Talk About Talk - Communication Skills Training

Talk About Talk - Communication Skills Training

#91 The BEST OF Talk About Talk - top 3

December 27, 2021

The best of Talk About Talk, including the top 3 most downloaded podcast episodes of 2021, 3 insights we learned, and 3 communication goals for 2022.



  • Summary
  • Resources
  • Transcript




  1. #58: Communicate with CONFIDENCE – Mental Preparation
  2. #86: Introductions – How to INTRODUCE Yourself
  3. #75: LEADERSHIP – Communicate Like a Boss with Jill Nykoliation


  1. The power of 3s
  2. Keep it short 
  3. Using frameworks

Jill Nykoliation confidence quote


  1. Listen more (& talk less)
  2. Be mindful.  Focus and be purposeful.
  3. Lean-in to your superpower 
    • Combine personal branding and confidence insights. Remind yourself what you’re great at!


personal branding - love who you are (image: unsplash @ Sharon McCutcheon)




Books & Podcast Episodes

  1. #58: Communicate with CONFIDENCE – Mental Preparation
  2. #86: Introductions – How to INTRODUCE Yourself
  3. #75: LEADERSHIP – Communicate Like a Boss with Jill Nykoliation


Jill Nykoliation & Andrea Wojnicki communicate like a bossJill Nykoliation & Andrea Wojnicki


Dr. Andrea Wojnicki & Talk About Talk 




Greetings and welcome to Talk About Talk episode #91, the BEST OF episode. I’m your communication coach, Dr. Andrea Wojnicki (please call me Andrea!).

Are you an ambitious executive looking to advance your career? Do you have a growth mindset?  You’re a life-long learner?  Well, you’re in the right place.  

At Talk About Talk, we’re focused on elevating our communication skills to get noticed for the right reasons.  In 2021, we covered communication skills topics including networking, excelling in online meetings, authenticity, leadership and communicating like a boss, implicit communication, storytelling, taboo topics, personalities and the introvert/extrovert scale, the impostor syndrome. jargon, introductions, listening, using your voice, personal branding (lots on PB!), and, we even covered personal development and how to practice our communication skills.

This really is the critically important stuff they don’t teach you in school.  And available on the website, where find the archive of this bi-weekly podcast with a beautiful printable summary of each episode. You’ll also find online corporate training, 1-on-1 coaching with me, and the free weekly communication-skills newsletter. I really hope you’ll go to the website and sign up for the free weekly communication skills training newsletter. But you can choose what works for you!

Welcome to the BEST OF Talk About Talk – episode number 91. In this episode I’m going to summarize learnings from the top 3 episodes of the year.  So this is like the cheater notes for this podcast.  If you’ve been listening for a while, this will be a review of some of the most important learnings we’ve covered.  If you’re new to TalkAboutTalk, this is a great place to start!

Let’s get into this! I suggest that you just listen, just absorb. As always, you don’t need to take notes, because I do that for you. I summarize everything for you at the end of the episode. And you can always access the printable episode shownotes on the website. My challenge for you is to listen and consider what piques your interest from this episode.  Then go to the website and search that intriguing topic to dig deeper and learn more. 

So, as I always say, as you’re listening to this episode, you can also keep doing whatever you’re doing – driving or walking or housework, or sitting on the couch. Whatever. You don’t have to take notes because I do that for you.

Are you ready?  OK.  Here we go. 

The top three talk about talk podcast episodes of 2021. The statistic I’m looking at here is which of the 90 talk about talk episodes released to date were downloaded the most in 2021. At the top of the list is episode #58, called, communicating with confidence – mental preparation.  

This episode was actually released over a year ago, in September 2020.  But clearly people are keen to learn how to mentally prepare to communicate with confidence. 

In this episode I share the four P’s framework. The four P’s stand for practice proverb, pep talk and pirate. My advice for you with this episode. Is to learn more about each of the four P’s and then decide on which one or two work for you. 

Whenever you have a big communication event coming up. It could be that you’re leading a big meeting, or perhaps you’re giving a speech. That’s when you think about the 4Ps, and which one of the 4Ps might work for you.

