but creating an allegiance. Audience engagement of this nature truly inspires action whether it’s applause at the end of a performance, votes for a candidate, or a team out-performing expectations.

NYU’s reputation as one of the elite training programs in the world has offered me top-notch talent with which to hone the techniques that help create charisma and memorability based on the science behind why an audience is engaged, persuaded and eventually called to action by a speaker.

For high-performing professionals, success can have a way of creating insulation and a kind of social risk aversion. This is frankly what I too often see in business relationships.

There is, however, another more select group who seeks the edge that new knowledge brings. This cohort has become my clientele of C-Suite executives, elected officials, entertainers and professional athletes, for whom the advantages of compelling communication are clear.

Contrary to common belief, compelling communication is not an inherent ability, but rather a trainable skill that can become second nature. Some of us were trained (through early life experience) how to stay focused under the challenges of stressful moments – others were trained to retreat into themselves. The reality is that training and re-training never stops; we are either training ourselves to be more present and memorable or we are not.

A recent example came with a U.S. member of Congress. She is a long-tenured member who was already very good at communicating to her constituents and the press. She has been in politics four decades and has never lost a race. She had every reason not to work with me, including an incredible resume of achievements, and yet she did. Compelling leaders tend not to publicize their training; just like A-list actors don’t either. But don’t be fooled, they train constantly and are all about one thing: improvement. To become world class at anything, one must be most curious about sustained development.

Contact the Amcham Finland Team for more details about Scott’s work in Helsinki by clicking here.