Matt Abrahams – Professor, Podcast Host, Author, Speaker, and Martial Artist

Matt Abrahams



by Matt Abrahams

In Think Faster, Talk Smarter, Stanford lecturer, podcast host, and communication expert Matt Abrahams provides tangible, actionable skills to help even the most anxious of speakers succeed when speaking spontaneously. Abrahams provides science-based strategies for managing anxiety, responding to the mood of the room, and making content concise, relevant, compelling, and memorable. Drawing on stories from his clients and students, he offers best practices for navigating Q&A sessions, shining in job interviews, providing effective feedback, making small talk, fixing faux pas, persuading others, and handling other impromptu speaking tasks.

Whether it’s a prospective client asking you an unexpected question during a meeting or all eyes turning to you at a dinner party, you’ll know how to navigate the situation like a pro and bring out your very best. Think Faster, Talk Smarter is an accessible guide to communication that will help readers of all skill levels master new techniques in no time.


Think Faster, Talk Smarter is an essential guide for mastering spontaneous communication. Drawing on his expertise as a Stanford lecturer and host of the popular Think Fast Talk Smart podcast, Abrahams offers practical, science-based strategies to help even the most anxious speakers excel in impromptu situations. Whether you’re navigating a business meeting or a social gathering, Think Faster, Talk Smarter will empower you to think on your feet and speak with confidence.

Marshall Goldsmith

Thinkers50 #1 Executive Coach and New York Times Bestselling Author of The Earned Life, Triggers, and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

Think Faster, Talk Smarter is a treasure trove of insights to help you master the art of impromptu speaking. It provides transformative strategies to turn everyday conversations into opportunities for genuine connection. It will help you be remarkable!

Guy Kawasaki

Chief Evangelist of Canva and Host of the Remarkable People Podcast

Getting to sit in a classroom with Matt you quickly see why his course is one of the most popular on campus. It’s a mini laboratory with constant experiments being conducted by students to see what works and what doesn’t for each of them. And you’re in luck… he’s boiled down years of classes, thousands of hours of these experiments and created a clear, actionable six-step methodology with a set of frameworks for spontaneous situations to help anyone become more confident speaking in the moment. This is a must read for anyone who has to speak in public. Well that’s everyone. So just do yourself a favor and get the book already. 

Anthony Veneziale

Co-Founder Freestyle Love Supreme and Freestyle+, TED Speaker, Grammy Nominee and Tony Award Winner

An important part of leadership is being able to communicate effectively. People are frequently in meetings with others where they need to persuade those others. Being able to think on one’s feet and make a positive impression through what we say is essential. I highly recommend Abrahams’ book.

Jeffrey Pfeffer

Stanford GSB Professor and Author of The 7 Rules of Power

You can learn to navigate nearly any conversation with ‘Think Faster, Talk Smarter’. This concise guide offers science-based strategies for managing anxiety and delivering impactful, impromptu responses in any situation, from job interviews to those questions you get at the most unexpected moments. Abrahams’ real-life examples and actionable tips provide a roadmap to mastering the art of thinking quickly and speaking confidently, and this is the perfect book for professionals, teachers, parents – or anyone else who talks.

Charles Duhigg

Best-Selling Author of The Power of Habit, Smarter Faster Better and Supercommunicators

Matt Abrahams’ new book, Think Faster, Talk Smarter deals effectively with the communications challenges real people run into every day. Follow the wisdom herein and see your reputation for being great on your feet skyrocket!

Nick Morgan

President of Public Words, Inc, a Communications Consulting Firm, and Author of, Most Recently, Can You Hear Me?, How to Connect with People in a Virtual World, Published by Harvard in 2018

The ability to think quickly and communicate clearly is critical for connecting with others. THINK FASTER, TALK SMARTER turns the art of impromptu speaking into a science, making it accessible and actionable for all.

Cassie Holmes

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author of Happier Hour

Most of us grapple with on-the-spot communication challenges. ‘Think Faster, Talk Smarter’ by Matt Abrahams is a game-changer. Abrahams delves deep into the art of spontaneous communication, providing actionable insights that are grounded in science and real-world experiences. This book is a must-read for anyone aiming to conquer their communication anxieties and shine in impromptu situations. Abrahams has crafted a masterclass in articulating thoughts with clarity, confidence, and charisma.

