How the Grinch Spoke at Christmas

Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas speeches a lot,

But the Grinch, who lived just North of Who-ville, did not!

The Grinch hated speeches! The whole speaking profession!

Now, please do not ask just what caused his aggression.

The Grinch

It could be that most speakers read from their notes,

Or came unprepared, or just bleated like goats.

But I think that the thing that did most disappoint,

Was that most every speaker abused PowerPoint.


But whether the goats or the Points lit his fuse,

He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating the Whos,

Staring down from his cave with a sour, Grinchy frown

At the warm lighted stage down below in their town.


For he knew the Who speakers, yes every one each,

Was priming himself for his Who Christmas speech.

“And they’re making their edits!” he snarled with a sneer.

“Tomorrow is Christmas! It’s practically here!”

The Grinch

Just the thought of those speeches he found so mind numbing,

“I must keep those Who Christmas speeches from coming!”

“For, tomorrow, I know, like the turn of a page,

“The Whos will wake up and they’ll rush for stage!”


“And then they will speak with such tact and such poise.

“And with wireless mikes, all the NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!”

“Then the Whos, young and old, will sit down for a chat.

“And they’ll chat about this and they’ll chat about that.

“And they’ll chat and they’ll chat and they’ll chat, chat, chat, chat!”


“They’ll chat about topics and subjects and things,

“And Santa and Frosty and five golden rings.”

“They’ll chat about issues, a great verbal feast.

“A verbal feast is the thing I can’t stand in the least!”


“And then they’ll do something I hate most of all!

“Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,

“Will stand close together, the squat and the lank,

“They’ll stand hand-in-hand. And the speakers they’ll thank!”


“They’ll thank! And they’ll thank! Oh the praises they’ll sing.”

And the more the Grinch thought of the Who’s Praising Sing,

The more the Grinch thought, “I must stop this whole thing!”


“Why for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now!

“I must stop those speeches from coming! But how?”

Then he got an idea! An awful idea!

The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea!


“I know just what to do!” the Grinch laughed with a hoot.

“I’ll make a professional speaker-type suit.”

And he sewed up some cloth with some threads on some bobbins.

“With this coat and this tie, I’ll look like Tony Robbins!”

Tony Robbins on communication

Then the Grinch climbed his sleigh, and the sleigh started down

Toward the homes where the Whos lay a-snooze in their town.

The stage was all dark. All the Whos were in bed.

All the Whos were all dreaming sweet dreams about TED.


The steps to the platform he climbed inch by inch,

For if Tony could do it, then so could the Grinch.

The little Who lecterns all stood in a row.

“These lecterns,” he grinned, “are the first things to go!”


Then he slithered and slunk, on his Stop-Speech-Crusade,

Around the whole stage, he took each speaking aid!

Flip charts and handouts back from the print shop.

Markers and Post-Its and all of the props!


And he stuffed them in bags. Then the Grinch, with a grin,

Took the bags to his sleigh and he stuffed them all in.

And then he returned and he took down the lights!

He took down the prompters! He took all the mikes!


He cleaned out that stage from the bottom straight up.

Why, that Grinch even took all the water and cups.

Then he stuffed all his loot in his sleigh, the old schemer.

“And now,” said the Grinch, “I will stuff in the beamer!”


And the Grinch grabbed the beamer, and started to shove

When he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.

He turned around fast, and he saw a small Who!

Little Cindy-Lou Who, who was not more than two.


She stared at the Grinch and said, “Tony Robbins, oh why,

“Why are you taking our beamer home? WHY?”

But, you know, that old Grinch was so smart and so slick

He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!


“Why, my sweet little tot,” the fake Tony lied,

“There’s a light on this beamer that won’t light your slides.”

“So I’m taking it home to my workshop,” he grinned.

“And I’ll fix it by ‘Awakening the Giant Within’.”

The Grinch

And his fib fooled the child. Then he patted her head

And he said, “Live with passion!” and put her to bed.

And when Cindy-Lou Who was tucked up to her chin,

He took the Whos’ beamer and stuffed it right in!


It was quarter past dawn. All the Whos, still a-bed.

All the Whos, still a-snooze when he packed up his sled.

Ten thousand feet up! Up the side of Mount Crumpit,

He rode with his load to the tiptop to dump it!


“Pooh-pooh to the Whos!” he was grinch-ish-ly humming.

“They’re finding out no Christmas speeches are coming!

“They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!

“Their mouths will hang open a minute or two

“Then all the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!”


“That’s a noise,” grinned the Grinch, “That I simply must hear!”

So he paused. And the Grinch put a hand to his ear.

And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.

It started in low. Then it started to grow.


But the sound wasn’t sad!

Why, this sound sounded glad!


Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,

Was speaking! Without any equipment at all!

He hadn’t stopped speeches from coming! They came!

Somehow or other, they came just the same!


And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,

Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?”

“It came without PowerPoint, Keynote and more!

“It came without gifts from the Toastmasters store!”

The Grinch

And he puzzled and puzzed, till his puzzler was sore.

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!

Maybe speaking, he thought, just needs good preparation.

And delivery with heart and with full dedication.


And what happened then? Well, in Who-ville they say,

That the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day!

And then the true meaning of speaking came through,

And the Grinch found the words of ten speakers, plus two.


