The Secret to Powerful Communication in 2 Words

If I had to sum up in two words everything I’ve learned in 25 years of work on communications, rhetoric, public speaking, speechwriting, and body language, those two words would be:  charismatic storytelling. Charismatic because in an over-stimulated, impatient world, it’s passion and charisma that get attention.  But passion alone doesn’t get you to charisma; […]

Aristotle Was Wrong

We want to persuade people to do something new.  It’s one of those fundamental – and fundamentally important – human acts.  And, it’s a tall order. But it is the essence of speech making: to move people to action. Anything else is wasted effort, because people simply don’t remember much of what they hear. It’s […]

Basic principles of persuasive rhetoric – 7

Principle VII: Authenticity and charisma in content require self-revelation in this confessional age. Being willing to confess something, even if it’s small, is table stakes in this age, surrounded as we are by the no-holds-barred, tell-all, celebrity-infatuated media, which constantly dish up the most intimate details of the lives, real or imagined, of these people […]

Basic Principles of Persuasive Rhetoric – 6

Principle VI: Persuasive communication cuts through the clutter of information overload by dealing with safety issues. Turn Maslow’s hierarchy of needs upside down in your mind. Maslow said that we take care of our needs in order, from the most basic to the more refined. So, we take care of physiological needs first — food […]

Basic Principles of Persuasive Rhetoric – 4

Principle IV: Persuasive rhetoric deals in stories, facts, and tropes Stories, facts, and tropes are your tools for building effective, emotionally convincing communications. Used properly — stories liberally, facts carefully, and tropes sparingly — they will give your communications zest, interest, and charisma. Failure to use them will result in communications no one else wants […]

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. […]