Dolly Chugh

NYU Stern Professor and Author of The Person You Mean to Be

Abrahams book is rooted in solid research, rich anecdotes, and years of hands-on experience, Think Faster, Talk Smarter is a treasure trove for anyone seeking to communicate with confidence, whether in boardrooms or at dinner tables. Abrahams reminds us of the profound power of the unplanned, impromptu communication moments and how they shape our personal and professional lives. A must-read for anyone aiming to leave a lasting impression with their words.

Nancy Duarte

CEO of Duarte, Inc. and Best-Selling Author

With this enormously practical book, Matt Abrahams demonstrates why he is the world’s go-to communication coach. His ideas for spontaneous speaking will help you build trust, influence your organization, and empower everyone around you.

Frances Frei

Author of Unleashed and Move Fast and Fix Things: The Trusted Leader’s Guide to Solving Hard Problems and Host of The Fixable Podcast

In ‘Think Faster, Talk Smarter’, Matt Abrahams masterfully decodes the science and art of spontaneous communication, illuminating a path for anyone to navigate impromptu conversations with grace and authenticity. Drawing on a rich tapestry of research and real-world examples, this book is an essential tool for those eager to hone their ability to connect, persuade, and genuinely engage in today’s dynamic world.

Dorie Clark

Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Long Game and executive education faculty, Columbia Business School

“It’s one thing to deliver a good speech; another entirely to be brilliant in the melée of spontaneous, unprepared conversation. Matt Abrahams is that rare thing: an academic who really knows his topic (communication skills) and can teach it in simple, practical and invaluable lessons that anyone can put to use straight away. This is an essential book for anyone who wants to communicate better.”

Julian Treasure

Author of How To Be Heard and Sound Business, and Five-Time TED Speaker

“In Think Faster, Talk Smarter, Matt Abrahams gives you the tools to build supreme confidence in your ability to sell your ideas, even in the most pressure-filled moments. I’ve followed Matt’s work at Stanford Business School and in his inspiring TED talks. Now everyone can reap the benefit of Matt’s experience as a leading communication expert. Don’t let another opportunity to share your ideas go to waste—take Matt’s advice to stand out and get ahead!”

Carmine Gallo

Author, Talk Like TED and The Bezos Blueprint

“Want to ace that interview? Win over a new customer? Look smart in meetings? Think Faster Talk Smarter will teach you how to shine in those moments instead of dreading them. The book is chock-full of exercises that will help you cope with one of life’s trickiest situations—when you’re put on the spot and need to come up with something intelligent to say. The most intelligent thing I can say right now is, read this book!”

Dan Lyons

Journalist, Satirist, and Author of "Disrupted," "Lab Rats," and "STFU: The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut in an Endlessly Noisy World"

“Matt Abrahams has a gift for making complex concepts easy to understand and simple to enact. Think Faster, Talk Smarter is a testament to this skill, decoding the often-intimidating world of spontaneous communication and coaching us to approach the challenge with less fear and more empathy. If you’ve ever struggled to summon the right words at the right time, this book is an essential read.”

Daniel H. Pink

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author of To Sell Is Human, Drive, and The Power of Regret

“Abrahams will teach you not just to think faster and talk smarter, but to form deeper, more real connections with people. Filled with practical, tactical advice, this book is indispensable for enjoying collaborating at work–and attending cocktail parties–more.”

Kim Scott

Author of Radical Candor and Just Work

“Where was Matt Abrahms when I started my media career? The steps that he outlines in Think Faster Talk Smarter have taken me decades to master! Luckily for everyone else, his guide to mastering impromptu speaking can speed up the process with smart, actionable tactics that will help you overcome your fears and anxieties and communicate with ease and confidence.”

Jill Schlesinger

CBS News Business Analyst and Author of The Great Money Reset.

“We read the book and now we’re furiously fast, shockingly smart. Matt blends wit with wisdom, science-backed strategies with actionable insights, empowering us all to communicate with greater confidence and connection. Plus, it’s a joy to read.”

Jennifer Aacker and Naomi Bagdonas

Authors of Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life (And how anyone can harness it. Even you.)

“‘Think Faster, Talk Smarter is just the book you need to improve at spontaneous speaking. Matt Abrahams offers a six step approach to help anyone think faster and talk smarter when put on the spot. Grounded in careful research and informed by Abrahams’ many years teaching communication skills to Stanford MBAs, this book is filled with useful advice.”

