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The Articulate CEO
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The dirty little secret behind the polygraph is that the "test" depends on trickery, not science. The person being "tested" is not supposed to know that while the polygraph operator declares that all questions must be answered truthfully, warning that the slightest hint of deception will be detected, he secretly assumes that denials in response to certain questions -- called "control" questions -- will be less than truthful. An example of a commonly used control question is, "Did you ever lie to get out of trouble?" The polygrapher steers the examinee into a denial by warning, for example, that anyone... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2013 at The Articulate CEO
Ryan Holmes, CEO at HootSuite has come up with his list of 5 of the year's biggest corporate Twitter blunders and some thoughts on how the right technology and some basic training could've helped. 2012 may have been the year big businesses finally took the big leap toward embracing social media but it’s also produced some of the most disastrous tweets in corporate Twitter history. Here then, is Ryan's top 5: 1. Insensitive employee tweets a presidential low-blow On Oct. 3, in the course of the first US presidential debate, President Barack Obama mentioned his grandmother, who died just days... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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Lying is endemic in human society and from a purely evolutionary point of view the ability to lie is actually quite impressive. That is, of course, as long as you are not considering moral and ethical points of view. Not all lies are bad and many are told with a pretty good motive in mind but given how often it happens we all benefit from knowing why it happens and who is more likely to do it. Some of the reasons that lies are told include: To conceal misdeeds and stay out of trouble. Wrongdoings often can't be undone, and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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If you watch enough television shows and movies, you might start to notice that a bunch of the same props are used over and over again. Among the more famous is a newspaper that has been passed around from show to show and has, in fact, been reused for more than 30 years. I don’t know the story behind this prop newspaper, but I assume it was created as a royalty free prop for television shows and movies. Somewhere along the line, the prop became a recurring gag between propmasters or maybe they are just lazy. Don't believe me? Well,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
To begin with, this case should never have come to trial. The State has not produced one iota of medical evidence that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place. It has relied instead upon the testimony of two witnesses whose evidence has not only been called into serious question on cross examination, but has been flatly contradicted by the defendant. Now there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewell was beaten savagely by someone who led, almost exclusively, with his left [hand]. And Tom Robinson now sits before you, having taken "The Oath" with the only... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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Despite what you may have heard, communication is not a skill. It’s actually many skills layered one upon another. Listening effectively, expressing yourself, focus, reflection, clarity… and the list can go on and on. Among the most important is our ability to filter the information we receive and reflect on this. Our internal filters decide what we pay attention to and what we ignore when communicating with others. What we pay attention to can fuel our understanding of more than just the message we are getting. It also affects our understanding of the relationship. Our skill at filtering information can... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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“Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.” With these words the family of Neil Armstrong acknowledged his passing and cemented his legacy. Neil Armstrong was a soft-spoken engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved pilot he made “one giant leap for mankind” with a small step onto the moon. The modest man, who had people on Earth entranced and awed from almost a quarter-million miles away, but credited... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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In the following article by BRW's Leo D'Angelis Fisher I, along with Jon-Michail and the Chief Executive of the Australian Institute of Management Susan Heron, discuss the problems plaguing executive communication in Australia. Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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Elevator pitches remain as critical as they have ever been - perhaps even more so given the increasingly short attention span we all seem to have. Here then is some good advice on how to create your own elevator pitch from Toby Marshall at Lead Creation. 1. A great ‘Elevator’ provides just enough information to hook the listener in and spark a conversation. It is just the beginning, not the close; think lead generation not sales. 2. It should be short—10 to 20 seconds. Our attention spans have become shorter due to fast-paced city living and Social Media. 3. Practice... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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It is often said that the art of conversation is being lost and that we are the poorer for it. Many would blame the advent of technology and social media but the truth is far more disturbing and goes right to the heart of who we are as people and as a society. Like many skills the ability to talk well can be cultivated but at its core the ability to be a good conversationalist is dependent on how interested we are in others. Interest is the primary ingredient in good conversation - either in the subject or the person,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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Every now and again at the Articulate CEO I just like to kick back and have a laugh at what goes on in the world of communication. With that in mind here are the latest examples of mishaps, mistakes and communication mayhem with the odd comment from yours truly: This engineering sign gets right to the heart of the problem! Remember... I just posted it, I didn't make it and I don't endorse it! Now, get me a beer woman! A Disney best seller... perfect for the kids! Enough said really... Come on there must be some 18 year old... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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Communication blogger David Wise sent me the following link and asked me to comment. It is an article citing the work of CQUniversity researcher Dr. Michael Cowling who states that "Spelling is overrated. As long as the meaning of something is clear, why does it matter how we spell the words?" For the benefit of Michael, David and everyone else, this is why it matters. How you say what you say has a huge impact on its meaning. As readers, we don’t set out to be judgmental. In many cases, however, the only knowledge we have of an author is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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If there is one thing everyone needs to understand before they start their presentation it’s the ending. Begin with the end in mind. As Oscar-winning movie director Andrew Stanton explains, “Storytelling is joke telling. It’s knowing your punch line, your ending. Knowing that everything you’re saying from the first sentence to the last is leading to a singular goal.” Ask yourself: when’s the last time that you built your presentation, meeting agenda or sales pitch on a punch line? Did you begin with the end in mind? Did you pre-plan the one thing you wanted everyone in the room to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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There are many incompetent people in the world and I worry that I might be one of them. I worry about this because, according to research conducted at Cornell University, most incompetent people do not know that they are incompetent. On the contrary, people who do things badly are usually supremely confident of their abilities. They are actually more confident, in fact, than people who do things well. But then they would be wouldn't they? After all the skills required for competence are often the same skills necessary to recognize incompetence. It's little wonder that so many bad speakers are... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
