Tag Archives: Communications

Structure Your Presentation Like a Story – HBR

Recommended if you are in a leadership and management role.  Communications how-to.

Excerpt: After studying hundreds of speeches, I’ve found that the most effective presenters use the same techniques as great storytellers: By reminding people of the status quo and then revealing the path to a better way, they set up a conflict that needs to be resolved.

That tension helps them persuade the audience to adopt a new mindset or behave differently — to move from what is to what could be. And by following Aristotle’s three-part story structure (beginning, middle, end), they create a message that’s easy to digest, remember, and retell.

Here’s how it looks when you chart it out:

Read full article via Structure Your Presentation Like a Story – Nancy Duarte – Harvard Business Review.

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What I Learned from My TED Talk – HBR

This is a good read — primarily because it explores underlying reasoning  —  not just bad marks on a something.  Learning should not be something ‘you have done’, it is something ‘you need to do and keep on doing’.  Leadership and management.  Communications

Excerpt:  Which is why one “rule” of my recent book on the Social Era is: “Learn. Unlearn. (Repeat.)” Rather than viewing change as an aberration, we need to understand it as a natural part of life and work.

Read full article via What I Learned from My TED Talk – Nilofer Merchant – Harvard Business Review.

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How Much Can Your Employees Get Away With? – HBR

A good read on one way neuroscience study for the leader and manager can help in understanding the behavior or others and making sure our communications are delivering the message we want to deliver.  Recommended for all leadership and management.

Excerpt:  ….. had figured out my “contingency maps”; they had figured out the unwritten if…then logic of my behavior. Regardless of what I said, every student knew what they could get away with and what work they were going to have to do. And this was independent of motivation, or of the power of my rewards and punishments. Some of them loved the work, while some of them didn’t want anything to do with school. But they all tended to not do what they could get away with not doing, in some way or another, that first semester. Now that I have studied neuroscience and psychology, I understand what was happening, and what to do about it.

Unbeknownst to the students, they were using the brains’ powerful ability to recognize patterns and adapt to them. As a leader who is aware of this aspect of brain function, you can learn when you are communicating the wrong message and how to communicate the right one; and thus elicit the employee behaviors and organizational culture you want.

Read full article via How Much Can Your Employees Get Away With? – Josh Davis – Harvard Business Review.

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Going Global? — Wharton@Work October 2012

Tool and tips in today’s hottest topics, marketing, branding, communications, and more.

Excerpt:  Nano Tool:
Some companies approach global brands by retaining complete control over branding, marketing, distribution, communication, and pricing. Others leave those decisions up to local players. But most use a hybrid approach, balancing corporate control with some measure of local autonomy. How can you determine the best approach for your company? It always starts by looking at your customers’ current and future desires and needs. By approaching each brand decision from the customer’s perspective, you can choose a blend of global control and local touch based on which does a better job of serving your customers.

Read full article via Going Global? — Wharton@Work October 2012.

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Betari Box – Communication Skills Training

More communication tools for leadership and management.  It is sometimes easy to fall into the habit and trap of “not expecting” which inevitably will reward you with “not getting”

Excerpt: ……. they stopped making decisions for themselves; they just asked him what he wanted when a decision had to be made, and they stopped taking responsibility for what they were doing. This reinforced the boss’s belief that they weren’t capable of working under their own initiative.

Have you ever seen a cyclical pattern of behavior like this in your workplace? It’s common in organizations, and it’s illustrated in a simple model called the Betari Box.

In this article, we’ll show you what the Betari Box is, and you’ll learn how to use it to improve the mood of your workplace.

Read full article via Betari Box – Communication Skills Training from MindTools.com.

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Heron’s Six Categories of Intervention – Communication Skills Training

Again great tool from MindTools for leadership and management  —  this tool gives you help with communications necessary motivate others and more.

Excerpt:  John Heron’s framework provides a model for analyzing how you deliver help. His model identifies six primary categories or styles of helping intervention. Based on studies in counseling, his categories became widely used to study and train health and education professionals.

However, more recently, business professionals – managers, supervisors, coaches, consultants, sales people – have used the six-category model to learn and improve how they interact when helping their employees, team members, clients and customers.

This article helps you understand Heron’s model so that you can use it to improve your business and management communication skills and so improve the outcome of the help you offer.

Read full article via Heron’s Six Categories of Intervention – Communication Skills Training from MindTools.com.

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When Did Yoda Start Writing CEO Speeches? – HBR

I loved this article — as you know, if you have frequented this site often, I love wordsmiths and well written content, but will readily admit to being guilty of all author mentions and more in crucifying construct.     I always want to minimize the content to the least number of words possible — sort of a very bad shorthand communications.  For all leadership and management

Excerpt:  We invent jargon, rely heavily on clichés, repeat catchphrases endlessly, and restart sentences three or four times before finding a way to finish them. And to paraphrase Schopenhauer, every generation ridicules the other ones, and they are all right. Millennials think their elders speak in a lifeless monotone (think Ben Stein), and we think they use upspeak way too much. But for some reason, nothing pains me as much as the backloaded business sentence.

Read full short article via When Did Yoda Start Writing CEO Speeches? – Andrew McAfee – Harvard Business Review.

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How Not to Say Yes – HBR

I first bypassed this article and then went back to take a second look — there are very valuable, simple but oft forgotten, communication tips here.   It is funny the author remembers his geometry lessons as “profound wisdom” in leadership  —  I personally hated geometry and trigonometry but absolutely loved algebra and the great wordsmiths …..  and like the author of this article,  I also believe my early lessons have had a profound effect on who I am today.  All teachers, please take note here.

