Communication:

Looking for the latest communication tips? Communication is more than just the delivery of facts and data. True communication is just as much about listening as it is imparting. And there are a lot of ways to do it wrong. Here you can find all the latest news that we have handpicked on this most important topic. Communication: Everyone does it, even when they’re trying not to, and doing it well requires constant improvement. Here you can brush up your skills on ways to avoid failure, use better words, make more relevant points, understand context, make it stick and build understanding. Plus, getting great at presenting … or at least how not to dread it so much.

Communication

You Can’t Not Communicate

One of the tougher challenges for most of us doing public work is convincing the people who run the organizations...
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Communication

Hyper-Communication

It’s sometimes tough to get people to take communication very seriously. I mean, everybody communicates – you’re always communicating something...
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Communication

Making Your Message Stick

Although this was written for a slightly different purpose, it will suffice for whatever message you’re working on right now....
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Communication

A Better Response to the Pandemic

Most credible public health experts agree that COVID-19 is surging in most states, but there’s still a way to get...
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Communication

What The Heck is a SOCO?!

Goldman Sachs – not exactly a bastion of liberal fervor – says, “We estimate that statewide mask mandates gradually raise...
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Communication

“Because I Said So” Doesn’t Work

Whatever you’re trying to get across, remember that it’s about the why, not just the what. People need reasons –...
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Communication

Twelve Ways to Beat BS

Made up, malicious, intentional disinformation is no longer the rare exception that can simply be ignored or dismissed; it’s now...
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Communication

Managing People from Six Feet Away

On top of your real everyday life, your job and priorities have changed in the past few weeks. Although most...
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Communication

12 Tips for Making Your Point

Much of the communication around this pandemic has been less than stellar and in some cases it’s been appalling. At...
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Communication

Home Alone and Staying Credible

If you’re fortunate enough to still be employed at this moment, count your blessings; you and I are better off...
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Communication

The Consequence of Fake News

Propaganda, obfuscation, spin and bull$%#t are now facts of public life to a degree that we haven’t seen before in...
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Communication

Use Your Indoor Voice

I was fortunate enough to make a living with mine in my first career and I find it comes in...
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Communication

Eight (8) Ways to Avoid Failures to Communicate

It’s common human arrogance to assume that anything we say, write or deliver in some way will be interpreted by...
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Communication

Fun with Words

Here’s the list of 20 important words that slithered into our vocabulary in the last decade. I’m not going to...
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Communication

Stop, Sort of, Using, like Modifiers

Now that we’re all on the usual path of New Year self-improvement, I suggest we consider the following. These verbal...
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Communication

Nudging Egos to Get the Point Across

Smart people don’t often take kindly to criticism about how they communicate what they know so well. The challenge is...
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Communication

The Beginning is a Pretty Good Place to Start

We’re living in a remarkable new age of professional propaganda where lies have become as common as truth. We’re in...
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Communication

The Best Leaders are the Best Communicators

You may have noticed that the public sector workforce is changing – a lot. Of course, there’s always an ongoing...
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Communication

Right Words for Tough Times

Most of our clients are in the bad news business – you may be one of them. Delivering less than...
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Communication

Learn the Right Words to Use

Our inability to communicate with each other is spooky. (Gratuitous Halloween reference.) By every reasonable, credible, objective source that I...
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Communication

Use Fewer Words

As someone who suffers from the affliction, I can tell you that attention spans are getting shorter. In fact, studies...
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Communication

Use Your Words

We’re in a hard-to-explain field. One of the recurring lines that you’ll hear at gatherings of community engagement people is...
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Communication

This Is Us

As conveners and managers of people who have challenges and need to solve problems, we’re usually asked to help groups...
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Communication

How We’re Being Schooled

Politics has always been and may always be a blood sport with one goal: win, to gain and keep power....
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Communication

Silence, When Speaking, is Golden. Ironic, Huh.

Successful public speaking requires people who listen. One way to get and keep their attention is by emphasizing the space...
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Communication

Microphonebia?

