Tail That Wagged The Dog

“Why does a dog wags its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail were smarter, it would wag the dog.” I remember in ’97, when the movie ‘Wag the Dog’ came out—it got me thinking about things or people that control things, who really shouldn’t. … Continue reading

Analogize It!

It’s one of the most common communications white lies we tell ourselves: “If I say the words, people will get it.” Even when your audience is well-versed in your subject matter, it’s not always true. The truth is, the most accurate data points and thoughtful analysis in the world won’t resonate … Continue reading

The Big Short

A lot of times people ask, “What are the essential components of a speech?” They’re looking for the silver-bullet, the ideal length of time spent, the appropriate level of seriousness, how much humor, how many data points to include, etc. Often, we look to TED talks, popular speeches and commencement … Continue reading

Things that Need to Be Said

“Oh, did you get your hair cut?” I say this all the time. In my mind, it’s clear as day that I’ve just given a compliment. But to the person listening, it leaves a lot of doubt and lingering questions. Does he like it? Does it look good? Did I … Continue reading

The Deal is in the Details

In case you hadn’t noticed, the concept of story is pretty hot right now. Basically every industry endorses it as its #1 bit of advice, with entire companies popping up to “help tell your story.” There are two avenues of storytelling. First, there is the simple method of telling what … Continue reading

Raise a Pint to Unexpectedness

It’s rare to catch me watching a commercial. But somehow, between DVR, my kids, Twitter and all the emails in my inbox, there I was, feeling affected by 60 seconds of brilliance. Don’t think it can happen to you? Then watch below: The genius of this ad comes from a … Continue reading

Chipotle Wraps You in Emotion

My career started in advertising, churning out sticky messages to folks like you about everything from cleaning supplies to Powerball tickets. I learned quickly that great ads (and great messages) appeal directly to our emotions. Chipotle (and their ad agency) knows this, too. They’ve been receiving lots of press over … Continue reading

Sticky Statistics

Sometimes it feels like life has become a series of statistics. Thing A is the #1 cause of Disease B, only 56% of Demographic C believes in Opinion D, and so on. At some point, we become worn down by the numbers, and they lose their impact. So, what do … Continue reading

We’re Exci-TED.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: TED Conference Time. As participants in #TED2013 Live, we’ve been privy to this year’s ideas worth spreading. With so many ideas (over 84 different talks in 4 days) – which ones do we remember most? Those that were well-communicated, of course. Fact: … Continue reading