• Nov 28
    2016
    A friend of mine, who has been collecting Social Security for three years now, says it has been an interesting experience to become part of the senior demographic. The telemarketing calls change, both in terms of the services the telemarketers are trying to sell you and in the assumptions they make about you. Last week, my friend got a call from someone who claimed to be concerned about his health. ...
  • Nov 22
    2016
    An episode of The Big Bang Theory television show that first aired in 2008 has Penny and Sheldon in an electronics store looking for a gift for Leonard. A customer who happens to be near them overhears their conversation and realizes that Sheldon could help her figure out what she needs to buy for her business. She asks him how she can connect a computer in her office to one ...
  • Nov 17
    2016
    I don’t know about you, but I’m glad the election is over. It had its low points, and it had its high points, but taken as a whole, I think it was unique in the annals of American public speaking. For most of us, it was exhausting just to watch it. Simply in terms of communication, without considering the issues, it was the toughest, most bizarre presidential election I have ...
  • Nov 02
    2016
    I am old enough to remember when the world was a lot more formal. You would put on a suit to go to work. If you were a man, you wore a necktie. But can you blame people for not wanting to dress that way for work anymore? After all, one of the world’s most successful business professionals goes to work in T-shirts. There is probably a lot more influencing ...
  • Oct 25
    2016
    Historic though they might have been, the second and third presidential debates were surprisingly unpersuasive. If Hillary Clinton is leading Donald Trump in the polls, it is probably less due to her persuasiveness than to his recurring and deepening scandals. But I’m not here to write about politics. I want to look at the quality of the communication in the third debate — specifically, how the candidates handled evidence. Any ...
  • Oct 14
    2016
    In August, I asked you to vote for the best of six speakers at the Republican and Democratic conventions. You chose Michelle Obama by a wide margin. Here’s what I said when I reported on your votes: [Michelle Obama] is easily the most genuine of the six principal speakers. Her message was dramatic, heartfelt, and perfectly in tune with her voice and body language. It was also intensely personal, even ...
  • Oct 13
    2016
    I was not persuaded of anything while watching the second presidential debate, except perhaps that Hillary Clinton has a calm demeanor and excellent control of her temper. To me, the second debate looked like a fight between a parent and a child — one of those overgrown children who is capable of dominating the parent physically but has not yet graduated to personal violence. But violence doesn’t change minds. Neither ...
  • Oct 12
    2016
    This past weekend, Access Hollywood released a recording that should be an object lesson. I don’t know about you, but every time I see one of these news stories about someone speaking out of turn in the presence of a microphone, I am simply astonished. Unless someone is recording you in secret, it’s kind of hard not to know you’re being recorded. This story is a reminder how easy it ...