Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category

Why does he keep calling them “ISIL”?

September 11, 2014

A couple of day-after–the-speech thoughts…

First, some props for the President.

On the style front, I’ was glad that he was eyes forward last night.  As loyal readers know, for prior talks to we0the-people, I asked Why didn’t he look us in the eyes?  Apparently he reads HomaFiles and changed course.


But, the speech left me scratching my head ….


A parody of parroting: "… from day one …"

May 5, 2010

Grandma Homa adage “say something often enough and people will start believing it.”

Well, President Obama has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that American people will believe absolutely anything if it’s said often enough.  Think “not one single dime” or “on C-Span” …

For the record, I’m not on the ‘slow response’ bandwagon — I wasn’t on Bush for Katrina —  and to be consistent — I can’t jump on Obama for the oil spill.

But, I am amused by the Administration’s rapid response to re-write history. 

Even the NY Times has turned on Obama : “It took the administration more than a week to really get moving. The timetable is damning.”

The Administration’s response?  A downright laughable media blitz with the talking point mantra — “from day one” — that’s being parroted ad nauseam by administration lackies so of often that it’s becoming a parody of “on message”.

Click the pic to see it for yourself:


I expect “from day one” will become part everyday jargon now … and proof positive that if you say something often enough, people will believe it

Grandma Homa had it right on that one.

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Excerpted from NY Times: Unanswered Questions on the Spill, April 30, 2010

President Obama has ordered a freeze on new offshore drilling leases as well as a “thorough review” into what is almost sure to be the worst oil spill in this country’s history — exceeding in size and environmental damage the calamitous Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989.

The company, BP, seems to have been slow to ask for help.

Yet the administration should not have waited, and should have intervened much more quickly on its own initiative.

A White House as politically attuned as this one should have been conscious of two obvious historical lessons. One was the Exxon Valdez, where a late and lame response by both industry and the federal government all but destroyed one of the country’s richest fishing grounds and ended up costing billions of dollars. The other was President George W. Bush’s hapless response to Hurricane Katrina.

Now we have another disaster in more or less the same neck of the woods, and it takes the administration more than a week to really get moving.

The timetable is damning. The blowout occurred on April 20. In short order, fire broke out on the rig, taking 11 lives, the rig collapsed and oil began leaking at a rate of 40,000 gallons a day. BP tried but failed to plug the well. Even so, BP appears to have remained confident that it could handle the situation with private resources (as did the administration) until Wednesday night, when, at a hastily called news conference, the Coast Guard quintupled its estimate of the leak to 5,000 barrels, or more than 200,000 gallons a day.

Only then did the administration move into high gear … with a series of media events designed to convey urgency — including a Rose Garden appearance by the president and dispatching of every cabinet officer with the remotest interest in the disaster to a command center in Louisiana.

We now face a huge disaster whose consequences might have been minimized with swifter action.

A sharp stick in the "I" …

December 4, 2009

Sports coaches refrain that there’s no “I” in “Team” … every management communications coach cautions against the arrogant and isolating effect of using “I” instead of “we”.

Appears somebody missed that class …

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Excerpted from WSJ: Obama Redeclares, Peggy Noonan, Dec. 3, 2009

There was too much “I” in Obama’s speech at West Point.

George H.W. Bush famously took the word “I” out of his speeches—we called them “I-ectomies” — because of a horror of appearing to be calling attention to himself.

Mr. Obama is plagued with no such fears.

“When I took office . . . I approved a long-standing request . . . After consultations with our allies I then . . . I set a goal.”

That’s all from one paragraph.

Further down he used the word “I” in three paragraphs an impressive 15 times.

“I believe I know” “I have signed” “I have read” “I have visited.”

I, I—ay yi yi. This is a man badly in need of an I-ectomy.

Full article:

What’s the #1 skill that MBA recruiters are looking for ?

September 29, 2009

TakeAway:  MBA schools and students frequently forget that no matter how book smart one is, if one cannot effectively communicate that knowledge with others and drive action … that knowledge does little good. 