  1. The first P, not surprisingly, is practice. Practice, as in rehearsing, practice makes perfect. 
  2. The second P is proverb as in mantra. We can focus our thoughts with a mantra. Memorize a short sentence that you can write, think and say to yourself when you need it. You can internalize your mantra by reading it, thinking it, and saying it. Before you step out onstage before you enter into that meeting, repeat your mantra and your confidence will be elevated. 
  3. The third P is pep talk. Certainly a pep talk will increase your confidence. So go ahead and ask a trusted colleague or a friend to provide you with a pep talk before you step out onstage. In my experience, people are honored to be asked to give you a pep talk. 
  4. The last of the four P’s is pirate. Pirate, as in copying or emulating someone who exudes confidence. You could pirate someone else’s confidence, say a rock star, a celebrity or someone whom you admire. You could also borrow or emulate the confidence from a previous experience of your own. Some distant memory when you really rocked it. 

So that’s the four Ps of communicating with confidence. Practice, proverb, pep talk and pirate. If you haven’t listened to this episode yet, I really hope you will. For the last two years running, it has been number one in terms of downloads.  The people, they vote with their downloads.

OK – the second most downloaded episode in 2021 is episode #86 and it’s called introductions. How to introduce yourself.” WOW – I just realized that episode was only released in September of this year.  And it managed to be the second most downloaded episode of the whole year. In four months – that’s a lot of downloads!

In this episode I shared. An elegantly simple 3 point self introduction framework. And I received more thank you emails than I have ever received. People from all over the world whom I’ve never met were emailing me saying thank you, Andrea. I tried your self-introduction framework and it works. This is so so gratifying for me.  If you were one of those people, I want to say again, thank you for reaching out. IT means the world to me.

If you haven’t listened to that episode yet, here’s the summary. This is a framework, not a script, and there are three points. It goes like this: Present. Past. Future.  So it’s not quite chronological, but once you get that, it’s easy. 

The first thing you do is you introduce yourself with a present tense statement. Establish who you are. This is your opportunity to highlight your expertise, your position, or your passion. So you could say something like “hi, my name is Andrea Wojnicki. And I’m a communication coach at talk about talk. I’m obsessed with communication.”

The second point in the framework is past tense. This is where you highlight your relevant experience. This is your opportunity to establish credibility. Of course, it depends on whom you’re introducing yourself to. You could say something like, “Previously I worked at Kraft in marketing and then I earned my doctorate of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School. I also served on the faculty at the University of Toronto where I taught MBA students.”

The third and last point in the self introduction framework is future oriented.  Ths is ideally an immediate future statement, and this is your opportunity to express enthusiasm for what’s coming next. You could say something like, “I’m really looking forward to this meeting and working with you.”

 So you got it. That’s the self introduction framework. Present past future. The next time you’re in a meeting and someone says, let’s go around the table and introduce ourselves. Instead of freaking out and zoning out, obsessing about what you’re going to say, think instead: Present, past and future. Got it? OK.  That was episode number 86, and the second most downloaded episode of the year.


Of the 90 episodes released to-date, the third most downloaded episode in 2021 is called “Leadership: Communicate like a boss with Jill Nykoliation.” My interview with Jill was one of my favourite conversations of the year, I must admit.  I;m so glad that many of you have listened to it.

Jill and I both started our careers together at Kraft Foods, where we worked in marketing.  After several years, as you may know, I pursued academia.  Jill pursued special projects at Kraft and ended up working closely with the CEO, the amazing Irene Rosenfeld.  Jill then left Kraft for the agency world, and she’s now the CEO of Juniper Park/TBWA.  

I hope you’ll give this episode a listen if you haven’t already.  Jill will knock your socks off.  She is phenomenal. She recently won a big award as one of the top CEOs in Canada and I’m so happy for her.  And her agency is thriving – despite the pandemic and working from home. She talks a lot in this episode about adjusting to WFH.  She gets vulnerable and real, and that’s one of the key learnings from this episode, the benefits of authenticity.

We also talked a lot about having a growth mindset and the importance of Learning.  Jill says that people who are curious, who seek learning and growth, they’re the ones who succeed. A lack of curiosity is the #1 thing that will halt your career trajectory.  So be curious. Ask questions! And Take detours. 

In addition to a growth mindset, we also talked a lot in this episode about the significance of PRECISION. Precision as in brevity. Precision as in avoiding buzzwords. Precision as in avoiding hyperbole.  And precision as in using headlines. Jill says, quote “Confidence builds when people talk with precision. You’re very confident. When you’re not confident you use lazy words, because you’re not really sure. You’re coming in like a butter knife.”