And now that he no longer felt his stage fright,

He whizzed down to Who-ville to put things back right.

With a smile in his soul and a speech in his mind,

He came back and left his speech hating behind.


He rode into Who-ville, no longer a looter.

He brought back their beamer and MacBook computer.

He brought back their lecterns, their curtains, their lights,

He brought back their flipcharts, exhibits and mikes.

The Grinch

He brought everything back for the great verbal feast.

And he … he himself … the Grinch … gave the first speech!

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  1. the grinch is nice now he change his mind by the help of our lord God now thats why we all gotta believe on the grinch he’s so nice that he hopes that He can get the presents back to the Who family from the Whoville so that means that we need to believe on the grinch

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John delivered a keynote address about the importance of public speaking to 80 senior members of Gore’s Medical Device Europe team at an important sales event. He was informative, engaging and inspirational. Everyone was motivated to improve their public speaking skills. Following his keynote, John has led public speaking workshops for Gore in Barcelona and Munich. He is an outstanding speaker who thinks carefully about the needs of his audience well before he steps on stage.

Karsta Goetze

TA Leader, Gore and Associates

I first got in touch with John while preparing to speak at TED Global about my work on ProtonMail. John helped me to sharpen the presentation and get on point faster, making the talk more focused and impactful. My speech was very well received, has since reached almost 1.8 million people and was successful in explaining a complex subject (email encryption) to a general audience.

Andy Yen

CEO, Proton Technologies

John gave the opening keynote on the second day of our unit’s recent offsite in Geneva, addressing an audience of 100+ attendees with a wealth of tips and techniques to deliver powerful, memorable presentations. I applied some of these techniques the very next week in an internal presentation, and I’ve been asked to give that presentation again to senior management, which has NEVER happened before. John is one of the greatest speakers I know and I can recommend his services without reservation.

David Lindelöf

Senior Data Scientist, Expedia Group

After a morning of team building activities using improvisation as the conduit, John came on stage to close the staff event which was organised in Chamonix, France. His energy and presence were immediately felt by all the members of staff. The work put into the preparation of his speech was evident and by sharing some his own stories, he was able to conduct a closing inspirational speech which was relevant, powerful and impactful for all at IRU. The whole team left feeling engaged and motivated to tackle the 2019 objectives ahead. Thank you, John.

Umberto de Pretto

Secretary General, World Road Transport Organization

I was expecting a few speaking tips and tricks and a few fun exercises, but you went above and beyond – and sideways. You taught me to stand tall. You taught me to anchor myself. You taught me to breathe. You taught me to open up. You taught me to look people in the eye. You taught me to tell the truth. You taught me to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. I got more than I bargained for in the best possible way.

Thuy Khoc-Bilon

World Cancer Day Campaign Manager, Union for International Cancer Control

John gave a brilliant presentation on public speaking during the UN EMERGE programme in Geneva (a two days workshop on leadership development for a group of female staff members working in the UN organizations in Geneva). His talk was inspirational and practical, thanks to the many techniques and tips he shared with the audience. His teaching can dramatically change our public speaking performance and enable us as presenters to have a real and powerful impact. Thank you, John, for your great contribution!

Sara Canna

HR Specialist, World Health Organization

John is a genuine communication innovator. His seminars on gamification of public speaking learning and his interactive Rhetoric game at our conference set the tone for change and improvement in our organisation. The quality of his input, the impact he made with his audience and his effortlessly engaging style made it easy to get on board with his core messages and won over some delegates who were extremely skeptical as to the efficacy of games for learning. I simply cannot recommend him highly enough.

Thomas Scott

National Education Director, Association of Speakers Clubs UK

John joined our Global Sales Meeting in Segovia, Spain and we all participated in his "Improv(e) your Work!" session. I say “all” because it really was all interactive, participatory, learning and enjoyable. The session surprised everybody and was a fresh-air activity that brought a lot of self-reflection and insights to improve trust and confidence in each other inside our team. It´s all about communication and a good manner of speaking!"

Jon Lopez

General Manager Europe, Hayward Industries

Thank you very much for the excellent presentation skills session. The feedback I received was very positive. Everyone enjoyed the good mix of listening to your speech, co-developing a concrete take-away and the personal learning experience. We all feel more devoted to the task ahead, more able to succeed and an elevated team spirit. Delivering this in a short time, both in session and in preparation, is outstanding!

Henning Dehler

CFO European Dairy Supply Chain & Operations, Danone

Thanks to John’s excellent workshop, I have learned many important tips and techniques to become an effective public speaker. John is a fantastic speaker and teacher, with extensive knowledge of the field. His workshop was a great experience and has proven extremely useful for me in my professional and personal life.

Eric Thuillard

Senior Sales Manager, Sunrise Communications

John’s presentation skills training was a terrific investment of my time. I increased my skills in this important area and feel more comfortable when speaking to an audience. John provided the right mix between theory and practice.

Diego Brait

Director of the Jura Region, BKW Energie AG

Be BOLD. Those two words got stuck in my head and in the heads of all those ADP leaders and associates that had the privilege to see John on stage. He was our keynote speaker at our annual convention in Barcelona, and his message still remains! John puts his heart in every word. Few speakers are so credible, humble and yet super strong with large audiences!

Guadalupe Garcia

Senior Director and Talent Partner, ADP International