Going analog with Flight of the Conchords
Financial crisis simplified (a whiteboard presentation)

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.



Thanks for sharing this video, as well as the book. In my work as a trainer and communicator, I have learned that passion for your audience, for your subject matter and your work goes such a long way in helping you reach people. The video exemplifies someone who, through passion and story can and does evoke an emotional reaction in his audience ... and in video viewers!

Martin Tolley

I echo the previous thanks. As a Brit I don't get to see much of this sort of political speech making. GB political speeches are so much less inspiring. After a recent national political conference here TV commentators were (on screen) leafing through printed versions of a speech to find what the speaker had actually said! The words and the emotion in this extract work so well together, I particularly like the use of a lengthy non-repeating list to build to a climax, that it becomes almost impossible to forget the message. Thanks again for sharing this.

Claudio Perrone

This is an incredibly effective speech which really shows the power of story to persuade and inspire.
The theme is racism (towards Obama); the real setting of the story is his familiar hometown in modern days, a "dying place" as he describes and dramatizes; as often happens, the "antagonist" is a familiar individual who has much in common with the protagonist but chose a different path. Brilliant!
I loved the speaker's rhythm of his speech. The structure of the story is also exemplar. Once again, it is a perfect reminder to us all that to convincingly persuade on a general concept you need to zoom into a specific and concrete situation. Thanks for sharing.


WoW. I really like the second part where he jumps to the future and looks back. A real top spin!


I don't know why you should dance around the content of this speech: 'not for everyone'. Why ever not? I think it should be mandatory listening. And his old-school style is something people reject in favour of the smooth technocrat. Which doesn't really convince anyone, does it?


Impressive, powerful, compelling and inspiring

And the last 60 seconds is absolutely mind blowing.


Sounds like some one is made he isn't getting his union dues. This guy is a thug. Stuck in the 1900's.

Mark Carbone

Funny, I see this guy as a thug as well. He probably makes racist comments all the time. Sorry, I'm judging. He lost me when he said Obama is a Christian just like you and I. That was over the top.

This guy shows that he is passionate about keeping his job and he'll say whatever it takes and pull the race card to get his point across.

Yes, it's a good example of passion and that's the key to success at presenting.

My gripe is that you are a socialist I suspect. You didn't need to bring your politics into this unless you have substance.

He is worse than George Bush. Obama is a great divider. We need someone who will bring America together. He will polarize our country.

He knows nothing about business yet the bias media has convinced us that he does. He's never run anything, let alone balance his checkbook.

This is serious. The most important election of our life times. This isn't a joke. Just because you are pro abortion and pro socialism doesn't justify a vote for him.

Obama's a bigger divider than Bush was. That is what we need to focus on. We need results now. No more playing President.

I'll Keep My Money, You Keep The Change

A Democrat giving a speech to his own Democrat party: "If you don't vote for Obama, you're a racist" Yeah, great political party. Demothugs. We want our labor dues! Ha,ha,ha!

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that very inspresive, thanks for share.

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Just for today I will try to live through this day only and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

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