When the Director of the U.S. Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Rochelle Walensky turned from her official update this week on the COVID-19 pandemic and said, “I’m going to lose the script here,” it was a breathtaking moment of vulnerability and authenticity. She had just finishing a virtual press conference on the pandemic […]
The ability to lead through clear, persuasive communications is more important than ever. Too often, however, presentation skills training focuses on just that — skills. But a coaching approach builds capabilities. How many slides are enough, but not too much? How should they design the slides? What should they wear to an important presentation? Should […]
The last year has been challenging for many obvious reasons, including the ever-changing situation with policies regarding telework, or work-from-home (WFH). The ability of managers and employees to remain flexible has challenged everyone to remain resilient. Eventually many, if not most, employees will return to the office environment in some form. Business leaders must do […]
First, let’s not call it “return to work,” because people have been working, albeit not in the office. Now that that’s settled, let’s talk about how they’ll return to the office. Depending on where you live and work, your company or organization may be preparing to return to work in the office. Various studies and […]
Before I start a training or coaching program, I ask my clients to complete a simple self-assessment of their communications or presentation skills. It helps us both to focus on immediate needs. Very often, in assessing their own communication style, they lament the “ums” and “uhs” that pepper their delivery. These vocal fillers are called […]
There are over 30,000 results for book titles with the word “storytelling” at a well-known online bookseller in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn about storytelling with data, with photography, for branding, for social justice, and how storytelling makes us human (at least two titles in the first page of results). There is storytelling for […]
Generally speaking, I discourage clients from writing scripts for their presentations and pitches. There are several reasons for this. First, it’s rare that a memorized speech comes off naturally. You can often tell if someone is delivering a speech they’ve committed to memory. It doesn’t sound like natural, spoken language. Instead, it sounds like you’re […]
Leaders are facing pressure to reassure their stakeholders with messages of certainty. The last six months of global turmoil have investors and employees turning to business leaders for reassurance about job security and economic projections. Sure, you can use mega trends, weak signals and other foresight tools to create a picture of the future. But […]
What can we learn about “false choice” questions from media coverage of COVID-19?
Before they can believe you, your audience has to like you.