Where It All Begins: Your Listeners

You can’t pass go, you can’t collect $200 (let alone $20,000 or $200,000 for your next initiative) if you haven’t gone through the first step:

That’s right. Rephrase your agenda to meet theirs, instead.

Since our goal is to influence others and to persuade them to take action, we can’t talk all about ourselves.

We must step back and ask ourselves some key questions about the audience. This is a critical first step in the process even – or especially – if you know your listener(s) well – for example, your team, your boss, or a key client. While you may have worked with them for years, and understand how they think about and approach a situation, that doesn’t mean that their same opinions, thoughts, and goals translate directly to another subject.

What should you say?

All depends on who’s listening.

 

Crisis Communication: Power of Your Voice

While I was driving to work, I was listening to the morning news on the radio. During a report about the latest Ebola outbreak, I was shocked to hear a voice of calm – it was a doctor and scientist with great bedside manner. Check out the audio from this … Continue reading

Upspeak: Destroyer of Credibility

Invisible question marks – ending sentences on a higher pitch is a plague that has seeped from middle school girls into our business communications. Maybe even to yours. Taylor Mali’s Def Poetry Jam explains: I’ve witnessed upspeak at the highest levels of Fortune 100 companies, and I’ve heard it used … Continue reading

Commencement Speech: How to Rock It

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How to Rock an Acceptance Speech

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Ring in the Humor

Bobsled. Halfpipe. Hockey. Figure skating and speed skating. Slalom. Ski jumping. Even curling. With 3 young boys in the house, we watched a lot of Olympic coverage this year. My personal favorite moments are always the opening and closing ceremonies, and I was floored at this year’s closing ceremony. Of … Continue reading

Sneeze Season: How to Present When You’re Sick

A few weeks back I had to fend off cold/migraine as I gutted my way through a lengthy presentation. It would have been nice to reschedule. Sometimes that’s just not possible. You, too, may find yourself having to battle your symptoms while presenting. Beyond “drink lots of fluids,” here are … Continue reading

The Top Ten Best (and Worst) Communicators of 2013

Announcing the 18th Annual Top Ten Best (and Worst) Communicators of the Year! The list is diverse, including business and global leaders, athletes, politicians and celebrities, with specific examples and tangible takeaways. See how these lessons translate for use with your colleagues, your customers and even your kids. The 10 … Continue reading

Nelson Mandela: Consummate Communicator

“Let there be peace for all. Let there be justice for all. The sun shall never set on such a glorious human achievement.” – Nelson Mandela We join the rest of the world to celebrate the incredible impact and legendary life of Nelson Mandela. While much can be said about … Continue reading

Increasing Executive Presence

Looking for a shortcut to increase your executive presence? There are 4 key competencies you must master. As executives, the piece we most often overlook is the importance of being plainspoken. The sum of all of those abstractions (that many of us learned in business school – KPI, anyone?) does … Continue reading