If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.

In the first summer after we opened YO! Sushi I was asked to do four seminars on a cruise ship for a catering forum.

Sounds great, I thought, and when I saw pictures of my cabin suite it felt even greater. But I was quite nervous because I hadn’t done any public speaking previously. So I set up a series of seminars with people within the company, and at each one I tried out a different format.

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I found out that what worked best was when I said what I was thinking and feeling rather than cleverly constructed arguments. When I lost my place or got stuck as a seminar leader it could be endearing rather than embarrassing. If I asked the audience for help immediately rather than bluffing through they warmed to me.

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And at question time it was more powerful to ask the audience to share their experiences rather than simply answering questions. That’s where I learned the technique of saying “What I truly believe is” without knowing what is to follow and then listening to the words in my head to complete the sentence. I also learned to say “What comes to mind is…” or “Today’s answer to that question is…”

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.


A great way to succeed is by throwing mud at the wall and hoping that it sticks. But you’ve got to throw it a different way every time, because if one technique doesn’t work, however many times you throw it, you’ll get the same result. And the same goes for business.

Keep trying different ways until you hit on a winning formula.