Speaking of confidence, Jill has a lot to say about confidence. She talks about both building confidence in others and building your own self-confidence.  You can build confidence in others by praising them, by holding space for them to be heard, and by providing them with frequent touchpoints or updates.  This last point is even more significant when you’re not seeing people IRL – its all via screens. And when it comes to her own confidence, Jill talks about how she overcame imposter syndrome. 

imposter syndrome is a big one. And I had it. Yes. In my late 30s. It was kind of getting rampant because my career was going really quickly and jumping into new space. And I joined an advertising firm from being a director in North America at Kraft and I was now at an advertising agency. I’m like, What do I even know about advertising? I was like, going behind the curtain of Wizard of Oz. And like. Now I have no idea. You know, when Dorothy goes behind the curtain, and there’s this little man pulling all these levers and like, …

AW: another perfect metaphor, Jill, thank you.

JN: I am one day away from being found out that I don’t know anything. Wow. That’s literally how I felt. And then one of the partners said to me, what you have is imposter syndrome. I’m like, what, that’s a thing? I’m like, Oh, this is exactly what I have. I’m like, Oh, I didn’t know it’s a thing.

Man that was a great interview!  Thank you Jill.

So those are the top 3 most downloaded Talk About Talk podcast episodes of the year.  Focused on (1) CONFIDENCE, (2) INTRODUCING YOURSELF, and (3) Communication Skills for LEADERS with Jill Nykoliation.  You can always find these episodes on the website under the PODCAST tab



Now moving on to the top three communication insights. These are the things I learned or things that were reinforced as particularly important for elevating our communication skills. These are 3 things that I really hope you’ll remember. Are you ready? 

The top three communication insights are #1, the power of threes. #2 Keep it short. And #3. Frameworks and introducing yourself.

So the first one Is the power of threes. Yes, as in the top three podcast episodes, the top three communication insights, and three communication goals for 2022. You see, I’m taking my own advice, and I’m leveraging the power of 3s. Of course, I’d heard this before, but it seems that “3” truly is a magical number. This was reinforced for me over and over again over the last year.

  • Three things are generally easy to remember. Beyond 3?  I need to take notes.
  • Three is not too much, but it’s enough to be substantive. 
  • And have you ever noticed that a stool with three legs is always in perfect balance? 

I was looking at the table of contents recently for a book that I often reference called Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo. I’ll leave a link to it in the show notes. In this book, the author takes a disciplined look at what the top TedTalk speakers do. He outlines what these speakers carefully and strategically do in their talks. And you can bet that he carefully, strategically organized his book too.  When I was looking at the table of contents of this Talk Like Ted book, I noticed that the chapters are categorized into 3 categories, and in each of the categories there are 3 chapters. It’s not an accident. Communicating in 3s works.

So threes? We need to use threes when we’re presenting. “Here are 3 things…”

When were influencing, “Here are 3 reasons…”

And anytime we have the opportunity. If you’re making a list, your default should be 3. Got it?

So that’s the 1st of 3, yes 3 communication insights.

The second communication insight from 2021? Keep it short. Or PRECISE as Jill Nykoliiation says.  

There’s a famous quote by Mark Twain where he says, “I would have written you a shorter letter, but I didn’t have time.” Sometimes when we’re not organized in our thinking, we’re not organized in our communication, we Babble.   This goes for communication across all mediums, by the way, whether it’s written, verbal or whatever.

Here’s something interesting that I’ve noticed over the last year. Generally, the talk about talk podcast episodes that are shorter, have more downloads. The shortest episode, at just 16 ½ minutes, is the popular introductions episode. I guess it makes sense that people are more likely to listen to shorter podcast episodes. It’s less of an investment, right?

Let me just say something here.  As a podcaster.  As a content provider. Of course, I always edit the talk about talk podcast episodes to be as brief as possible. I definitely respect your time! And I’ll continue to do so. 

If you subscribe to the talk about talk Email newsletter, especially if you’ve been doing so for a few years, you may’ve noticed that the newsletters are getting shorter and shorter. Here’s the thing. When I look at the data analytics on the newsletters, people are definitely more engaged when the newsletter is shorter. People are more likely to click on the links. And anecdotally, I can tell you that I’m getting more comments and compliments from people regarding the shorter newsletters.

