Team in Training — for Communication

I’m guilty of waiting to floss until the day before my dentist appointment. Last minute rush to fix what needs to be fixed. I’ve spent the last few weeks at different company kickoffs, product rollouts and industry conferences to do a quick “floss” before they go live. But as my hygienist says to me, “That’s not ideal.”

It’s #3 on our list of the Five White Lies about Communication—“I don’t need to prep. I can wing it.” As leaders, our calendars are often booked back-to-back-to-back and it’s tempting to cross off all the small to-dos instead of focusing on the bigger issues. But it’s important to take the time to be intentional about things that make you better because you will see results.

I write this blog before the summer rollout of any kickoff, national sales meeting or company all hands. If your big meeting is in June, the time to start is now so that you can cascade your message to others whose plans might depend on it. Hundreds of people will either do or won’t do what you’re putting forward. How important is that to you?

Have you ever known someone who signed up for a marathon the day before because they think they can give it a go? It seems crazy, but it’s exactly what we do when we wait until the last minute to prepare for a high-stakes meeting.

In contrast, many prepare for a marathon or other big race with help of an organization like Team In Training, which provides a training program, timeline, coach and a supportive set of peers who all have the same goal in mind. In exchange, trainees fundraise for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

When you train for your communication—the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society won’t be the one receiving the benefit—but your audience will. Possibly more importantly, you, your cause and your influence will win if you train for your next big communication.

Top 10 Communication Moments of 2016

What a year. The Olympics. A Presidential Election. So much noise this year – a colossal communications cacophony. What, then, stood out? The moments. With such a divisive political, economic and social landscape this year, we found that people heard what they wanted to hear, and we also felt it … Continue reading

Commencement Speech: How to Rock It

As April showers make way for May flowers, graduates prepare to turn their tassels and toss their hats in the air. But what happens first? The commencement speeches, of course! For the grad, leader or educator preparing for a commencement speech, I bring you a special “how to” guide for … 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

Listen Up: It’s Time for The Big Dance

Ever give instructions to a group and the voice in the back of your head says, “they’ll know what I mean”? Well, that doesn’t always work. Even when you’re working with the best people. It happened in our office just this week when we set up our Decker Team Tournament … 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

Emotion and Story Rule

You’ve heard us say it before, and we’ll say it again: People buy on emotion and justify with fact. There’s no better place to watch emotions unfold than on the Super Bowl, and it’s no surprise to us that the commercials that stood out were the ones that got us … Continue reading

Achieving Leadership and Collaboration

We launched Decker Communications to transform people’s lives – a mission that remains the same today. Having held CEO leadership since founding the company in 1979, I take pride in the fact that we have helped hundreds of thousands of people improve their communications skills and lives. As Chairman of … Continue reading

Insights from a Speaking Immersion…

For three days last week I heard (and experienced) over 100 leaders speaking to an audience of 11,000 – including a couple dozen Senators and Representatives, Presidential candidates, authors, celebrities, and news anchors. (Most of the videos are available here.) It was an amazing experience at CPAC. This post is purely … Continue reading

The Top Ten Best (and Worst) Communicators of 2011

Our Top Ten Communicators List is all about Trust and Vision. Happily, we start with the Best list, where we honor those who communicate and lead well. Unfortunately, those who dominate the Worst list have garnered most of the attention in 2011 – for lack of trust on the high … Continue reading