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October 2008

You've got to be believed...

Bert_decker_book This week I received Bert Decker's revised edition of his best-selling You've got to be believed to be heard. I haven't  finished the book yet but I have seen enough to recommend it (take a look inside the book here). In chapter one, Bert (who's one of the most gracious and charismatic guys you'll ever meet) talks about the idea of Old Communicators vs. New Communicators. "Old Communicators fail," says Bert. "New Communicators succeed." Here's what he means:

"An Old Communicator uses the spoken word to dispense information. A New Communicator uses not only the spoken word, but personal energy, enthusiasm, eye communication, gestures, and more to make an emotional connection with the listener."
                                                                — Bert Decker

Richard Trumka on racism and Obama
Yesterday, while doing research on unions in the US (for my Japanese labor management class), I stumbled upon a great example of a speaker who is not fancy or slick, but uses personal energy in a big way to make an emotional connection with his audience
. This clip from a speech by Richard Trumka (AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer), delivered July 1, 2008, rose from obscurity in a single day while being Dugg over 4000 times yesterday. Trumka has a gritty style at the podium and he certainly exudes enthusiasm and passion while talking on a subject that is sensitive (to say the least). You may not like what he says, but it's a good example of a guy connecting with an audience (sans slides) by using examples and stories... and emotion.

In this clip above the intensity level starts off low and gradually builds to a loud climax (with the crowd on its feet), but that's not the end. Just like a good film (or any story for the matter), there is a time for resolution after the climax. In this short clip, Trumka sets tone and the context (exposition) at the beginning and then builds on that with examples (conflict), ending big with the climax and a resolution which in his case also has a high intensity level. I know this kind of speech is not for everyone, but some of you will be glad you watched it.

The clip above has been getting a lot of attention since it hit Digg a few days ago. It's good for the reasons I mentioned above, but as many people are saying, it's also remarkable because the speaker dared (i.e., had the courage) to openly talk about the proverbial elephant in the room. If you liked the clip above in terms of content (and not just delivery, etc.), then you may enjoy this clip too from a different part of the same speech that I found on YouTube. This speech was delivered a few months ago, yet given what's been going on in Washington concerning the troubled US economy the last two weeks, I found this statement by the impassioned Richard Trumka to be slide-worthy. You can hear this quote in the slide below early in the clip.


Here's a July 3, 2008 editorial on this speech from the Capital Times.