40 Years: Communicating Lessons Learned

Since founding Decker Communications, Inc. in 1979, Bert Decker has seen dramatic changes in the communication landscape – yet many things remain the same. In this special series on the Decker blog, he’ll give some insight into these changes over the last 40 years. He calls it “View from the 40th Floor.” Here’s Bert:

The years have been kind—and fascinating.

We began in 1979 with the first two-day Effective Communicating™ program, two people, lots of ideas, no money and a mortgage. We continue that hallmark program today (now called Communicate To Influence™) with over 50 talented people providing training, coaching and consulting for businesses and top executives all over the world—along with the added power of new forms of electronic learning.

But thinking of the audience (you!), let me not pontificate but get into some of the changes I’ve seen in the past 40 years at the forefront of communications.

I’d like to show how we can use what’s new and good, and look at a few eternal truths in the process. After all, humans communicating is what life has been about since the beginning, and continues to be. We need to get our message across to connect, relate and persuade. The need for trust never changes. We’re just using new ways to get there.

Here are a few of the areas I’d like to explore with you:

  • The Technology Multiplier: Leveraging technology to maximize our impact, and the impact of social media.
  • Coaching: You can’t do without it anymore. Atul Gawande says why
  • Speed: We live in a one-click world. Technology has shortened our expectations of time and time spans. Impatience reigns – sometimes that’s not so good. The ability to deliver faster and better – now that’s good. How do we do that? 
  • Gender: What can we learn from some eternal truths and some changes in the way men and women communicate differently now than in 1979.

And then maybe we’ll touch on PowerPoint, teleprompters, always being “on” (since there are now cameras everywhere), handling the media and more.

What would you like me to write about? I’d love to hear what YOU think has changed in 40 years – or not. Let me know!

4 comments on “40 Years: Communicating Lessons Learned

  1. Twitter makes instant communication – if you follow people. If not you won’t get it, so most of Twitter goes up in the Cloud. (Except politics which all the news channels follow – more effective than press releases for getting a viewpoint out.)

    But in my second blog we shift the focus to being more effective at our behavior and focused messaging to be able to best utilize the technology –
    https://decker.com/blog/view-from-the-40th-floor-the-technology-multiplier/

    Thanks Jim – Bert

  2. Hi Bert,
    I remember myself as a twenty four year old ad sales rookie at Sunset Magazine – circa 1984. I remember being asked to give my first “so tell me a little about Sunset” around a table of my colleagues. Let’s just say if it was music, it would have sounded like a drum set being pushed down a flight of stairs. Not too long after that, at my first national sales meeting, I got to hear Bert Decker talk to us about the power of effective communication. Changed my life and supercharged my sales career.
    Today, I’m training folks, and am inspired constantly by your fine example all those years ago. I constantly say that technology may have made us more efficient communicators, but it certainly hasn’t helped us be more effective communicators.
    Your thoughts please.
    Bill Ganon

    • Hi Bill,
      Great history at Sunset – don’t know whether you knew but I ran Sunset Films just before starting Decker Communications. Good times…

      And I agree with you that technology hasn’t made us more effective communicators (except for the ease of more video feedback – that helps.) The point it we all really NEED to be more effective at our behavior and focused messaging to be able to best utilize the technology – subject of my second blog in this series:
      https://decker.com/blog/view-from-the-40th-floor-the-technology-multiplier/
      Thanks for your comment,
      Bert

  3. Thanks Bert I’ll be interested in seeing discussions on how the impact of Twitter and Facebook have impacted communications even the president communicates everybody expects an instant response nobody has the time to sit down and think anymore

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