Archive for the ‘communication’ Category



Visualcy and the New Language of Communication

The job of the innovator is to create a new culture. But the job of the communicator is to speak the language of the culture, or create a new language in order to communicate effectively. Recently, I heard David Kinamman, president of Barna Research, talk about visualcy. I immediately understood it and it gave name to a trend I have been aware of for quite some time. Content is moving from passive to interactive from literacy to visualcy The average American teenage consumes 34 gigs of information a day, mostly video games and television Printed words account for less than 0.1% of today’s total communication The average teen spends more than 10 hours a day looking at media What are the implication for communicators? How is this shift impacting how you communicate?

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How Twitter Has Helped Me to Become a Better Writer

For some Twitter is a waste of time. For others it is a way to stay in touch with the world. But it has helped me become a better writer. Twitter forces me to make an argument or develop a thought in no more than 140 characters. In a world of digital verbosity, that’s hard to do. But how much can one communicate in such small chunks, including spaces and punctuation? A lot of people tell me it’s too restrictive. But it has compelled me to focus on the power of words, using them deliberately and effectively–painting a clear picture with few strokes. As a former college teacher, I expected my English composition students to get to the point quickly and give their readers a reason to read on. In a time of endless blogs and social networks where prose flows unfettered, a well-crafted thought has the opportunity to rule…

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Communicating with a New Generation

If you’re going to lead anything you need to learn to communicate across generations. Most of us have no problem communication with those are older than we are, but we often stumble when dealing with the younger generations. I have studied, worked with and watch e generation that prefers learning in a non-sequential, mosaic way–no doubt influenced by the a culture saturated with endless sound and video bytes. I have experienced that first hand in the lives of my own children whose world is one large media bucket where they both learn and interact with information in a much more informal and yet dynamic way than I did at their age. We no longer search for information, but information seeks and finds us whenever we are. Between my Twitter and Facebook feeds I’m constantly aware of news, trivia, the important and the ridiculous searching for me every second of the…

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The Problem with the Fake Blog

“And let’s also add a blog to the new site design,” he said as if it were an afterthought, which I was sure it was. Knowing his propensity for delegating, I probed further, “That’s great. How often are you planning on blogging?” “Oh, I’m not going to write the blog myself, ” he said assuredly, “my secretary is going to take care of that.” Unfortunately, I find myself having this conversation with Pastors and business leaders more and more often. What ensues is usually a long argument about what a blog should or shouldn’t be. Here are some thoughts on the matter: Your blog should be your voice. It’s telling your story or the things you’re passionate about. No one else can do it for you. Are you sure you want your assistant speaking for you? If you have a corporate blog than, it’s a different matter. You can even…

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My New Stranger Strategy

What would it happen if I made a habit of walking up to a complete strangers and introducing myself? In the past few months I have tried to be intentional about doing just that.  I have done it in airports, at the gym, and restaurants. I had no idea of what to expect. Would people be annoyed? Would they look at me with the you-are-creeping-me-out stare? Would they dismiss or ignore me? Not really. People’s reactions have surprised me.  The great majority of people seem genuinely glad to have a brief personal dialogue with a perfect stranger. I believe human beings are created to be part of a shared existence, part of community. It’s easy to be in the middle of a room filled with people and to be alone, go to work everyday and not connect with anyone, walk around a large gym, see the same people for months…

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How Not to Leave a Job. A Lesson From Caddy Steve Williams

The way you leave a job says more about you than the way you started it. Recently Tiger Woods fired his caddy of 13 years, Steve Williams. Unfortunately for Mr. Williams, his public reaction to the event is a classic case of how not to walk away from a job. Whether or not Tiger was justified in firing Williams, the time and manner of it is truly irrelevant. The only thing Williams can control is his reaction. In Steve’s own words: “Following the completion of the AT&T National I am no longer caddying for Tiger after he informed me that he needed to make a change. After 13 years of loyal service needless to say this came as a shock. Given the circumstances of the past 18 months working through Tiger’s scandal, a new coach and with it a major swing change and Tiger battling through injuries I am very…

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Best Defense Against an Insult

The best defense to an insult is a greater insult, but not back to the person who slighted you, but to yourself. The inherent problem with an insult is that often we don’t know if it’s meant as a joke in poor taste, a true put down wrapped in a joke for the passive aggressive or a true ugly slight.  Before I figured out how to deal with these, I found myself in no-win situations. If it was meant as a joke and I over reacted, I would come across as an insecure jerk. If the put down was wrapped in a joke and I called the person on it, they would quickly remind me “I’m just kidding. Where’s your sense of humor?” And if it was meant as insult, it was most likely there to bait me into an argument or a fight at the wrong place and time.…

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Are You Communicating or Trying to Impress?

“He’s so smart. I can’t understand half of he’s talking about.” I heard that said of a speaker not long ago. I couldn’t disagree more. Good communication takes into account your target audience and tries to create a bridge between the message and the audience it’s trying to reach. Great communicators do now show off how much they know about a subject to the point of overwhelming or confusing someone else. That’s the fodder of insecure, pseudo intellectuals who want to make sure you know they are smarter than you at any chance they get. One of the challenges I face as a consultant is to help my clients to communicate clearly and effectively. The longer we are a part of an organization, a movement, an industry, the more likely we are to create and adapt to our own language, ideas, and set of standards that often miss communicate our…

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How do You Prepare Your Messages or Presentations?

How do you prepare for your speaking engagements? Pastors have to prepare a message every week, sometimes two or even three messages in the course of a few days. The pressure is always on to deliver something that will challenge, motivate, inspire and ultimately cause people to move from complacency and the status quo into a deeper relationship with God.  While most pastors believe that God is the One who does the changing and convincing, they are also aware they’re called to be a spokesperson for things that are sacred and cannot abdicate their responsibility to prepare. Recently I interviewed Mike Slaughter, Sr. Pastor of Ginghamsburg Church, and he shared with me in the video below how he prepares the message that he delivers 5 times each weekend. How do you prepare for a message or presentation?

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Social Digital Fraud: A Failed Social Media Campaign

I was recently reminded of a failed social media campaign that started with a lot of promise but went nowhere. For all practical purposes the campaign is still going because there are “posts” being created everyday. As I reflect what went wrong, here’s my assessment: Blog content is never fresh. It is re purposed from old material. It’s edited, sanitized and packaged but it lacks soul and relevance. There are no personal posts in the blog, twitter or Facebook. And the reason why there are no personal posts is because the author delegated his entire campaign to someone else. The few people who began following early on quickly figured that the author was not the one posting and stopped following. Readers were ignored. Early on when people commented on posts, they were ignored. So they stop commenting, and eventually reading it. Posts are monologues. There are no questions, no interactivity,…

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