Thinking Out Loud

Meet Your Superpower

If a coaching client were to tell me that they only had time for one recommendation from me, I’d say, “No problem. Learn how to breathe.” If you are any kind of performance professional — and doing the news on television is a performance profession — breathing is the foundation for everything else you need […]

Talk About Trust

Building trust…begins with talk about trust — talk combined with action, to be sure, but talk first of all. We are creatures who talk, and therefore we are thinking, reflective creatures. We don’t just avow our trust, we examine it, and we can thereby create and build it. Robert C. Solomon and Fernando Flores, building […]

To Move or Not To Move

Human communication evolved based on our ability to see and hear the person we are talking to. Take that away like TV does and the systems that would normally kick in reflexively fail to engage.

The Art of Being Real

When I joined Audience Research & Development (very!) green and fresh out of graduate school in 1982, the firm’s Managing Partner gave me one piece of advice. “Don’t ever mention that you trained as an actor,” he counseled. “Acting is pretending. Journalists are concerned with being real.” I wish he’d been with me the pre-pandemic […]

Pitch Perfect

“My producer keeps telling me that my pitch is too high.” “I don’t like the sound of my voice – I think it sounds too high.” “Will smoking and drinking whiskey help me get a deeper voice?” Elevated pitch, or a voice that is “too high”, is a common complaint for both male and female clients.  […]

Hijacked by nervousness: Sergio Dipp

Nerves on Parade

The appearance of Sergio Dipp as a sideline reporter on Monday Night Football received a lot of coverage a couple of years ago, and most of it was harsh. The question that it raised for us at the time was how much of his struggle had to do with nerves? In our work, we know […]

Voice of Experience

When security put the United States Capitol Building on lockdown late one July afternoon, NBC Washington’s Scott McFarlane was on the Live Desk. Little about the situation was known, and the station had no reporters or photographers in the vicinity of the trouble. Calmly and steadily, the veteran reporter began with what he had — a […]

Connection Magic

“What’s the secret to connecting with an audience?” When Harvard Business Review put this question to Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller fame) a few years back, his answer was as profound and applicable to delivering the news as it was to doing his Vegas magic act. Here’s a part of what he said: If […]

Chuck Henry Wants You!!!

Conversations about teasing usually focus on what to say, and organizations spend a ton of time and money working to get the words right. But loads of research has shown that trust and decision-making are driven at least as much (and often, more) by delivery as by content. In other words, if your goal is to […]