Call me an old softie if you will but I thought this was worth sharing. It just goes to show what a little bit of imagination, effort and a really good reason to communicate something can achieve. Why can't organisations and business professionals demonstrate even a modicum of Isaac's ingenuity? Enjoy! Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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The business world has an unfortunate habit of confusing hierarchy with formality. In other words we teach people that the higher the status of someone within an organisation the more formal our language should be in dealing with them. Yes, of course there will be differing levels of respect depending on who you’re talking to – whether the CEO or the colleague you share a cubicle with – but formality leads to rigid communication channels that are inflexible and inefficient. For example, if I disagree with a colleague, I’m likely to let him know directly and unambiguously. But the higher... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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Authenticity lies at the heart of success in communication and, arguably, at the heart of success in anything. We all achieved whatever success we have by being us. Sure you may have honed your skills, gathered experience, even stolen some ideas along the way but you have remained the person you were from the start. No one becomes successful by being someone other than who we are because we can’t maintain the charade long enough. You are who you are. And success doesn’t change you either. It simply highlights whatever traits existed in the first place and allows them to... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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Feeling some nervousness before giving a speech is natural and even beneficial, but too much nervousness can be detrimental. Here are some proven tips from Toastmasters International on how to control your butterflies and give better presentations: Know your material. Pick a topic you are interested in. Know more about it than you include in your speech. Use humor, personal stories and conversational language – that way you won’t easily forget what to say. Practice. Practice. Practice! Rehearse out loud with all equipment you plan on using. Revise as necessary. Work to control filler words; Practice, pause and breathe. Practice... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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The ANZAC Day march was over - the old Digger had done his best. His body ached from marching - it was time to sit and rest. He made his way to a park bench and sat with lowered head. A young boy passing saw him - approached and politely said, "Please sir do you mind if I ask you what the medals you wear are for? Did you get them for being a hero, when fighting in a war?" Startled, the old Digger moved over and beckoned the boy to sit. Eagerly the lad accepted - he had not... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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Communication is always tough but it's even tougher when your workers don't speak your language. With an increasingly diversified workforce, organizations have to recognize that English as a second language is a potential problem. Many of our employees have very important skills, but they don't necessarily communicate in English well. Whatsmore, managing workers who don't speak English as their first language is tricky. Don't deal with it properly, and you risk problems ranging from poor customer service to diminished productivity to poor morale. Many CEO's see themselves as an accessible, available, good communicator but that belief is often delusional when... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
Just for fun here are the two Ronnies showing us all just how easy it is for communication to go wrong. Enjoy! Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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The story goes that in the 1920’s the great Ernest Hemingway sat around a table of fellow writers and bet them that he could write a story in just six words. Laughing at his audacity they hastened to take his bet. Hemingway quickly wrote six words on a napkin and passed it around the table. The words were: “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” Hemingway’s story was complete. It had a beginning, middle and an end. Needless to say, he won the bet. Whether it happened or not we will never know but the Hemingway story makes an important point... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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If we are honest then we have to admit we have all decided to send an email to deal with an uncomfortable or upsetting issue rather than have a direct conversation. We would also have to admit that those emails didn't actually help resolve the issues or confusion more quickly and effectively. The fact is we were just using email as a way of hiding and, in turn, creating a situation of rising tensions and escalating problems. Thus, email wars erupt, clutter mailboxes, eat up time and thwart collaboration, morale and productivity. Email is a great way to communicate if... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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'Engagement' is the latest buzzword used to describe an abstract emotion that we would like our employees to feel about their work. In the past it has been called empowerment or ownership or commitment and now we have 'engagement'. It is simply another attempt to describe an instinctive understanding that we have that our organisation tends to be better off when our workforce care about what they do. The reason that the word we use to describe this keeps changing is because we have not been able to discover what it is that we have to do to get it... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2012 at The Articulate CEO
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In sports, there are two types of players: intuitive and intelligent. Intuitive players are naturally brilliant. Such athletes can do things on the field that make others stare in awe, all while hardly appearing to break a sweat. They’re fantastic to watch – people flock to sporting contests just to see the expression of this natural talent. They make it look so easy – because it is for them. But they can’t show you how to play like them, because they often don’t know how they do it. It’s instinctive. The style of the intuitive player is largely based on... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2012 at The Articulate CEO