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Leadership communications with Rob Cottingham

Business & Economics Podcasts

I've worked as a speechwriter, presentation coach and communication strategist—not to mention delivering my share of speeches. From speechwriting and speaking to traditional and social media, here's my best advice on how leaders can communicate to change how audiences see the world.

I've worked as a speechwriter, presentation coach and communication strategist—not to mention delivering my share of speeches. From speechwriting and speaking to traditional and social media, here's my best advice on how leaders can communicate to change how audiences see the world.

Location:

Canada

Description:

I've worked as a speechwriter, presentation coach and communication strategist—not to mention delivering my share of speeches. From speechwriting and speaking to traditional and social media, here's my best advice on how leaders can communicate to change how audiences see the world.

Language:

English


Episodes

Ep. 66. Keep the "thought" in thought leadership

6/4/2021
So many leadership communications mistakes come down to one thing: not having a clear goal and a roadmap to get there. That’s especially true when it comes to areas where leaders aren’t as familiar with the subject matter. This episode looks at a high-profile communications failure: an op-ed that blew up in CEO's face, damaged the company's reputation and forced an embarrassing public about-face. We'll look at what went wrong... and how you can keep your communications on track. The...

Duration:00:10:45

Ep. 65. What we've learned from a year of remote presentations

4/28/2021
Public speaking has changed a lot in the past year, since conference halls and auditoriums went dark and we traded stages and amplifiers for webcams and video. But those changes can help us be better speakers, when the time comes to return to the stage. Links: My wife Alexandra Samuel has co-written a terrific new book on making the most of remote work, called Remote, Inc. There's a chapter on presentations in there that I got to advise on, and it covers some of what I talk about here....

Duration:00:09:43

Ep. 64 I now pronounce you... correctly

3/16/2021
Mispronouncing someone's name from the stage is a lot more than a minor screwup. Here's why speakers should never go to the mic without knowing the correct pronunciation of every name they mention — and why speechwriters should never let them do it. Links: This episode of KUOW's RadioActive podcast delves into mispronunciation and race. And here's one of my favourite comments on the subject, from actor Uzo Aduba, quoting her mother: "If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo...

Duration:00:04:46

Ep. 63. Less is more, and short is beautiful

10/5/2020
Presenting online? Don't make the mistake of thinking longer is better. When you're speaking via video, you want to keep things short. Here's how to embrace short, even when you're scheduled to run long. Links: We spoke to Dr. Nick Morgan back in episode 58. His latest book is Can You Hear Me? How to Connect With People In a Virtual World. And since I recorded this episode, a new book is on the scene: Standout Virtual Events by David Meerman Scott and Michelle Manafy. It's really, really...

Duration:00:05:46

Ep. 62. Zoom out! You're more than just another face

9/21/2020
If you're spending all day in Zoom meetings, then it's easy to think that speaking by video automatically means showing your head and shoulders... and nothing else. Let's talk about what you (and your audience) are missing by not letting the rest of your body get in on the act. (The bad news? You're gonna need to start wearing pants again.) Resource: Hanna Thomas Uose‘s post The Trauma of Zoom Music: All music is by Lee Rosevere. The theme music is "Twitter Will Kill Us All." Used under a...

Duration:00:06:07

61. Go big AND go home: Why you need to amp up your online energy for work-at-home audiences

9/8/2020
You might have thought up-close video would be more intimate than speaking from the stage. But one big thing we're learning from remote presentations is this: You need to bring more energy to your speaking style when your audience is at home in front of their screens. Find out why... and how. Music: All music is by Lee Rosevere. The theme music is "Twitter Will Kill Us All." Used under a Creative Commons license. Image: Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

Duration:00:05:26

Ep. 60. The pivot: Mozilla adapts to communicating in the lockdown

5/1/2020
This time, we look at how the technology visionaries at Mozilla are making the pivot from face-to-face leadership communications to virtual channels. We're joined by Justin O'Kelly, Mozilla's senior executive communications manager. Links: Mozilla, makers of Firefox, Monitor, Send and more. Music: All music by Lee Rosevere. Theme: "Twitter Will Kill Us All." Used under a Creative Commons license. Image: from Mozilla

Duration:00:27:31

Ep. 59. Leadership communication through curation

3/25/2020
If sharing really is caring, then the content you share needs to be content you really care about — and content your audience will care about too. This episode we look at content curation... and why just shovelling links onto Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn without care or context isn't just bad for your reputation — right now, it's dangerous to your audience. Links: I mentioned those mysterious letters "RSS", which really can make your life easier! If you're baffled, here's a pretty good...

Duration:00:13:47

Ep. 58. Going virtual (and staying human)

3/14/2020
With so many face-to-face presentations being cancelled, a lot of speakers are looking at going virtual. But with webinars and online conferences suddenly getting a second look, it’s important to keep in mind their special demands. This episode, we talk to presentation coach, theorist, blogger, speaker and author Dr. Nick Morgan about what we lose when we go virtual, and how to make up some of that lost emotional connection. And we’ll hear from author and (her delightful description) camp...

