Tag Archives: persuasive

Spin is Dead. Long Live Crisis PR.

I must heap praise on my colleagues at Ketchum’s Global Corporate Practice for their insights made available through the 2013 Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor.  Apparently, there are nearly 70,000 books available on leadership.  Yet, their work supplies much-needed data on the role of communications in leadership.

The Monitor covers much ground, but here I will stick to my knitting and probe its crisis management implications.


 KLCM:  Leaders are continuing to underperform on the very behaviors viewed as the most important to effective leadership – open, transparent communication, leading by example, admitting mistakes and handling controversial issues calmly.

J.D.:  In other words – spin doesn’t work.  As the findings suggest, good crisis PR usually applies a healthy dose of openness, leadership, humility and confidence.


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A simple body-language “swing thought”

You’ve probably heard that body language is important when communicating. 

How important?  UCLA Professor Emeritus of Psychology Albert Mehrabian believes that non-verbal communication accounts for more than 50% of the success of getting your message across.  (To be exact, Mehrabian believes that words account for 7%, tone of voice 38%, and body language accounts for 55% of a listener’s ability to warm up to you or your message.)

There are nearly twenty non-verbal cues that make the difference between bad and great body language for communicators.  However, when I conduct communications training/coaching sessions, I typically don’t share that list at the beginning of a session.

Why?  I’m a golfer. 

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“Ask the Communications Coach” Vol 1., No. 1: Simplifying complex information; experts as presenters

B. Turner sent me a basket of questions to consider for this first “Ask the Communications Coach” post: 

B. Turner:   We both mentioned Pecha Kucha on the HBR blog today, one of my questions is (besides 20×20) what are other tools and methods for communicating complex ideas in limited time?  What tools or tricks do you employ?  A rhetorical question I have is why do we ask people who cannot present — whether they be engineers or human resources — to make presentations?  Does the owner of the content have to be the presenter?

Nice series of questions here, B. Turner.  Allow me to respond in two parts:

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20×20 = A Winning Architecture for Presentations

Q:  What can communicators learn from architects? 

A:  PechaKucha 20×20.


According to the movement’s Web site, PechaKucha 20×20 was born to limit architects’ long-winded presentations.  In February 2003, the first PechaKucha (pronounced pe-chak-cha) night was held at a gallery in Tokyo.  It established two rules for speaking architects.  1) Presenters were limited to twenty slides; 2) each slide must have auto-advanced every 20 seconds. 

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