Nowadays, if I look back at some of the early talk about talk email newsletters? I think way too much, just stop.

So that’s the second communication insight – keep it short. We’ve covered the power of 3s and keeping it short. And the third communication insight is frameworks.

I guess I always thought it was just me. I’m a visual learner. Love frameworks. Lists, acronyms,… anything that’s easy to remember. Based on the feedback I’ve been receiving, it seems I’m not the only one. People love the ABCDEs of confidence in the moment.  They love the four P’s framework from the Confidence episode. The most downloaded episode of all 90 episodes to date. That’s the episode with the Four P’s remember. Practice proverb. Pirate. And Papa. 

The second most downloaded podcast episode is the one with the framework for how to introduce yourself. Do you remember the framework? It’s present, past, future. People love this framework. And you know what else? This episode also happens to be one of the shortest episodes. At 16½ minutes. And there are 3 points in this framework, present past and future. So this episode gets checkmarks on all three communication insights that I’ve identified here. The power of 3s, keep it short and frameworks.  The trifecta.  Yes, this is getting a bit meta.  I research communication topics, create podcast episodes, measure the results, then share them in terms of communication insights.  Yowza!

Alright, we’re 2/3 of the way through this episode. The last thing I want to share with you is my three communication goals for 2022. These goals are a result of insights that I’ve learned over the past year, from my podcast guests, from the reading and research that I’ve done, and also from feedback from you.  

These are my 3 communication goals for 2022. Things that I also recommend you try. Number one: listen more. And talk less. Number 2: be mindful and #3 lean into your superpower.  Let me elaborate.

You’re probably not surprised to hear that one of my communication goals is to listen more and talk less. I say it over and over again. Listening truly is the number one most critical listening skill. I’ve asked everyone I can: what are the 3 communication superpowers? I’ve identified, listening, confidence and storytelling. Everyone seems to agree with me. But the number one most important communication superpower is listening. Then we could all learn more and become better communicators, if we listened more and spoke less.

My second communication goal for 2022 is to be mindful. Yes, I realize this is a trendy word, maybe even jargon. Mindful.  Specifically, what I mean by being mindful is focusing and being purposeful. Thinking about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. 

When you’re in a meeting and your mind is wandering, ask yourself, what is the meeting objective,  What is MY objective?  

No matter the context, focus on your purpose. Easier said than done, right? But I’m working on it.

My third communication goal for 2022 is to lean into my superpower. The idea here is something that I recommend to a lot of my coaching clients, and of course, I’m seeking to do the same myself. The idea is to combine what we know about personal branding – to identify that thing that we’re really good at, that thing that comes naturally for us. And whenever we feel a shot of adrenaline, to remind ourselves about our superpower. So for me, when I feel a little nervous, when that imposter syndrome rears it’s ugly head, I remind myself of my expertise, my crazy passion for all things communication. I remind myself that I can talk communication skills with ANYONE, and I’ll hold my own. Of course, I don’t know everything, but I have a growth mindset, and I’m keen to learn more.

So that’s my 3rd communication goal for 2022: identify your superpower, that thing that comes naturally for you, and think about it wherever you need a confidence boost.

And that’s it!


As promised, I’m now going to briefly – very briefly – summarize this episode.



  1. #58: Communicate with CONFIDENCE – Mental Preparation
  2. #86: Introductions – How to INTRODUCE Yourself
  3. #75: LEADERSHIP – Communicate Like a Boss with Jill Nykoliation


  • The power of 3s
  • Keep it short 
  • Using frameworks

And last, my 3 COMMUNICATION GOALS FOR 2022:

  • Listen more (& talk less)
  • Be mindful. Focus and be purposeful.
  • Lean-in to my superpower 


That’s it for the year!  Thank you so much for listening.  I mean it. I appreciate you more than you know.  Please keep it coming.


And please check out the summary for this episode in the shownotes on the website. Just click on the PODCAST tab and you’ll find it there.


And while you’re there, I really hope you’ll sign up for the Talk About Talk newsletter! This is your chance to get free communication skills coaching from me every week in a simple-to-digest weekly email. Just go to talk to sign up or email me directly and I’ll add you to the list. You can email me anytime at I love hearing from you!


Here’s to a fantastic year ahead.



THANKS for LISTENING.  Talk soon!

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