June 23, 2022, from 1-2 PM EST
I am hosting a new virtual Roundtable Discission on Technical communications, with Kathy Nelson as my first special guest.
About Kathy Nelson
Senior Principal, West Monroe
Former Chairwoman, Utilities Technology Council (UTC)
Podcast Host, Ordinarily Extraordinary - Conversations with Women in STEM
Discover how to embrace and cultivate the qualities you already own to influence and impact others. Give your message and metrics new meaning that inspires your audience to take action.
I've started an exciting new virtual roundtable series on technical communications to explore how we can strike our audience. Each month we will have a guest that will share their trials and tribulations, but most importantly their breakthroughs.
Kathy Nelson will be my first guest, who has been working with me for over 6 years. She is a brilliant individual who has invaluable insight on this topic. I'm so excited and honored that she'll be joining us.
When it comes to technical communications it's common to do all the "right things," and find that you still haven't landed your message on your audience successfully. This virtual roundtable series will shed light on the common threads in technical communications and highlight how we can improve and adjust our approach.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Have you ever heard of the saying, “If you feel tension, use it”? For some business professionals, that works, but for most, it doesn’t. In communication, tension is a manifestation of unexpressed impulses and peaks when your focus is on yourself. Tension is a severe ailment to millions of business professionals when they communicate. Notice the common use of “I” in the following questions. “Am I good enough?” How do I look?” “How should I start?”, “How should I end?”, “How am I doing?” “How do I close?”, ”Will I get my point across?” As long as you focus on “I” while presenting, you can expect your tension to take over.
Solution: First, it’s essential to know that tension is not a horrible thing. It's life, and we all experience it. What you want to do is understand it so you can manage it. If you feel tension creeping up and you...
The short answer is that many technical/analytical professionals want the solution to be something they can understand and resonate with from an "analytical" mindset. However, the process of communication is not analytical. Perhaps the subject and data might be in the analytical realm; however, the process of connecting technical or analytical data to another human being is experiential.
(click on photo for full article)
Where there are Experiences, there are Feelings.
Every time you have a communication engagement, an exchange of information via human experience, with an individual, or if you are an audience member of a presentation, you leave FEELING … something. It could be excitement, disappointment, appreciated, devalued, motivated, exhausted, overwhelmed and depleted, empowered and determined, depressed, heroic, or the rest of the human rainbow of emotions. Regardless of what the FEELING is, you do leave FEELING something. Feelings are emotions we...
When meeting a new group of business professionals for training, I usually start with this question - What comes to mind when you think of Acting and Business Communications? I ask this question because my Communications System is founded on a specific system of Acting that I've been working within and a master of for over three decades. Inevitably I hear answers like "Acting helps for you have to take on a role at work that's not you," "Acting helps to get showmanship in your presentations," "Acting pushes your ability to be what you're not, and in business, many times you have to be what you're not," and so on. Each of these answers makes me cringe. My work is the 100 percent opposite. Any time you're "acting," you're faking it. The reason why you're faking it is for one reason and one reason only; you believe the reality you are experiencing at that moment is not valid enough. Once you invalidate your truth, you're communicating to your audience that you do not trust them to see...
I am writing this blog to point out some key parallel points between business communication and a recently watched documentary.
I enjoy watching documentaries. When done well, any topic interests me. Zac Efron is a well-known actor, performer, and celebrity. I enjoyed his work most when he played opposite Huge Jackman in the movie, The Greatest Showman. He has, in the ballpark, 50 million followers on Instagram and has recently produced and starred in a Netflix series, Down To Earth, with his Wellness expert and friend, Darin Olien.
The hook that got me to get this documentary a shot was when I heard Zac say (paraphrase) "I have all these followers, and I'm in a unique position to make a positive impact". To that end, in this documentary, Down To Earth, Zac and Darin tour the world, looking for new perspectives on very old problems in the area of food, water and energy, wildlife, long life, and more.
However, what got me hooked to watch the entire series was a different thing...
Recently, a client (in STEM) said, "I'm not getting the same reaction from my audience." That "the audience doesn't seem to be as enthusiastic about my subject matter." I asked if his subject matter is still relevant to his audience and the profile of his audience is more or less the same as when he had a positive reaction. He replied, "yes."
In the theater, people use several sayings to describe a show that's been running a long time, and it's no longer exciting to watch. One of them is "the show is stale." When a show is "stale," from the audience's view, it seems like the actors are going through the motions. The entire cast knows "the butler did it" at the end of Act II. The cast goes through the show "acting" surprised, in love, hate, lust, and suspense. Worse is when they "act" as if the stakes are high when they are thinking more about their cousin in the 5th row, seated center right, and where they will go out to eat after the show that makes a fabulous margarita. When an...
After a long day of work, with the remote in my right hand, and dinner on the table, I was flipping through the channels and came upon this channel. The words “Global Warming” were in the caption, the reason for me to halt my remote surfing. The scientist was talking about global warming, an issue I care considerably about. He was highly intelligent and clear. Yet, I found myself zoning out. When this happens I always ask myself, why am I zoning out. Is it because of something on my end? Maybe I’m too hungry to concentrate, overtired, or something else is dominating my mind, or is it the speaker? I conclude it was the speaker. For me, he had enough leverage just on the subject alone to keep my attention, but yet, he wasn’t.
I avoided my kneejerk reaction to change the channel and examined why I had a stronger desire to not listen to him than to listen to him. I watched a bit longer to understand, way.
He seemed to be...