Communicate to Win: 019 – A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

I shouldn’t need to convince you that a picture is worth 1000 words. You can demonstrate complex stories with a single, still image. One image may be more influential than a substantial amount of text. So, use pictures! This leads me to focus on second slide type—exhibit slides. Read more

Communicate to Win: 018 – Which Story Would You Rather to Read?

Consider these headlines. Which story would you rather read? Stock Market Results or Stock Market Up 2% on Lower Oil. With the first, you only have a simple statement. But, with the second, you have a statement that tells you something. I suspect you would rather read the second article since it speaks to you, delivers a message and communicates the key point. I can’t over-emphasize the importance of employing talking headers, not just titles in your PowerPoint presentations to draw in your audience and leave them wanting more. Read more

Communicate to Win: 017 – What’s Up with that Slide?

We have all perched around conference room tables with a perplexed look while thinking, “What’s up with that slide?” Like the slide shown here, it is a mixed bag of fonts, contains unrelated images, has unreadable text and is just plain confusing. Read more

Communicate to Win: 016 – 10 Email Tips

I obviously have a passion for improving all communication. I have worked with so many extremely talented and gifted individuals who made small mistakes in email and voice mail, and really hurt their credibility. Read more

Communicate to Win: 015 –10 Voice Mail Tips

We use many mediums to communicate: phone, email, fax, meetings, presentations, websites, etc. The list is endless. The three “Big Rules” can be used in just about any form of communication. If you read the previous post, you know a key to to being effective, the challenge is to practice using the principles in your day-to-day communications. Read more

Communicate to Win: 014 – Big Rule #3: The Rule of Thirds

The previous posts of the Communicate to Win series, we covered the the Magic Number Seven Rule and the Pyramid Rule. If you follow the Magic Number 7 (+/- 2) rule, nine points are the maximum number you’ll use at one time in a presentation. But I often get asked, “What is the ideal number? How many key points should I present? How much should I put on a slide? Generally, I suggest three, leading us to Big Rule #3: the Rule of Thirds. Read more

Communicate to Win: 013 – Big Rule #2: The Pyramid Rule

In the previous Communicate to Win post, we looked at the Big Rule #1: the Magic Seven Rule. We walked through an exercise where you tried to remember a list of 10 countries, but were likely successful in remembering only seven, give or take. In this post, I’ll address Big Rule # 2: the Pyramid Rule, its use with your audience and how its application will most certainly help you remember more countries on list continuing with the same example. Read more

Communicate to Win: 012 – Big Rule #1: The Magic Number Seven Rule

Howard Schultz grew Starbucks from a Seattle boutique into the global mega-brand we all know today. At one time, he left Starbucks, but agreed to come back in 2008. In his first letter to employees upon his return, he said the company must shift its focus away from “bureaucracy” and back to customers. He wanted to focus on “Big Rules,” such as customer service, instead of checking boxes on the forms created to run the business. Read more

Communicate to Win: 011 – RACI Matrix

As I have noted in my last few posts, the problem solving process requires a lot of effort. Research at each of the four steps is very involved. Here, I take a look at the RACI matrix, which is a responsibility chart to help assign resources to action items. You can use this tool not only as part of this problem-solving process, but also to assign responsibilities connected to any set of tasks within your organization. Read more

Communicate to Win: 010 – Four Steps to Solving Problems Continued

In the previous post, I addressed steps 1 and 2, Structure the Issue and Plan an Analysis, for solving a problem. I’ll continue the discussion with steps 3 and 4, Execute the Analysis and Find the Solution. Read more