I rarely run across anyone who likes to use a microphone. When they’re handed one, people say, “Oh, I don’t...
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Communication

Use the Right Words

There are 171,476 words in the Oxford English dictionary. The average person uses between 20,000 to 48,000 of them, so...
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Communication

Do You Really Mean What I Heard You Say?

So much information is exchanged online in some way; it’s how most people are connecting and how government agencies are...
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Communication

Speaking of Truthiness

The changes in news, who and how it’s presented and how “news” is defined is top of mind if we’re...
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Communication

It’s All About The Words You Use

Mechanical engineers speak a language that urban planners don’t understand, and biologists use language that’s probably meaningless to atmospheric scientists....
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Communication

Relatively Simple and Exceptionally Effective Presentation Skills

Great presenters and speakers are made – not born – so do yourself a favor and carve out sixteen (16)...
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Communication

Story Interesting, Data Boring

Welcome to the new Age of Unreason. When my opinions trump your facts, when any news that might be contrary...
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Communication Community Engagement

Helping People Get Comfortable with Change

Communication and engagement is at the core of successfully driving change in any organization or business, and with any kind...
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Communication

“… you like me, right now, you like me!”– Sally Field

That classic and often misquoted quote from Sally Fields’ Academy Award acceptance speech speaks to one of Robert Cialdini’s principles...
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Communication

Don’t Call Me

Way, waaay back in the olden days (like almost 20 years ago) when you wanted to communicate with somebody, you...
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Communication

Fake News

One of our regular training workshops deals – in part – with why people fall for things that aren’t true,...
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Communication

The Catastrophic Consequence of Communication Failure

Time flies. It’s hard to believe that it was 33 years ago – just last month – that STS-51-L, the...
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Behavioral Science Communication

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

It’s a tough work environment for people in a lot of organizations these days with forced changes, shutdowns and shifting...
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Communication Community Engagement

Listen Up!

Active listening is a big but often disregarded part of real communication and public engagement, but sometimes it’s easy to...
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Communication Consensus

Humility

Power and control usually manifest as arrogance and that makes people angry. We use different terms and euphemisms – reducing public anger...
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Communication

The New Rules

A course that I teach at Indiana University is, in part, taught online. Most of it is face to face...
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Communication Community Engagement

They Don’t Get It and They Won’t Remember It

Your mission and the work that you do is complex and full of detail. It may not be that complex...
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Communication

Try to Communicate With Some Tact, You Jerk

The author of this piece notes that it’s odd talking about this subject in this day and age but if...
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Communication Community Engagement

Start With a Question, Not Just Your Argument

Most institutions start their encounters and meetings with the public intending to transfer the data and information that exists in...
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Communication Conflict Resolution

Eight Tips on Talking With People – from the Best

I spent most of my earlier career years interviewing lots of different kinds of people about lots of topics, which...
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Communication Conflict Resolution

Delivering Bad News in a Better Way

Government exists to provide for the common welfare. That means government is usually in the business of resolving conflicts for...
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Communication Community Engagement

Same Message, Different Audience = Different Approach

I just spent a couple of days with a group of very smart Midwest State agency people coaching their engineers...
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Communication

Tell Me a Story

You have one, you know … we all do. The facts, data and information that you need to impart to...
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Behavioral Science Communication

You Work with Millennials

Millennials, who are now assuming the lead in government and other institutions, have the dubious honor of fixing the problems...
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Communication Consensus

Words Matter. Context Can Matter Even More.

Much has been said, written and accusations made about the use of words. There’s no question that words stir, inspire...
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Communication

Transformative Words

Mark Twain said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis...
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Behavioral Science Communication

Change for Engineers

This isn’t about changing engineers (that’s just creepy), it’s about helping technically oriented people understand how and why people resist...
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Communication

Tell Me A Story

We got some nice feedback on the ‘story’ stories in the last newsletter, so I thought I’d give you one more...
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Communication

Thank You, Story Lady!

Thank You, Story Lady! The above title references a series of old comedy schticks (Google: Story Lady radio) that ran a...
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Communication

What’s Your Point?

