Why mission statements harm your message

Energy is essential for speakers

Forget about your corporate mission statement… at least when you are trying to convince an audience about your product or service. Most mission statements are earnest expressions of good intentions. And great cures for insomnia. Here’s an example of how deadly dull they can be:  “The mission of the National Outdoor Leadership School is to …

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Media interviews: accentuate the positive

Stay positive in media interviews

A popular Johnny Mercer song from the 1940s began: “They said we better, accentuate the positive… Eliminate the negative… Latch on to the affirmative… Don’t mess with Mister In-Between.” That’s great advice for anyone doing media interviews. Reporters are trained to ask challenging questions; CBC veteran Linden MacIntyre described his approach to interviews as ‘skeptical …

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Don’t make it worse – say sorry in verse

Airlines apologizes in verse

Have you ever needed to apologize to a client or customer? It’s not always easy – at least judging by some of the contortions some individuals and organizations go through to avoid saying ‘sorry’ when they are clearly in the wrong. In a moment we’ll look at the art of the apology, with some expertise …

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Three reasons to dump the jargon

dump that jargon

We need your help. We’re wondering if there’s a worse piece of jargon and bafflegab than the phrase we came across last week. It’s such a mind-numbingly horrible phrase that we need to creep up on it… very slowly. Let me start by asking what word or phrase you use when talking about kids who …

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Strive for more than empty slogan soundbites

Former PM says soundbites are puerile

In the US we have Trump trumpeting ‘Make America Great Again’. In the last UK election, from one side we had ‘Strong and Stable’, from the other side ‘For the Many Not the Few’. From Australia, how about ‘Continuity and Change’. Political slogans, conceived for soundbites and the sides of campaign buses. Grand-sounding phrases but …

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How United Airlines turned a problem into a disaster

Security staff drag Dr Dao from an overbooked United flight

Maple Leaf Foods boss Michael McCain famously said ‘the buck stops here’ when facing the media over the listeriosis outbreak that killed 22 Canadians. He showed how to give an ethical -and human – response to a crisis that threatened his business. He expressed regret, accepted responsibility, and offered remedial action. Fast forward to the way …

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