The bigger the crisis, the smaller the words you need

small words make big impact in a crisis

If you want your words to have impact, keep them simple. A great article in the Harvard Business Review brings this home wonderfully, by looking at some of the messaging around Covid-19. When New York governor Andrew Cuomo issued the order that disrupted life for millions of New Yorkers and shut down the city’s financial …

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Tips to boost engagement during virtual sessions

tips to facilitate virtual sessions

By Gerard Murphy, President, Barefoot Facilitation Inc. What if people left your virtual sessions celebrating the outstanding experience they’ve just had?  That would be amazing, right? I’ve attended countless virtual events since the Covid-19 pandemic began.  There have been many that I’ve enjoyed.  But there’s been a few where I’ve slipped away quietly because I was bored and …

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Why nation’s Covid-19 message fails its people

why 'stay alert' messaging fails

It’s surely no coincidence that two of the governments having most difficulty bringing Covid-19 infections under control are governments with disastrous communications strategies. Both the UK and the US governments were slow off the mark, and both struggled to find a message that resonated with citizens. After an initial period of denial, the US government …

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Are you as safe as you could be in your virtual world?

Just a few months ago, as we said farewell to 2019, no-one had any idea we were in for such turmoil, both personal and professional. No-one foresaw the shift to WFM – working-from-home – that the Covid-19 pandemic would cause. As infections increased exponentially, so did our adoption of web meeting apps, like Zoom, Webex, GoToMeeting …

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Try the ‘bird’s tail’ on your next virtual meeting

tip for virtual meetings

We’re really happy to share a quick tip for leading virtual meetings that we saw on LinkedIn recently. This tip will appeal to anyone who is keen to maintain eye contact with remote participants, but needs to refer to notes to avoid straying from the planned structure or missing key points. It comes from author …

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The world has changed: are you ready for the new one?

Zoom makes remote working easier

100 days, and our world has changed. 100 days ago we had no idea what was about to engulf us. So much has happened in such a rush lately, it’s hard to believe it’s only 100 days since the first person fell ill with what we now call Covid 19. Loss, fear, stress, uncertainty… we’ve …

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Crisis communications lessons from Covid-19

Covid-19 crisis communications

Clarity, transparency, openness, responsiveness. Four qualities essential for effective communications during a crisis.  We’ve been looking at how three countries’ responses to the Covid-19 pandemic stack up against those qualities. Let’s start in the UK, where there’s near-unanimous agreement among analysts that the Government response to the crisis has failed on all four fronts. One commentator summed …

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A quick test to help you find your voice

John Prine, a distinctive voice

John Prine has died of complications from Covid-19. He was a masterful singer-songwriter, with a remarkable ability to make you laugh one moment and rip your heart out the next. I mention him because he possessed a very distinct ‘voice’; not the actual sound he made (although that was unmistakable after his two successful fights …

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How to give your audiences what they want

Our courses and books and blogs are full of great advice for improving your speeches and presentations: tell more stories, use more pauses, be more conversational, make strong eye contact, don’t overload slides with text. But please remember one thing: all audiences are different. It’s very rare that two audiences have the same expectations about your …

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