In this article in The Atlantic, http://ow.ly/Julf50xZSnY, John Hendrickson reflects on the seldom-acknowledged stutter of USA Presidential frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination, Joe Biden. As the immediate former vice president of the USA, there is no doubt that Biden has a desire to communicate and get people to believe in the policies he promotes. It is interesting to read in this article about a speech therapist who, in helping people to overcome stuttering, concentrates not so much on the mechanics of communicating, but on the desire to communicate at all. Interestingly, it is difficult to perceive any trace of a stutter when one listens to Biden. This reminds us of the former great Methodist leader in South Africa, Dr Joseph B Webb, who delivered the most articulate presentations during his influential ministry. Yet he grew up with a profound stutter and overcame it by standing in farmlands in the Eastern Cape, practising, practising, practising to speak fluently. Effective communication – spoken, written, acted, presented – comes with practise and a simple belief in the desire to communicate.
A final thought: When stutterers sing, they don’t stutter; they communicate the beauty of the music. (For a discussion on singing and stuttering, see this link.)
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The start of the year! Many are plunged into presentations for new business and plans. Conveying an idea to your audience is critical. Watch this short video by Chris Anderson for some great presentation tips. His four points at the end are especially useful:
1. Focus on one major idea and explain it properly
2. Give your audience a reason to care about your idea through creating curiosity
3. Build your idea piece by piece, using the power of language that speaks to them.
4. Give them an idea worth sharing by telling them who benefits from it.
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The best communication is understandable, straight forward, and yields a satisfactory response. That so many of us get frustrated communicating through digital media, not least through online shopping, illustrates that digitisation has not yet got its communication completely right. This brilliant and humorous presentation by BBC Wales aptly illustrates the absurdity we have all experienced in shopping online, or trying to do “simple” banking transactions, but ending up thoroughly disenchanted with contemporary communication. But of course, we return to it, because we have to! Quo Vadis offers communication services in a number of disciplines: good old fashioned writing, editing and training, and now digital marketing strategies and campaigns.
Brilliant FlySafair! Excellent sponsorship, outstanding leveraging of the sponsorship by the most reliable airline in South Africa. You are Springboks yourselves, indeed, for providing the service you do to ordinary people in a world where service is lacking by so many others. Keep on flying high!
The website is the centre of an online marketing strategy. But it’s also critical to integrate traditional marketing (such as sponsorship) with online strategies. One company that is doing so really well is Safair, domestic carrier for the Springboks. As someone who has flown Safair many times, we are on their mailing list, and an email newsletter arrived this morning, with a link to this song. Great marketing, Safair!
Quo Vadis Communications supports the initiatives to eliminate gender-based violence (GBV)and calls on all South African business leaders to give their support in both vocal and practical ways. “Our economic progress will be stifled and limited if more than half of the population lives in fear, is recovering from violence, or away from work in a criminal justice process.” (Jennifer Smout, Commissioner for Gender Equality)
Theo Coggin, Chairman of Quo Vadis, writes: “Our thoughts today are with our American friends in particular, but also with millions of others the world over who decry violence. During our recent visit to the US we visited the site of the primary 9/11 attack. It is indeed memorable. What struck me, however (and some will understand, knowing me), was how life in all its great diversity is always present, no matter how evil humankind can be.
Standing on the kerbside as we were approaching the memorial my attention was drawn to this earthworm – alive in spite of the hugeness of the buildings around it and the thousands of people tramping around, alive in spite of the massive building operations that had and were still in progress, and alive in spite of the most foul of deeds committed in the destruction of the twin towers and blowing up of the other planes. Life, whatever its form, is redemptive.” (By Theo Coggin)
No one likes a crisis. It disrupts the normal flow of work and creates stress. We don’t always know how to deal with it, and sometimes we even hope that ignoring it will make it go away. (Usually there’s two chances of the latter happening: none and zero.)
So what are some of the strategies to deal with it? First, see it coming. Take a good hard look around you and identify the risks that might lead to a crisis and at least have an idea of how you are going to handle them.
Second, have a crisis communications plan. This means that when (not if) the crisis hits, you know what you going to say, to whom you have to say it, and how you are going to say it.
It can go such a long way to mitigating the impact of the crisis to have a proper communications plan in place, ready for action.
That’s where Quo Vadis Communications comes in. We’re very good at putting crisis communications plans together. We know the sort of questions to ask, and how to make a coherent plan out of it all. We’ve done plans for corporates, NGOs, the public sector and governments. We can do one for you.
We’re not kidding. Just recently we have been involved in two organisations who didn’t plan properly for crises. One knew it was coming and did nothing; the other ignored the signals and hoped it would go away. Neither crisis obliged by disappearing. Now they are running for cover – and a crisis that could have been managed has become a panic.
Don’t wait for the drama to happen. Get ahead of it and stay on top of it.
Contact us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Our rates are fair and our service is excellent.