Duration:00:24:32

Ep. 57. Making the best of a cancelled speech

3/14/2020
Cancelled speaking gigs are a fact of life, but never more than today. And hey: with social distancing and disease prevention rightly taking precedence over oratory, we know better than to feel sorry for ourselves over postponed conferences and scrubbed events. But when you're left holding a speech without a stage to deliver it on, what's your next move? Instead of letting all your work writing and preparing your presentation go to waste, try these suggestions for getting some real value...

Duration:00:09:02

Ep. 56. Leadership communications in a crisis (part two)

3/10/2020
Getting leadership communications right is never more important than in the middle of a crisis. And as COVID-19 coronavirus outbreaks happening throughout much of the world, you may well be facing a crisis soon. Last episode, we talked about planning for your crisis leadership communications. This episode, we look at putting that plan into action with seven key principles: And stay tuned all week, as we look at some of the implications of the coronavirus outbreak for leaders and the...

Duration:00:09:38

Ep. 55. Leadership communications in a crisis (part one)

3/9/2020
In a crisis, people are looking for reassurance, a sense of security... and leadership. And with COVID-19 coronavirus outbreaks happening across the planet, you may soon need to step up on behalf of your organization — for anything from coping with a supply-chain issue to temporarily shutting your doors. How you communicate will make all the difference for your audience. This two-part episode looks at effective leadership communications in a crisis. Part one is all about preparation: the...

Duration:00:09:18

Ep. 54. It's called public speaking. Not public singing.

2/21/2020
Are you falling into the trap of sing-song delivery? You could be sapping your speech's strength and breaking your connection to the audience. Here's how to recognize it... and how to stop. Wondering what's different about this episode? Could be the new theme music! Links: Episode 51 talks about how to reclaim your natural voice by talking to an audience of one (even when it's actually one thousand). Those voice acting lessons I mention are at Vancouver's On the Mic Training. Highly...

Duration:00:06:35

Ep. 53. How to Talk to Experts

1/21/2020
Sooner or later speechwriters and other leadership communications practitioners find ourselves talking to a subject matter expert: somebody (usually part of your client's organization) who’s going to give some of their time and knowledge to make your speech or article better. Here's how to get the most out of their time and yours. Thanks to Clare Kumar, Deb Rohac, Patti Bacchus, Evan Leeson, Ben Roberts, Ben Lucier, Mark Busse, Rob Beggs, Susan RoAne, Jamie Cohen, Luis Giraldo, James Glave,...

Duration:00:09:59

Ep. 52. Drop the pitch!

12/11/2019
It can be tempting to sell from the stage... especially when you know some of the people in your audience could be great customers. But resist that temptation. Here's why you should leave the sales pitch behind when you head to the mic — and how you can do a much better sales job if you aren't selling. Links: Go listen to The Freenoter, a great podcast by Tamsen and Tom Webster about making unpaid speaking opportunities pay off for you and your audience — without selling from the...

Duration:00:08:31

Ep. 51. Zoom in on your audience

11/21/2019
Having trouble connecting emotionally with a speech you're writing or rehearsing? Maybe it's because you're trying to speak to the whole audience instead of just one person. This episode, here's why you may want to take a leaf from TV cop shows and zoom way in. (Note: This is episode of the podcast includes mild profanity: The word "bullsh*t" is used several times.) Music: Theme: "Good Times" by Podington Bear (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Podington_Bear/). Incidental music by Lee...

Duration:00:07:06

Ep. 50. The Pigeon of Dorian Gray

11/1/2019
I'm always telling you to tell stories... so for the 50th episode of the podcast, I'm going to share one of my own. It's about what a dead pigeon taught me about being a good speechwriter. Music: Theme: "Good Times" by Podington Bear (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Podington_Bear/). Incidental music by Lee Rosevere (https://leerosevere.bandcamp.com/) including "More On That Later," "Places Unseen," "Sad Marimba Planet," "Small Steps," "It Was Like That When I Got Here," "Landing" and...

Duration:00:16:02

Ep. 49. What kind of emotional connection do you want with your audience?

10/24/2019
Coming up empty as you try to write your speech? Wondering why your presentations aren't landing quite as well as you know they should? You probably know you should connect emotionally with your audience — but maybe you need to think through just what kind of emotional connection you're both looking for. This episode, we look at six kinds of emotional connection, and how you can build them: confidence, trust, understanding, appreciation, shared values and what I call the mensch...

Duration:00:08:25

Ep. 48. Find your speaker superpowers in your origin story

10/17/2019
For some reason, we love to hear how superheroes got their powers — their origin stories. And audiences will want to hear yours, too. Here's how to tell the story of how you got here in a way that connects with your audience and even moves them to action... faster (cough) than a speaking bullet. Music: Theme: "Good Times" by Podington Bear (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Podington_Bear/). Incidental music by Lee Rosevere (https://leerosevere.bandcamp.com/) including "Swiftwind,"...

Duration:00:09:53

Ep. 47. Careful with that spotlight!

10/1/2019
As leaders, it can be tempting to forget that not everyone likes being the centre of attention. And when you have an audience, you can all too easily throw a harsh, unforgiving spotlight onto someone who isn't ready for it. This episode, we look at how to wield your audience's attention responsibly, whether it's from the stage or online. Links: Skip Weisman was kind enough to let me share his story with you. https://www.yourchampionshipcompany.com/ Music: Theme: "Good Times" by Podington...

Duration:00:10:36