Getting to your point right up front in presentations and written material hit a nerve with people after the last...
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Communication Trust

Profound Bull$%#&

Profound Bull$%#& If you’re still able to watch, listen to, or read about national political news and commentary, you’re being...
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Communication Community Engagement

Back to the Basics

Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the details and nuance of what we do for a living, so once...
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Behavioral Science Communication

Managing Yourself in Tough Meetings

If you’re ‘lucky’ enough to deal with public confrontations and tough meetings in your work, you know that managing your...
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Behavioral Science Communication

You Can’t Read Anybody

Empathy is a big part of our craft and we talk about it in many of the courses that we...
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Communication Consensus

Burying The Lead

Most people working in public service come to it with advanced degrees. They’ve usually learned a specific way of presenting...
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Collaboration Communication

Soft Skills, My A%$

Eventually we’re going to have to figure out how to talk to, deal with, and work with people that we...
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Communication

Our Digital Challenge

What can you do in one minute? Well here’s what happens in 60 seconds online: The volume of digital communication is...
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Communication Community Engagement

Conversation Craftsmanship

Good communication and engagement starts with connections and that typically requires conversation. Our focus on tools and electronic media has...
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Behavioral Science Communication

Can You Hear Me Now?

You might have noticed that listening is one of the 10 rules in the previous Ted Talk, so these next...
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Communication Community Engagement

It’s All About That Dialogue, No Trouble

This newsletter offers varying ideas and approaches for engaging and communicating better with the public, including presentations, words, (re)building trust,...
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Behavioral Science Communication

Dumb & Dumber

The “Curse of Knowledge” suggests that experts in almost any field find it difficult to communicate and connect with people...
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Communication Trust

It Starts with Connections

Developing and nurturing dialogue has to start with communication and connecting. And that requires curiosity, empathy, finding core values, consistency...
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Communication

Once Upon a Presentation

A lot of government’s face time with the public often involves making presentations to groups in semi-formal public meeting settings....
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Communication

Wordsmithing

I was talking to ALEXA the other night and we were discussing the fact that the subtlety and effectiveness between...
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Communication

Glossophobia is Not the Fear of Lip Gloss

Public speaking (glossophobia) is a source of high anxiety for most people – it’s our biggest social fear. So, when...
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Communication Trust

The Best Response Starts With Any Response

The ‘Outrage’ course that we teach explains attributes that cause people to be more or less angry, fearful or trusting...
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Communication Trust

#FakeNews

An 11-year-long study in the journal Science corroborated by six independent fact checking organizations found that false news stories spread...
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Communication Community Engagement

Fear and Loathing in the Lunchroom

Engaging people starts with communicating and connecting and that’s just not easy or intuitive for a lot of people. You...
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Communication Consensus

What’d She Say?

What people think they’ve heard or read can be very different from what you think you’ve said or written and...
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Communication

Do This, Not That

If you make presentations to people – and who doesn’t – here are 31 things to avoid.
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Behavioral Science Communication

Humor is a Funny Thing

The United States is in a bad mood. I was talking with a group of smart people recently who agreed...
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Communication Trust

Telling It Like It Isn’t

You probably realize that what comes out of your mouth is often irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Your non-verbal...
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Communication Community Engagement

This Stoked Bro’s Speech to LA’s City Council is Epic

If this doesn’t make you want to shotgun a tall boy, nothing will.
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Behavioral Science Communication

Let’s Talk About Me, Me Me

You either already are, or will be, dealing with true-blue narcissists, those folks who are … shall we say …...
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Communication Conflict Resolution

Opinions are Like Belly Buttons, Everybody Has One

I prefer the cruder version of the above headline but hey, it’s Christmas time. We all know people who have...
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Behavioral Science Communication

There’s One Thing That You Want People to Remember

Ellen Degeneres, the comedienne and talk show host, regularly uses the line – and titled her book, My point…and I do...
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Communication Community Engagement

Asking the Right Questions

Max Hardy is a longtime Aussie mate and colleague of ours who, in this Ted talk, does a nice job...
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