In the MBA and Global Executive MBA classes I teach in Leadership and Communication at INSEAD, I always get two volunteers to give short speeches based on two American presidents’ inaugural speeches. Their aim was to read it persuasively. And based on how my students gave their speeches, they were evaluated by their peers (the…

Bill Gates, in his 2009 TED Talk, speaks about the affliction of malaria of 200 million people especially in poorer countries, and the need for education and eradication — and then does the unexpected. Stating that malaria is spread by mosquitoes, he then releases a jar of these flying insects to roam into the air-conditioned auditorium…

Words cut. Decisively. Incisively. You might have remembered the specific times when senior leaders in your organisation telling you something that hurt deeply – and, after all these years (even if you had left the organisation), you still remember the wounds inflicted by their insensitive comments, biased accusations, and tactless rhetoric. Words have an immense…

Stories still seem fluffy to some leaders. With their bias towards numbers, charts, and graphs to predict trends for the next quarter, leaders prefer data which can be quantified (understandably so) – because they sound most palatable to shareholders. Numbers almost, always, sound credible and certain. However, numbers are statisticians’ ways of interpreting data. It…

No one can prepare for a crisis in an organisation or in a country. But when a crisis does occur, how a leader shows up – or fails to do so – during the first hour can shape public opinion forever. Take a look at these real examples: When mainstream media report about train disruptions…

Imagine the allure of the Red Riding Hood story for children, or James Bond for adults. Or take a look at Mr Bean who is known across the world, who is so famous that  even without the need for English as a tool for communication is understood. Now, imagine that your business can harness the power…

In a recent blog “2 tips on teaching public speaking to primary school children, and why drama helps“, I answered a teacher’s question by explaining to her the importance of identifying (a) the context and purpose of the speech situation, and (b) the needs of the audiences. I gave specific contrasting examples on mobilising the…

© 2010 | EDMUND CHOW

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