As the old adage goes, “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” In this instance, you are the communication artist stealing from the masters. What you will notice is that all of these great communicators have some similarities: mastery of vocal variety, incredible transparency, imagery, humor, and more.
Like everything else they touch in our modern lives, phones have changed our relationship to photos. And though I spend most of my time focused on helping people communicate more effectively with words, my phone pickpocket experience made me reflect on how we communicate with images. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words are they worth if no one ever looks at them?
Cameras and voice recorders are some of the most valuable tools you have in your arsenal when looking to improve your communication skills: they capture all the metrics you need to improve, they’re offer the most objective perspective, and they can provide a look-back to see how much growth has been achieved.
If you scan your newsfeed or social platforms for more than a moment, you’ll find story after story about frayed attention spans, exhausted work forces, and overwhelmed professionals. Newly invented terms like zoom fatigue and doom scrolling (along with seemingly evergreen ones like burn out) paint a picture of a society of stressed-out zombies who haven’t exercised or eaten well in ages, and who have the attention span of a goldfish.
Here we are, almost two years into a global pandemic, and we continue to operate in a limited and limiting space, fitting our personal and professional communication skills into small virtual spaces. We were already well on our way to communicating virtually pre-pandemic: a text or an email instead of a phone call; hopping on Microsoft Teams for a company check-in instead of an in-person meeting; unending conference calls.
“We are a way for the Universe to know itself.” With one profound, brief sentence, Carl Sagan could enlighten the deepest of mysteries.
This quote is just one example of thousands. Carl Sagan was a brilliant scientist, professor, author, and educational TV show host. Born in Brooklyn in 1934, he lived a remarkable life, gone before his time in 1996 at the age of 62. If you’re not familiar with Carl Sagan, I hope this serves as an entry into his life and work.
Podcasts. Everyone seems to have one these days. Whatever your passion, there’s a podcast out there for you. In 2021 there were over 850,000 podcasts in existence. This is no surprise, as podcasts are a great tool for continuing education, motivation, or just plain fun. The best part about podcasts, and perhaps part of why they are so popular, is that they save you time: you can listen on your commute, while you’re at the gym, cooking, cleaning, the sky’s the limit.
You’ve decided to use breakout groups to make sure your session doesn't just feature a talking head…just talking and talking. How do you make sure the breakouts don't break down? Here are three quick tips to make breakouts so successful that participants will consistently rate them as the best part of your programs.
The advantages of giving folks a chance to connect in smaller groups are obvious. At the same time, nothing is worse than an amorphous, awkward breakout that leads people confused and less likely to participate the next time a breakout is on the schedule. In this blog post, we offer three quick ways to decide if you should have break outs for a training session.