Charlie LaFond photo

Charlie LaFond

Communication Trainer, Founder

One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself." Leonardo da Vinci

Charlie has been working in the field of negotiations and conflict management for the WU Wien Executive Academy since 2008, for the IMC Krems in 2009 – 2014, for the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management in 2012 and for Donau-Universität Krems 1999-2002 in the field of convincing argumentation. He worked for HPS Hierhold Presentation Services as a trainer throughout Europe from 1998 – 2012 and has been a professor at Webster University, Vienna campus since 1992.

Charlie was born and raised in Minnesota, USA. He successfully completed his graduate studies at Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona in 1980 with a MBA in International Management. His special fields included Marketing and Finance. He became involved in training negotiation, presentation and communication skills back in 1985 and has been training executives and students around Europe in these fields for over 30 years. Negotiation/Mediation training and competition:

He was an Expert Assessor at the CDRC Vienna in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 and was Senior Judge at the Lex Infinitum in Goa, India in Spring 2016 and 2018, as well as at the 7th NLIU-INADR International Law School Mediation Tournament 2018 in Bhopal, India He owns LaFond Training (, a company specialized in training negotiation, presentation and communication skills.

His private interests include skiing, travel, public speaking, computers and running.

His presentation title is "Create Brain-Friendly Slides! To our cortex there is no such thing as words."
Save the Date: Saturday 15 May 2021 at 11.00am CEST

The only way that we know how to put content into our minds is through the five senses: sight, sound, taste, touch and smell.

These five senses are the gateways for the information from the outer physical world to the inner mental world. Putting a book under our pillow and hoping the information will transfer from the pages of the book to the brain via osmosis doesn’t work. So, we are left with our five senses.

About 75% of all the information we humans take in comes through our eyes; and 15% comes through our ears. That’s why we prefer presentations where we can see and hear the speaker. Listening only to - without seeing – the speaker is more difficult for the brain because it has to work harder to remain concentrated. The major input channel via the eyes is not being activated, so the mind tends to wander more quickly to other visual stimuli that is around us.

Good presenters deliberately invoke the other senses empirically through vocal imagery, e.g.:

  • the bitterness of defeat - taste
  • the smell of money - smell
  • the feeling of success - touch


Painting pictures in peoples’ minds is essential for success. We think in stories and our words paint pictures in people’s minds. When we dream, we dream in imagery – and the pictures are not static – they move! Our brain does this all automatically. We’ve all heard of “Death by PowerPoint,” which implies a bad presentation including text-heavy slides, confusing graphics, monotone voice and conflicting visual and aural messages. The brain literally freaks outs and then switches off. We simply don’t pay attention to things when they are boring or confusing.

So, it’s important to identify brain-friendly elements that affect us, then look at how those elements can be implemented easily and quickly in our slides.

#Strategic Leadership