Strategy. Innovation. Brand.


Winning vs. Winning & Losing

How is winning an argument different from winning a baseball game?  In baseball, you have a winner and a loser.  In an argument, you need more than just good communication skills — if you’re smart — you can have two winners. It all depends on how you play the game after you’ve “won”.  Being a good winner this time will make you even more persuasive next time. Learn more in the video.

Nerves and Presentations

How nervous should you be when you start a speaking presentation?  A little nervousness during a public speaking event can actually help you perform better.  What does nervousness communicate to your audience? Mainly, it says that you’re taking them seriously and sincerely trying to do a good job. That builds credibility rather than reducing it.  What should you do if you’re too nervous to make your presentation? Well, watch the video.

Are older people wiser?

Many cultures around the world consider old people to be wiser than young people.  Why would that be?  It may be very simple — old people have forgotten a lot.  They forget the details and the minutiae. They remember the important stuff.  That’s also very good advice for creating powerful, persuasive presentations.

Get more tips for improving your verbal communication skills in the video.

Your metaphor or mine?

The world is just too complex.  It’s difficult to understand all the different things that are going on around us.  Some people retreat to conspiracy theories to try to make sense of the world.  Most of us do something simpler: we create metaphors.  A metaphor is simply a way of saying, “the world is like this…”  It simplifies the many complexities and makes the world — and our arguments — easier to understand.

But what happens if my metaphor for how the world works is different from your metaphor?  If I say that life is like baseball, then I’ll probably tolerate a little deceit in life.  After all, the hidden ball trick is acceptable, no?  If you say that life is like a court of law, you’ll probably have a much different view of what’s acceptable.  We could wind up talking right past each other.  Worse, we could get very angry at each other without really understanding why.  It’s not an effective communication tool for business or for romance.  Learn more in the video.

Your frame of reference or mine?

You go to a department store and buy $300 worth of stuff.  To pay for it, you present a general purpose credit card.  The clerk tells you that you can save 10% immediately if you apply for a department store credit card.  From the clerk’s perspective, it’s a very logical argument — save $30 just by doing a little paper work.  Your perspective may be different — it’s one more card to manage, one more bill to pay each month, and so on.  If you’re like me, you’ll decline the offer.  The long-term hassles outweigh the short-term benefits.

What we have here is a frame-of-reference issue.  The clerk’s frame of reference is much narrower than yours.  The clerk’s argument is very logical; indeed, it’s airtight.  But your frame of reference allows more information in and you decline the offer.

To be persuasive in an argument, your communication skills should include the ability to argue logically within your audience’s frame of reference.  To do that, you need to know your audience better than your business or product. Learn more in this week’s video.

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