So, the answer: communications skills.

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Excerpted from Insead Knowledge, “Communicating Your Way To The Top,” September 18, 2009

Good communication skills outrank other core business competencies as the number one skill for corporate recruiters looking to hire MBA graduates.

That conclusion comes not from communications specialists, but from an organization that has all the relevant data at its fingertips, The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) …

This is no one-off effect. Communication skills have been consistently ranked in the top three in the last few years and this is not the first year they have been the number one requirement …

Communication is held in such high regard by recruiters … because people today expect to be communicated with on a regular basis and … communication cuts across all levels …

One of the tools of communicating is the ever-popular presentation. However, as commonplace as they may be, …  few have perfected the art of delivering a memorable and effective presentation … a few pointers to offer: first, assess the audience, preferably weeks ahead of the event. Find out who your audience is and what they will be expecting from you. Then you can fine-tune your presentation to make sure you hit the right notes …

Second, good stage presence is another clincher to an effective presentation. This encompasses knowing exactly how to command attention from the audience through body language, eye contact, and moving around the stage instead of standing behind the lectern.

Third, avoid … ‘death by PowerPoint’, basically using a standardized deck of slides, irrespective of context and audience … your story has got to come first, then you produce your slides to support your story … the slides need to be clear and concise … short and simple … visually interesting and entertaining.

Edit by TJS

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Full Article

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Pitch Tips: Keys to Wowing an Audience

October 31, 2008

Excerpted from: “Deliver a Presentation Like Steve Jobs – A framework you can use to wow your audience,” by Carmine Gallo,  Business Week. January 25, 2008 

“When Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks, he raises the bar on presentation skills. While most presenters simply convey information, Jobs also inspires — selling the steak and the sizzle at the same time. I analyzed one of his latest presentation and extracted the 10 elements that you can combine to dazzle your own audiences.”:

1. Set the theme. Once you identify your theme, make sure you deliver it several times throughout your presentation. 

2. Demonstrate enthusiasm. Most speakers have room to add some flair to their presentations. Remember, your audience wants to be wowed, not put to sleep. Next time you’re crafting or delivering a presentation, inject your own personality into it. If you think something is “awesome,” say so. Most speakers get into presentation mode and feel as though they have to strip the talk of any fun. If you are not enthusiastic about your topic, how do you expect your audience to be? 

3. Provide an outline. “There are four things I want to talk about today. So let’s get started…” Open and close each of the sections and make clear transitions in between. Make lists and provide your audience with guideposts along the way. 

4. Make numbers meaningful. Give them perspective, e.g. “one every 15 seconds”, “enough to fill a stadium”, “more than the 3 biggest competitors combined  —  to demonstrate just how impressive they actually are. Numbers don’t mean much unless they are placed in context. Connect the dots for your listeners. 

5. Give ’em an unforgettable moment. This is the part of your presentation that everyone will be talking about. What is the one memorable moment of your presentation? Identify it ahead of time and build up to it. 

6. Create visual slides. Most speakers fill their slides with data, text, and charts.  Inspiring presenters are short on bullet points and big on graphics — simple images and short phrases.  

7. Give ’em a show. Instead of simply delivering information, give your audience a show that  .  Include video clips, demonstrations, and comments from the audience. 

8. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Despite your best preparation, something might go wrong .  Many presenters get flustered over minor glitches. Don’t sweat minor mishaps. Have fun. Few will remember a glitch unless you call attention to it. 

9. Sell the benefit.  Remember that your listeners are always asking themselves, “What’s in it for me?” Answer the question. Don’t make them guess. Clearly state the benefit of every service, feature, or product. 

10. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Take nothing for granted, especially if you’re using multimedia.  Run everything through its paces. A  presentation looks effortless when it is well-rehearsed. 

Carmine Gallo is a communications coach and author of the book “Fire Them Up” .

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