From ‘Yes We Can’ to ‘I don’t quit’ — a rhetorical analysis of President Obama’s State of the Union speech

President Obama gave his first official State of the Union address last night.  He gave a similar speech at a similar time last year, but he had just taken office, so the White House did not call that one a State of the Union.  This time, it’s POTUS’s first SOTU, as the insiders would say.  […]

Basic principles of nonverbal communication – 7

Principle VII: To master the ‘second conversation’, you must make yourself aware of your own unconscious behavior and that of others. Our brains analyze and react to a constant stream of environmental cues 24/7 in order to keep us alive and safe.  The huge majority of that work is undertaken by our unconscious brains, and […]

Basic principles of nonverbal communication – 6

Principle VI:  To become a persuasive communicator you must first consciously master and then control your ‘second conversation’ – your body language. Many people balk at this idea, that mastery and control of body language is essential to becoming an effective communicator – or leader.  They say, “Why should I spend all that effort worrying […]

The basic principles of nonverbal communications – 5

Principle V:  The source of our nonverbal conversation is deep in the oldest part of the brain, in emotions, survival, and relationships – all that’s fundamental to our connections with others and with our surroundings.  Recent brain research has shown us something about the way our minds work that’s deeply counter-intuitive:  we gesture before we […]

The basic principles of nonverbal communication – 4

Principle IV: Decision making is largely an emotional, and therefore a nonverbal, process. We’ve had an idea for a long time that decision making is best done by the rational mind rather than the emotional mind. Indeed, a good deal of business and organizational thinking sets the rational (good) against the emotional (bad). But recent […]

The basic principles of nonverbal communication – 3

Principle III: Persuasion is leading someone else to make a decision, and it happens when the verbal and nonverbal conversations are aligned. This is the essence of leadership communication. The writing on leadership is vast and endless amounts of ink have been spilled trying to explain what separates a great leader from a poor one. […]

The basic principles of nonverbal communication – 2

Principle II: We interpret body language unconsciously in terms of intent. Recent brain research has turned our common-sense relationship to our bodies – and the bodies around us – upside down. Because we’re naturally aware of our conscious minds, we think that’s what’s in control of our bodies. I meet a new person, so I […]

The Future of Conferences, Part Five – How to Involve the Audience

  Conferences ask a lot of passivity from their audiences – audiences made up of people who are normally quite active.  The traditional model involves sitting in a seat for 2 or 3 days, occasionally allowed to ask questions, but basically only invited out of the seat for meal and bathroom breaks.  Any networking that’s […]