Matt Abrahams

Matt Abrahams
Lecturer, Organizational Behavior
Lecturer in Organizational Behavior
Academic Area:


Matt Abrahams is a passionate, collaborative and innovative educator and coach. He has published research articles on cognitive planning, persuasion, and interpersonal communication.

Matt recently published the third edition of his book Speaking Up Without Freaking Out, a book written to help the millions of people who suffer from anxiety around speaking in public. Additionally, Matt developed a software package that provides instant, proscriptive feedback to presenters. Prior to teaching, Matt held senior leadership positions in several leading software companies, where he created and ran global training and development organizations.

Matt is also Co-Founder and Principal at Bold Echo Communications Solutions, a presentation and communication skills company based in Silicon Valley that helps people improve their presentation skills. Matt has worked with executives to help prepare and present keynote addresses and IPO road shows, conduct media interviews, and deliver TED talks.

He is currently a member of the Management Communication Association (where he received a “Rising Star” award) as well as the National and Western States Communication Associations. Matt received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Stanford and his graduate degree in communication studies from UC Davis.

Academic Degrees

  • MA, Communication, UC Davis, 1993
  • BA, Psychology, Stanford University, 1991

Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer, Stanford GSB, 2011-present
  • Communication Instructor, Stanford Continuing Studies, 2006-present
  • Professor Speech Communication, Foothill-De Anza Community College District, 2004-18
  • Business Psychology Professor, Palo Alto University, 2009-10

Professional Experience

  • Principal and Co-Founder, Bold Echo Communication Solutions, 2010-present
  • Vice President Worldwide Education, Openwave, 2000-01
  • Senior Director Worldwide Education, Ariba, 1996-99
  • Director Education, Vantive, 1995-98

Awards and Honors

  • Robert K. Jaedicke Faculty Award, Stanford GSB, 2018


Insights by Stanford Business

February 18, 2021
In this podcast episode, we discuss how our behavior impacts our relationships and sharing our feelings can lead to more success as a leader.
January 28, 2021
In this podcast episode, we unpack the psychology behind our communication via social media.
January 11, 2021
In this episode, we discuss how to write simply, succinctly, and with relevance.
December 11, 2020
Cozy up and listen up to our top episodes from 2020.
December 04, 2020
Hint: it’s not just about what you want to say.
November 20, 2020
In this episode, we discuss how recognizing your audience’s emotional needs can help you achieve your communication goals.
November 19, 2020
We’ve gathered together the most memorable articles, interviews, podcasts, and videos from a year of world-changing events.
November 10, 2020
The political polarization wrought by the 2020 presidential election is bound to creep into the workplace. Here are some ways managers can become peacekeepers.
November 06, 2020
In this podcast episode, we explore how good leaders can self reflect and better communicate to advance social justice.
October 22, 2020
In this episode, we discuss how leaders can communicate effectively when their organization, brand, or reputation is under attack.
October 09, 2020
In this episode, we discuss how subtle word choice can invite inclusion, or can reinforce harmful stereotypes.
September 25, 2020
In this episode, we discuss how curiosity and storytelling can lead to more innovative online and in-person communication.
September 11, 2020
In this episode, we discuss how cultural values play an important role in how you communicate and how you perceive others’ communication.
August 28, 2020
In this episode, we discuss how to embrace failure and incorporate play into work.
August 14, 2020
In this episode, we address audience questions that range from how to handle interrupters to how to craft an authentic, clear email.
July 31, 2020
In this bonus episode, Stanford GSB lecturers share advice on how to position yourself when met with skepticism from your audience.
July 06, 2020
In this podcast episode, two experts discuss where leaders should and shouldn’t focus their attention when it comes to running group communication.
June 22, 2020
In this podcast episode, we dissect how to use humor to build bonds in business and in life.
June 08, 2020
On this podcast episode, we discuss how to harness power through non-verbal communication.
May 26, 2020
In this podcast episode, we discuss communication techniques that can help open people up to your ideas.
May 07, 2020
In this podcast episode, Matt Abrahams shares research-supported techniques for gaining confidence in high-stakes communication situations.
April 24, 2020
In this “Quick Thinks” podcast episode, Stanford improv experts share advice on getting out of our heads and into the moment at hand.
April 10, 2020
On this podcast episode, host Matt Abrahams speaks with Kenneth Romeo on specific tactics that non-native English speakers can use to handle in-the-moment challenges.
April 03, 2020
In this bonus episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, host Matt Abrahams shares a framework for structuring your comments during a meeting or presentation.
March 27, 2020
In this bonus episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart, host Matt Abrahams shares quick tips on communicating via screen.
March 12, 2020
Use these techniques when handling challenges and objections.
February 27, 2020
Implement these best practices before and after both high-stakes and everyday communication to improve your effectiveness.
February 14, 2020
In this podcast episode, we explore techniques for presenting complicated information so your audience can more easily understand.
January 31, 2020
Learn how to shape the way others see you through your verbal and nonverbal communication in this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart.
January 17, 2020
Stanford improv experts discuss the art of in-the-moment communication in this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart.
January 17, 2020
How do I communicate clearly when put on the spot? How can I easily convey complex information? How do I manage my reputation?
December 06, 2019
Communication mistakes, job-stealing robots, and career-gap explanations captured reader attention this year.
November 22, 2019
Public speaking can be extra challenging when you’re put on the spot.
August 19, 2019
Our experts’ tips on small changes that can make or break your next presentation.
May 03, 2019
Learn how to be more effective at your next meeting or presentation.
December 14, 2018
These three skills will help you grab and keep your audience’s attention.
December 06, 2018
How you present yourself on screen can make or break your credibility.
December 03, 2018
From tips for career satisfaction to an economist’s stint as an Uber driver, here are the stories that caught our readers’ attention.
July 30, 2018
Confidence equals competence. Learn how great leaders handle a crowd.
March 29, 2018
6 ways to communicate challenging concepts to an audience.
December 04, 2017
Readers keyed into humor’s workplace value, the secret to improving communication skills, and advice from Sheryl Sandberg and Marc Andreessen.
October 26, 2017
Use these tools to help you think fast and talk smart.
August 21, 2017
Stanford GSB professors suggest a reading list of articles and books related to the concept.
January 04, 2017
Want to provide better feedback, introduce people, or master small talk? Try this technique.
December 12, 2016
Long commute? Spend the time listening to these 10 Stanford Business stories.
September 26, 2016
What to know before you go live.
April 04, 2016
Key takeaways from analyzing 100,000 presentations.
January 29, 2016
Do you get nervous speaking in public? Learn how to mitigate your fear.
December 19, 2015
Explore Stanford Business stories from 2015, including pieces on technology, finance, and work-life balance.
May 20, 2015
An expert on public speaking explains how online technology changes the way we communicate.
July 25, 2014
A Stanford GSB lecturer and expert on public speaking explains how you can become a more compelling and confident presenter by asking – not telling – in the right situations.
March 13, 2014
A Stanford lecturer and expert on public speaking explains how to ensure your audience remembers what they hear and see.
March 04, 2014
A Stanford lecturer and expert on public speaking explains what to do when memory fails.
February 26, 2014
A Stanford lecturer and expert on public speaking explains how to manage anxiety and deliver a smooth presentation.

School News

October 30, 2018
Five alumni and one faculty member recognized for contributions to Stanford GSB during annual reunion weekend.
December 13, 2012
C-suite leaders challenge MBA students to lead under pressure.