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Jan 16, 2019

When you try to message your milestone, it’s easy to mistake the milestone for the message. It’s important to realize that what’s meaningful to us internally isn’t necessarily meaningful externally. You still need to show your audience, clients, or customers that you’re helping them get a goal that they want: achieve something, solve a problem, or meet an unmet need.

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

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Jan 9, 2019

There are two kinds of change, technical and adaptive, and you need to solve for the right one. Tamsen is working on a book about the Red Thread, and it’s been hard to get that change to happen. Michael Bungay Stanier’s advice was that she was probably solving for the wrong kind of change.

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

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Jan 2, 2019

Now that you have a great title, how do you write descriptions for your talk or presentation? Again, it’s about framing the ideas for the organizer to say yes, which means using the Red Thread. If we write descriptions so the organizer gets all their questions answered, it’ll answer their attendees’ questions, too.

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWester.com.

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Dec 19, 2018

When we’re trying to title a TEDx talk, we need to make sure it fits a format the organizer expects. If you look at the top 20 titles of TED talks, you’ll notice that none of them use the “Name: Subtitle” format. Instead, they’re always phrases like, “Do schools kill creativity?” or, “Your body language may shape who you are.”

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

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Dec 12, 2018

In order to title your keynote or presentation, start by asking what the audience needs to hear. This isn’t necessarily what you yourself think is most interesting or compelling. Instead, it’s about what your audience needs to say yes to before they can engage with those ideas.

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

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Dec 5, 2018

Long sales cycles make it hard to structure your message and address the right questions. The key is to instead structure a series of messages that answer the right question at the right time. A message format that your organization probably uses is focused on how. In fact, it’s common for ALL of your messaging to be focused on how: the features and benefits of your product or service. The problem is that How is only useful to address once the audience when your audience gets to What Now.

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

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Nov 28, 2018

The ABT method is just about the simplest storytelling structure, but we can make it more effective. ABT, developed by Randy Olson, stands for “And, But, Therefore.” Each of those words corresponds to an act of a story. But there’s one more thing we can do to make our stories even more powerful. Because in the second act of a good story, there’s a Moment of Truth that causes the third act to happen.

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

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Nov 21, 2018

This week we look at 3 books that will make you a better communicator by making the useful usable. Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath, Peter C. Brown’s Make It Stick, and Magic Words by Tim David.

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Nov 14, 2018

Waffle House stays open no matter what, and the Waffle House Index represents their Red Thread. Even though this chain of southern restaurants is committed to keeping their doors open, there are times when a disaster or national emergency makes that impossible. But this is where the Waffle House Index comes into play.

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

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Nov 7, 2018

Presenting without slides or notes can happen by accident or on purpose, but how do you do it? It’s not about memorization, but internalization. With memorization, you’re thinking about which word comes next. Internalization, however, is about remembering which concept comes after which concept.

 

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

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Oct 31, 2018

We’re told to use storytelling in business, but why do stories how can you use that? What's crazy: the concept of storytelling in business is, at this point, at least 20 years old, but we don’t seem to be getting any better at it. Why not? It goes back to why the pieces of a story are there in the first place.

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

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Oct 24, 2018

How do you make persuasion easier so you get them where you need them to be by the end of your talk? You need to get across the “no hole,” the gap between where you want them and what they believe before you talk to them. In the middle are all the reasons they can say no, and unfortunately, a no to something is a no to everything.

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Oct 17, 2018

In order to best prepare for your presentation, you need to decide how important it is to you. There’s a big difference between low-stakes and a high-stakes situation, and how much you prepare should reflect that. But more importantly, realize that you are the one who decides how important a particular presentation is to you.

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

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Oct 10, 2018

Is there a persuasion formula, a simple way to think about it so we can be better at it? Yes. There are three predictable things you’ll need to address in order to persuade an audience: goals, perspectives, and truths. When we change someone’s mind, we’re changing one of those three things. It’s not easy, however, to change what someone wants or what someone believes.

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

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Oct 3, 2018

What’s the difference between branding and marketing? Branding is about meaning, but marketing is about method. Brand is something that you already have that you’re trying to distill and communicate. Marketing is how you communicate that message, which comes down to the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion (Tamsen adds a fifth P for the people you serve).

Behind the meaning and the method are mandates, what creates meaning and drives methods you make and take. Those mandates are how we see, which drives what we do. It’s those core beliefs and values of your organization that the Red Thread helps you uncover, connect, and communicate.

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Sep 26, 2018

Speaking points are the ideas you want the audience to leave your presentation understanding. Thinking about them ahead of time has two benefits. First of all, you can make sure your speaking points are sharp. Secondly, you can look at what your audience says after your presentation and see if they show up.

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

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Sep 19, 2018

Someone asking you to talk about yourself can be intimidating, but storytelling can help you out. Realize that what people are really asking for when they ask you to talk about yourself are the patterns of who you are. Finding those patterns comes down to a simple phrase: what’s true for you is what you do.

 

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Sep 12, 2018

The challenge of giving and receiving feedback is to get people to move past the negative. The problem is that our brains can’t just stop doing something without replacing it with something else. Telling someone (or yourself) that something is wrong doesn’t tell them what to do instead. The trick for feedback is to pair the positives with positive actions they (or you) can take. A system called +EBI can help, which stands for “Positive (+), Even Better If.”

Resources

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Sep 5, 2018

Shyness and stage fright are part of our flight or fight response, but how can we overcome them? The first step is to know that it’s normal. The other thing to realize is that delivery is the least important part of getting your message across. Your audience will give you the benefit of doubt if they care about what you’re talking about. We look at the three questions an audience asks itself.

Resources

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Aug 29, 2018

Ideas need to grow up to meet their potential, to do that you need to understand the idea lifecycle. Knowing where you are in the idea lifecycle helps you get your idea where you need to go next.

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Aug 15, 2018

The best topic for you is at the intersection of 4 things, and the concept of Ikigai can help. To figure this out for yourself, you can do an “Idea Ikigai” exercise with four sheets of paper.

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Aug 8, 2018

We’re renaming a piece of the Red Thread because the truth is it isn’t working like it should. It can be easy to get mixed up between the idea behind your message or pitch and the Idea Statement that comprises a part of its Red Thread.

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Aug 1, 2018

The narrower your focus with your message, the broader your reach with your target audience. If that sounds counterintuitive to you, you’re not alone. However, this is often referred to as the universal paradox of messaging. The most effective messages feel like they were made just for you.

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Jul 25, 2018

There are 3 beliefs that your audience needs to have in order to make a change. First, that it’s possible to achieve the goal they want with the change you’re recommending. Second, that it’s possible for them. And third, they need to believe that it’s worth it.

Find the Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

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Jul 18, 2018

When you’re trying to clarify and simplify your big idea, the word “only” is extremely important. You need to make sure your audience gets only what they need in order to act. To do that, focus on the action that you’re looking for.

Find your Red Thread at TamsenWebster.com.

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