Katy Milkman

Author of How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Choiceology Podcast Host

A truly masterful guide to finding your voice when it matters most. Think Faster Talk Smarter is a must-read for anyone who ever feels stress or self-doubt when it’s time to speak up. A master class in feeling more confident sharing yourself and connecting with others.”

Kelly McGonigal

Author of The Upside of Stress and the Joy of Movement

“Salivate. Dare to be dull. Turn resistance into curiosity. Every page of Matt Abrams’ relentlessly useful and entertaining gem is packed with research-based ideas about how all of us anxious speakers can banish our fears, harness our anxiety, and persuade audiences to appreciate us and our ideas. My only complaint is that I wish I had read it 20 years ago!”

Robert I. Sutton

New York Times Bestselling Author of Eight Books, including The No Asshole Rule, Scaling Up Excellence (with Huggy Rao), and The Friction Project (with Huggy Rao)

“Being able to communicate a creative vision to teams both small and large is crucial to being successful. In Think Faster, Talk Smarter, Matt has broken down the elements that go into becoming a more successful communicator. His clear approach, along with relatable and actionable examples can help anyone feel better about impromptu speaking no matter what the situation. I highly recommend anyone who wants to improve their communication skills to read Think Faster, Talk Smarter.”

John Janick

Chairman and CEO, Interscope Geffen A&M Records

“Matt’s understanding of human interaction is exceptional. His tools for thinking quickly and speaking clearly are indispensable for anyone, even in our modern texting world. His easy-to-understand approach helps anyone to become a better “in-the-moment” communicator.”

Tony Fadell

Nest Founder, iPod Inventor, NYT Bestselling Author of Build

“Being able to speak confidently off the cuff impacts every facet of our lives. Matt Abrahams has spent decades developing tools that harness the power of spontaneous communication, and not just for public speakers but for anyone who finds themselves needing to speak in the moment. Think Faster, Talk Smarter provides you with easy to implement, actionable tips and techniques for success.”

Philip Zimbardo

Psychology Professor Emeritus Stanford University. Author of The Lucifer Effect and Living and Loving Better with Time Perspective Therapy

“Matt Abrahams shows us how to overcome the challenges of having to speak unexpectedly. He does so by providing a remarkably helpful and specific set of recommendations, which I certainly plan to follow.”

Robert Cialdini

Author Influence and Pre-suasion

“Think Faster, Talk Smarter serves as a gold standard for communication best practices. Matt’s six step approach to speaking confidently and clearly in spontaneous situations helps calm the nervous system so you can focus on what matters: creating connection with those around you and responding in the moment. If you struggle with any type of communication, this book is for you.”

David Eagleman

Neuroscientist, Author, Technologist, Entrepreneur, and Host of the “Inner Cosmos with David Eagleman” Podcast

“Matt’s ideas and insights in Think Faster, Talk Smarter are priceless. I spent my life working in front of a television camera but would get nervous speaking in front of a live crowd. That would shock people since millions saw me every day – but of course, I didn’t see them. It took me years to conquer my nerves and feel comfortable and confident speaking in front of a live audience. Matt makes it easy with his focus on the connection over perfection. His specific examples in the book provide a clear roadmap to help you be your best self when under pressure.”

Joan Lunden

Journalist, Author, Keynote Speaker, and Television Host

“Everyone wants to be a better communicator. To speak more effectively, even in those spontaneous situations that evoke so much anxiety. Think Faster, Talk Smarter shows us how. A powerful toolkit that anyone can easily apply.”

Jonah Berger

Wharton School Professor and Bestselling Author of Magic Words, Contagious, Invisible Influence, and The Catalyst.


by Matt Abrahams

Speaking Up without Freaking Out by Matt Abrahams is an easy-to-read book containing over 50 anxiety management techniques that are based on scientifically supported theory and evidence that will help you become a more confident and compelling communicator regardless of where you present — on stage, in a meeting or virtually.

Confident and compelling presenting involves a complicated mix of physiological and psychological factors. In the 3rd edition, this book provides specific guidance and opportunities to practice developing the skills you will need to feel more comfortable speaking in front of others in an engaging way.

Many of us dread having to convey our ideas to others, often feeling ill-equipped, anxious, and awkward. Public speaking experts help by focusing on planned communication experiences such as slide presentations, pitches, or formal talks. Yet, most of our professional and personal communication occurs in spontaneous situations that creep up on us and all too often leave us flustered and stumbling for words. How can we rise to the occasion and shine when we’re put on the spot?