Tom Hayton

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Most presentations contain far too much information.

The presenter sets off without a clear and specific destination. So they wander all over the map, covering too much detail, and the presentation comes to an abrupt and unsatisfying end. In other words, it looks something like this:


This leaves the audience overwhelmed, confused, unsure how to respond, or bored.

As a presenter, it’s tempting to cram as much information as possible into the time…

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How I made meditation a habit after twenty years of failing

Meditation can be difficult, and I had many false starts with it. This is the story of how I made meditation part of my life.

I’ll explain how I overcame challenges, the enormous benefits I’ve gained along the way, and my thoughts on various approaches and techniques.

It’s the no nonsense guide I wish I’d had when I first attempted meditation over twenty years ago.

What is Meditation, and Why Bother?

It’s a familiar, tiresome premise: we live in a noisy world, with a million things tugging at our attention: work, meetings, social engagements, smartphones, email, ads, video calls, social media.

We didn’t evolve for this…

Know your path. Tread boldly. Be reborn.

The Church of The Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem. According to tradition, the Church contains the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Image © Tom Hayton

I’m not religious. But this year, I’ve thought a lot about the symbolism of Easter. For Christians, it represents the resurrection of Jesus and the promise of eternal life. But for everyone else, there is a message, too.

In the Easter story, Jesus is betrayed, arrested, subjected to a sham trial, and executed. Two days later, he rises from the dead and his friends and followers are all gob-smacked (or God-smacked, perhaps).

This story provides the foundation of Christian faith. But like all good stories, it contains some ideas. It is fundamentally…

How to use brutal feedback to win and retain customers in times of crisis

Image: Shutterstock

The story

Most of you will be familiar with : a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. In this article I’ll show you how to apply its lessons to winning and retaining customers in 2020.

A quick recap: an emperor, famous for his vanity, gets scammed by a couple of con-men masquerading as tailors.

They convince the emperor that they can make him the finest robes the world has ever seen: so fine, in fact, that they would be to stupid people.

The emperor is sold on the proposal, the tailors set to work, and the emperor parades…

A practical guide on getting accepted, preparing, and delivering your talk

Photo by Daniel Sandvik on Unsplash

I recently gave my first TEDx talk. This is a breakdown of how I did it.

I’ll explain how TEDx works, how to make an informed decision on whether to do it, and the whole process right up to delivering the talk. This is about the specifics of TEDx, so I won’t go into much detail on the general principles of good public speaking, which you can learn elsewhere.

TED vs. TEDx

TED started out as a high end, closed-door conference featuring talks from world experts. Eventually, the organisers decided to publish the talks online, and it became a global brand. …

How I learned to love sobriety through an alternative to moderation.

Image of cup of tea on black and white background. Photo by Mukul Wadhwa on Unsplash
Photo by Mukul Wadhwa on Unsplash

I gave up drinking in August 2018. There’s an abundance of articles on quitting booze, written by brave souls who’ve overcome addiction; this post is a little different in that I didn’t have a dependent or addictive relationship with alcohol but decided to give it up anyway.

I will explain why I did it, how I did it, what I discovered, and the many benefits it’s brought me since then. …

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Boris Johnson’s promise to “Get Brexit Done’’ has been appearing all over the place lately, and we can expect to see and hear a lot more of it in the run up to the General Election.

As a slogan, it’s masterful- the one-two-one syllable pattern is a on the cerebral cortex (which handles language and reasoning) and the limbic system or “lizard brain” (which handles more basic stuff related to survival, like eating, having sex and running away- not necessarily in that order). It’s instantly understandable, memorable, repeatable and re-tweet-able. Kudos to the copywriter.

It’s a particularly powerful…

Person walking on an empty landscape
Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash

In the creative industries, it’s very common to be asked to work for free.

This might happen for several reasons.

There might be such a small budget that nobody can get paid. Indeed there might be no budget at all. Perhaps it’s a personal project.

It might be that there is a small budget, but it’s being spent on resources and materials rather than labour.

And sometimes, the reasons are more sinister and it’s a matter of exploitation.

Whatever the reason, there are few easier ways to trigger creative professionals than to ask them to work for free without good…

Tom Hayton

Creative director, consultant, speaker and judo player. I write about business, lifestyle, technology, and philosophy.

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