Create a Persuasive Message in 2 steps

We all need to be persuasive. We need a vivid message to convey the true value of our idea or it will be lost to the world. I coached a scientist who’s pitch for funding wasn’t getting anywhere. His newly developed technology was groundbreaking. He was a likeable and energetic presenter, but explained his technology More…

PowerPoint blows up Space Shuttle

Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off July 8 on the final flight of the shuttle program. A video of the launch here. Seeing a Space Shuttle in the news reminds me of the TWO Space Shuttle explosions (Challenger and Columbia) and the conclusion that poor communication via PowerPoint contributed to both disasters. Some of the blame for the Columbia disaster More…

Can you translate information to a vivid message? (if not, the sharks will die)

Great communicators can translate information into vivid messages. They have the skills to assess a situation and translate the information in ways that a particular audience can relate to.   Technical presentation example While on holidays a few years ago I met a man who made his fortune with a company that builds aquariums. $20 More…

Is the internet making us stupid? (Book review)

Nicholas Carr has written a book called ‘The Shallows: What the internet is doing to our brains‘ where he argues that our dependence on the internet may have a dark side. I saw him speak recently and asked him a few questions. He tells the story of losing his own capacity for concentration and contemplation. Even when More…

A wicked message: how to make sure your message gets results (part 2)

In the last post, we defined the difference between a wicked message (which requires more mental effort on the part of the listener) and a tame message (which is clear and easy to follow). To get a response, you need a tame message. So here’s how to do it. How do you make your message More…

Wicked messages: getting people to take action (part 1)

A few years ago, a Systems Engineer at USC Berkeley wanted to understand how we could put a man on the moon, yet couldn’t do things that seemed straightforward – like designing buildings that functioned properly, agreeing on where to build freeways, etc. He identified that some problems were wicked, while other problems were tame. This concept More…