Excerpt:  One of the first lessons in geometry I learnt in school was Pythagoras’ Theorem, which mesmerized me with its simple yet compelling logic. It was Pythagoras who also taught me one of my first lessons as a manager. I still remember the profound wisdom of his statement: “The oldest, shortest words — “yes” and “no” — are those which require the most thought.”

Many of us have agonized over the right way to say “no.” As leaders, we learn to be careful about making negative statements, so we don’t dampen people’s initiative, demoralize them, or undermine the chances of getting something done.

For the most part, though, we forget that there are ways of saying “yes” that can have the same devastating results. Three examples:

Read full article via How Not to Say Yes – Vineet Nayar – Harvard Business Review.

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Your Body Language Speaks for You in Meetings – HBR

I think this is very true.  I find that in my quest to understand all communications from another, both voice and body language, it is easy to forget what I am communicating with my voice combined with body language to the other person.  Good read for all leadership and management

Excerpt:  Besides our choice of words and the volume and tone of a voice, gestures, posture and facial expressions all convey powerful messages to the people we are talking to, which is precisely why everyone pays close attention to other people’s body language. What’s more, some research suggests that your body language can even affect your hormones, which affects your decisions and attitudes to risk. In other words, how we say what we say to people is at least as important as what we say to them.

Yet for all the care we take to read other people’s body language, we’re remarkably unconscious when it comes to our own.

Read full article via Your Body Language Speaks for You in Meetings – Charalambos Vlachoutsicos – Harvard Business Review.

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3 Techniques Bill Clinton Uses To Wow An Audience

Communications —  borrow some tips.

Excerpt:  Bill Clinton has decades of public-speaking experience, a deep well of charisma, and record high favorability ratings. But even mere mortals can borrow a few of his simple techniques to make our own presentations shine.

Read full article via 3 Techniques Bill Clinton Uses To Wow An Audience | Fast Company.

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The iPhone 5 Show: Why Apple Switched Speakers Every 10 Minutes

Dissecting the effectiveness of the Apple show provides takeaways for all presenters, trainers, etc.    Communications leadership and management

Excerpt:  According to John Medina, a molecular biologist at the University of Washington medical school, “The brain seems to be making choices according to some stubborn timing pattern, undoubtedly influenced by both culture and gene.” Medina once told me that in every college course he teaches he asks the same question of his students: “Given a class of medium interest, not too boring and not too exciting, when do you start glancing at the clock, wondering when the class will be over?” The answer is always exactly the same—ten minutes. That means as a speaker you need to re-engage the audience after approximately ten minutes or less.

Read full article via The iPhone 5 Show: Why Apple Switched Speakers Every 10 Minutes – Forbes.

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What Are The Steps To Creating A Team Of Internal Bloggers?

Good tips in this article — a percentage of businesses have set up blogs but not many are doing it well.  This article gives you how-to set up a multiperson internal blog team.  Martketing

Excerpt:  We dig a little deeper in how to grow a successful corporate blogging program. Here is more from my chat with Silicon Valley communications legend Lou Hoffman. He has extensive experience educating corporations to help them build effective corporate blogs.

Read full article via What Are The Steps To Creating A Team Of Internal Bloggers? « The @Steveology Blog.

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Columbia Ideas at Work : Feature : Negotiating+Judgment

More today on negotiating tools, techniques and expertise — this article from Columbia Business School.   Good read for all leaderhip, management and those in communication roles.

Excerpt:  It’s crucial to be prepared to test and overturn your own assumptions — because while stereotypes may sometimes reflect insights that help prepare in a negotiation, exaggerated or just plain wrong stereotypes hinder judgment. Likewise, assuming that superficial similarities signal deeper motivations can make for poor judgments. “If I come in thinking the other party wants price more than quality, it’s a reasonable starting assumption that I’ll want to test that over the course of the conversation and be ready for sign that I’m incorrect.”

Read full article via Columbia Ideas at Work : Feature : Negotiating+Judgment.  From Columbia Business School

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Six Ways to Prepare for a Stellar Presentation

Here is how-to give the best presentation ever and to do it every time.    Communications

Excerpt:  Have you ever given a presentation and when it was over you said to yourself . . . “I should have been better prepared.”?

Have you vowed in that moment of stress, frustration and with the sense of lost opportunity that “I’ll be better prepared next time.”?

Then, as the next presentation came up like a speeding-out-of-control freight train, did you find yourself in the same dilemma?

Maybe you have had these experiences and thoughts, yet you didn’t really know a great way to get that preparation.

Never fear. That is the goal of this article – to give you specific actionable ways that you can prepare for the delivery of your best presentation ever. What follows are six suggestions for doing that. But before we get to those six approaches, let’s start with a major key to your presentation, and how it relates to your preparation.

Read full article via Six Ways to Prepare for a Stellar Presentation.  From Leadership & Learning with Kevin Eikenberry

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Take Ownership of Your Actions by Taking Responsibility – HBR

This is a great read for everyone, period.   No matter who we are, if you cannot identify with times you have fallen into this defunct, go nowhere crevice, you are most likely not being honest.  Leadership and management.  Communications

Excerpt:  Are you stalled in a project at work, waiting on someone else to take initiative to get things moving? Are you in a broken professional relationship — with a manager, coworker, or employee — hoping the other person assumes blame and fixes the issue? Are you looking for an easy way to get focused or improve your productivity — a silver bullet from an unexpected source?

One of the most common momentum killers I’ve seen in my professional life is our propensity to wait for someone else to act, take initiative, assume blame, or take charge. But very often, no help comes.

Read full article via Take Ownership of Your Actions by Taking Responsibility – John Coleman – Harvard Business Review.

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