Category Archives: Bits & Pieces

Whatever your profession, you also need to be a professional communicator. ETC is pleased to share these essential Bits & Pieces to help you polish those skills.

How’s Your Escalator Speech?

Regular ‘Communicate Confidently!’ readers may recall that I write … and rant … a lot about Elevator Speeches, the simple answer to the often-asked question ‘What do you?’ Sometimes maligned and often done poorly, Elevator Speeches are still a fact of life when you network. Read More »

Grammar Made Easy … & Fun

Are you having trouble learning grammar? Consider the topic boring and painful?

Let Weird Al help you with this great parody called ‘Word Crimes’ -

Now … grammar isn’t so painful after all, is it?

The Classic Greeks on Communication

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” Plato, 428 BC – 348 BC, philosopher, mathematician & writer.

‘Language exerts hidden power, like a moon on the tides.’ Pindar, 522 BC – 443 BC,   lyric poet.

‘Language is the source of misunderstandings.’, Aeschylus, 525 BC – 456 BC,   playwright.

Mark Twain on Public Speaking

We can all learn so much about the art and science of public speaking from 19th century iconic American author, humorist and lecturer Mark Twain.

‘The difference between presentation and a great presentation is like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.’

‘There are only two types of speakers in the world: The nervous and liars.’

‘It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.’

‘The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”


Content Still Rules

‘Content Rules – how to create killer blogs, podcasts, videos, ebooks, webinars and more that engage customers and ignite your business’, Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman, Gilden Media Corp, 2011.

An excellent and detailed survey of content marketing concepts, strategies and tactics, read by both authors.

Phil’s PhonePower Faves

If you had attended on of my PhonePower workshops dealing with enhancing customer communication over the phone, you would have heard these ‘Phil’s Faves’ strategies often: Read More »

To Write … Or Not To Write? That is the Question

Last month, we discussed the all-important Pre-Write phase of workplace writing: Plan What You Write. The piece encouraged you to ask four groups of questions about each document: What are your objectives? Who are your readers? What tone and style would be appropriate? What message format and structure would be best? Read More »

The Art, Science & Psychology of Leadership

‘Too Many Bosses, Too Few Leaders – the three essential principles you need to become an extraordinary leader’, Rajeev Peshawaria, Tantor Media, Inc., 2011.

An insightful and thought-provoking study of leadership in business today, filled with specific tips and detailed sets of analytical questions to ask yourself.

The Bard Got It

William Shakespeare really understood the art of communication:

  • ‘Men of few words are the best men.’ – Henry V
  • ‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’ - Hamlet
  • ‘An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told.’ - Richard III
  • ‘My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: words without thoughts never to heaven go.’ - Othello

So … ‘Brush up your Shakespeare. Start quoting him now!‘ – ‘Kiss Me Kate’

Churchill on Communication!

The great 20th century British statesman Winston Churchill  (1874 – 1965) was a master of communication as well as politics:

‘Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.’

Say what you have to say and, the first time you come to a sentence with a grammatical  ending, sit down.

‘Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.’

‘Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.’  


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